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RAW vs. SmackDown!:  Who Wins?  

Week Ending January 2, 2004

Featuring Many Current and Past OO Columnists 
Ratings Compiled by Jeb Lund


OOficial Brand of the Week:

3.80 --/-- SD!: 3.13

RATING SYSTEM: Rather than go with the standard 1-10 integer scale for rating shows, OO has selected a 0.0-5.0 rating scheme.  Not only does this allow the reviewer to more precisely award points, but more importantly, it is our belief that our ratings will, in a way, be comparable to the weekly Nielsen Ratings.  Our ratings are based on show quality, however, whereas Nielsen's are based on eyeballs.  Just as WWE hasn't reached the real world 5.0 mark in a long, long time, it will take a monumental effort for a show to earn the highest OO World ratings...  but piss us off in a given week, and we'll be rating you like you're Nitro and it's 2001. 

RAW (12/29/03) vs. SMACKDOWN! (1/1/04)  

Canadian Bulldog
RAW: 4.0

The Good: I would say about two-thirds of my rating directly reflect my love for the main event. Triple H and HBK are not exactly poster boys for the smark community, but the two of them put on a tremendous, tremendous match, and that's really what should count. I know a lot of people argue that these guys only turn it up a notch when they fight each other, but so what? One of the best TV matches this year, and it's almost a shame it happened after OO's MOTY voting. The finish was garbage, sure, but I literally stood up in amazement when Michaels' music started playing. That's the type of emotion they should be going for more often... What else? Randy Orton is starting to grow on me (sorry, Jeb). He's making the most of the push he's been handed (unlike, say, Austin, Angle or even HHH, who all had to fight for theirs) and is starting to make for a decent heel... Austin's entrance into the arena, almost running over the Divas, was classic Stone Cold... RVD vs. Steiner was better than I would have expected, and I'm all for using Big Poppa Pump in short matches like this. He looks great as the arrogant heel and it hides his numerous weaknesses. I like where they're going with Jericho. It's not as obvious as most face turns, yet it totally works for the Y2J character. Finally, note to Trish: as of Friday morning, the Canadian dollar was worth seventy-EIGHT cents American -- almost a ten year peak -- so it's not as bad as you think.
The bad: I've been trying all week to block this from my memory.... seriously, I have. Oh well, here goes -- NEVER, EVER, DO A BOARD MEETING ANGLE EVER AGAIN!!!!! Not only does it suck up huge chunks of TV time, but it opens up so many gaping holes of logic. To wit:
- What public company allows its closed-door meetings to be televised live, even if it's just to "sum up the arguments"?
- Did Vince not threaten to fire Bischoff a year ago if he couldn't hire back Austin? Why take the opposite stance now?
- Once and for all, who exactly controls the television shows WWE produces? Vince? Linda? Bischoff? Heyman? Foley? Austin? HHH? Nash?
- If the issues are as crucial as Vince and Linda claim they are, wouldn't they have to take it to investors first? Full disclosure and all that....
- What shareholder would ever invest in a company that operates this way?
- Did anyone raise the point that somehow, Austin escaped the secure arm of U.S. military in order to appear on their Baghdad show?
- Most importantly, if they knew that Austin was as important to the company as Linda claims, and that he had this much support then why the FUCK would you advertise a match at Survivor Series that could potentially get rid of him?
- I'll wait a week to see, but isn't the role of sherriff less prestigious than the co-GM job they already offered Austin?
I know, I know, I'm not supposed to think about these things. But shouldn't SOMEBODY? These board meeting angles almost beg for these ridiculous plot developments to be questioned.
SmackDown: 3.5 
The good: Two very good matches that I would consider near-perfect for TV. Rey and Tajiri were given enough time to put on a good showing, perhaps the best I've seen for these guys working together. They made Rey's win mean something too, and hopefully that will lead to a bit more spotlight on the CW belt, and not just fodder for guys like Big Show to attack cruisers. Meanwhile, I'm surprised that I haven't tired of the Los Guerreros-WGTT matches, being that they've been going at it for almost a year now. But I haven't. Another fantastic match tonight that continued with the slow burn Chavo turn. Angle's involvement kind of intrigued me as well -- is he getting set to turn yet again? Or was that something the writers did just to throw everybody off? Finally, the decision to put Benoit as # 1 in the Rumble could really mean something -- if he lasts until at least the final 10 or so. I'm just waiting to see where that one goes.
The bad: You know, when I turned on my TV set Thursday, the first thing I thought was "Gee, I hope they progam another Bradshaw v. Rhyno match, because the first 82 times they've fought SIMPLY WASN'T ENOUGH!" Only explanation I can think of is that they're forcing these two to repeat the match over and over again until they get it right, and hey, this IS Bradshaw and Rhyno we're talking about... Bob Holly's inability to get a decent match out of Big Show (which enough people on the SmackDown roster have been able to do, thank you) shows me yet again that Holly isn't up to getting the title match at Royal Rumble. I look at it this way: Brock has 3 PPV matches between now and WrestleMania, assuming he's got the belt until then and he remains relatively healthy. Have, say, Eddy or even Angle at the Rumble because that will mean a decent match for the big guy at an important event. Give him Benoit at No Way Out. Then do the obvious Goldberg match for 'Mania, or failing that, Cena.
My point here is that Bob Holly does NOT need to be in the WWE title picture. Nor should he be.
Finally, what an odd choice they went with to end the show this week. So abrupt. It would be like if I signed off by

Canadian Bulldog's year-to-date averages: RAW (3.2), SD! (2.9).

Matt Hocking
RAW:  3.8
JR:  What a great match between Shawn Michaels and Triple H!
JR:  But what exactly will be Steve Austin's new role in the company.
SA:  I gunna wear a cowboy hat and dance around.  It'll be cool.  Sheriff
JR:  That...uh...doesn't sound very cool.
JL:  Sure it does.  SHERIFF STEVE!!  STONE COLD!  STONE COLD!!  Right J.R.?
JR:  Uh....
SA:  I'll tell you what.  One match made the night  Everything else was
unharmful filler.
JR:  I still don't get it.
HHH:  I'm still the World Champion.  Everything is fine J.R.  Now get to
JR:  I...uh...1?
JL:  Did you see Matt's Darling Stacy?!  5!!!
SA:  3.8.  That sounds right.

Smackdown!:  3.1
MC:  Michael Cole and Tazz at ringside!  What a Smackdown!
TZ:  I'm still at ringside waiting for the main event.  What the hell was
CG:  Are you saying I'm not cool enough to be in the main event angle, esse?
TZ:  That's EXACTLY what I'm saying, Chavo.  Speaking of Angle, what the
hell is with him?  I get the whole troops thing, but we spent a whole
episode about all that last week.  Stick to the wrestlin' Kurt!
CG:  Shut it up, you.
MC:  Shut it up me!
CG:  Not you.
MC:  ....
UD:  Rate!  Dragonrifficly!
MC:  ...5!!  Damn!  Sorry Chavo!
CG:  Oh, screw it.  Tazz is right.  I shouldn't be in the main event.  0.2.
TZ:  Damn right, you shouldn't.  The wrestling was...ok though.  3.1.

Matt's year-to-date averages: RAW (3.6), SD! (3.3).

Rick Scaia
RAW: 3.6 
HHH/HBK was awesome and, on its own, makes up for a lot of problems.  Not that RAW had a LOT of problems... it just wasn't the flawless, big time effort that it could have been.  The return of Steve Austin wound up being the absolute Worst Case Scenario: lazy and predictable and more than a bit nonsensical.  In the short term, sure it was still a crowd pleaser, but in the long run, I think we'll all end up wishing they'd put a bit more thought into making Austin's return something creative, that fit in with the grand scheme.  Also: there were moments of sloppiness in RVD/Steiner and the women's match, and to say I was less than enthralled with the mind-numbing continuation of Mark Henry vs. Booker T would be an understatement.  But like I said: man, that main event was off the charts.  Easily one of RAW's 4 best matches of 2003 and an easy entry for my own personal Top 10 list.  Finish was red hot, and should set up Michaels as HHH's main foe for the next little bit.  Which is a welcome change from HHH's tepid outings against Steiner, Nash, and Goldberg in 2003. 

SmackDown!: 3.4 
The reshuffled show was a bit stronger than it would have been if it had ended on the Holly/Show note (as it was taped)...  the potential for Eddie and Kurt and Chavo to work a meaningful program is much greater than the potential for Bob Holly to actually still be in main events after January 18.  Rey/Tajiri was a great anchor match, fifteen minutes of outstanding action that, in 90% of other weeks, would have been the best of the week.  The Benoit/Cena pairing making it to the Rumble was also a cool little storyline progression.  Really, only the Rhyno/Bradshaw match and trying to force Big Show and Holly into a mini-program to cover for the fact that Lesnar is out with an injury were the only slow parts of the show.  Still, that's only good for a mid-3, and there's no way SD! peaked as high as RAW did with its main event... so it comes up just the slightest bit short in this battle. 

Rick's year-to-date averages: RAW (3.3), SD! (3.7).


RAW average: 3.80
Actual Nielsen Rating: 3.0 (converted to broadcast rating)  
RAW OVERdelivers versus actual rating this week.

SmackDown! average: 3.13 
Actual Nielsen Rating:  2.8   
SD! OVERdelivers versus actual rating this week.


Average OO Rating for RAW:  3.18 
Average Nielsen Rating for RAW: 3.11 

RAW is OVERdelivering, on average, versus actual ratings so far in 2003.

Average OO Rating for SD: 3.35 
Average Nielsen Rating for SD:  3.32 

SD! is OVERdelivering, on average, versus actual ratings so far in 2003.

Rounds Won by RAW: 12 
Rounds Won by SD!: 17  
Current Streak: 2 by RAW (Since 12/19/03) 
Longest Streak: 7 by SD! (6/27/03 thru 8/08/03)


SMACKDOWN RECAP: Bonding Exercises
RAW RECAP: The New Guy Blows It
PPV RECAP: WWE Night of Champions 2012
RAW RECAP: The Show Must Go On
SMACKDOWN RECAP: The Boot Gets the Boot
RAW RECAP: Heyman Lands an Expansion Franchise
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Losing is the new Winning
RAW RECAP: Say My Name
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Deja Vu All Over Again
RAW RECAP: Dignity Before Gold?
PPV RECAP: SummerSlam 2012
RAW RECAP: Bigger IS Better
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Hitting with Two Strikes
RAW RECAP: Heel, or Tweener?
RAW RECAP: CM Punk is Not a Fan of Dwayne
SMACKDOWN RECAP: The Returnening
RAW RECAP: Countdown to 1000
PPV RECAP: WWE Money in the Bank 2012
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Friday Night ZackDown
RAW RECAP: Closure's a Bitch
RAW RECAP: Crazy Gets What Crazy Wants
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Five Surprising MitB Deposits
RAW RECAP: Weeeellll, It's a Big MitB
RAW RECAP: Johnny B. Gone
PPV RECAP: WWE No Way Out 2012
RAW RECAP: Crazy Go Nuts
RAW RECAP: Be a Star, My Ass
RAW RECAP: You Can't See Him
RAW RECAP: Big Johnny Still in Charge
PPV RECAP: WWE Over the Limit 2012
SMACKDOWN RECAP: One Gullible Fella
RAW RECAP: Anvil, or Red Herring?
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Everybody Hates Berto
RAW RECAP: Look Who's Back
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Care to go Best of Five?
RAW RECAP: An Ace Up His Sleeve
PPV RECAP: WWE Extreme Rules 2012
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Sh-Sh-Sheamus and the nOObs
RAW RECAP: Edge, the Motivational Speaker?
SMACKDOWN RECAP: AJ is Angry, Jilted
RAW RECAP: Maybe Cena DOES Suck?
RAW RECAP: Brock's a Jerk
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Back with a Bang
RAW RECAP: Yes! Yes! Yes!
PPV RECAP: WWE WrestleMania 28




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