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RAW vs. SmackDown!:  Who Wins?  

Week Ending February 20, 2004

Featuring Many Current and Past OO Columnists 
Ratings Compiled by Rick Scaia


OOficial Brand of the Week:
3.42  --/-- SD!: 3.74

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 (2/16/03) vs. SMACKDOWN! (2/19/04)  

Canadian Bulldog
RAW: 4.0
The WrestleMania build-up continues to flow nicely, and a great main event to boot.

The good: It would be hard to argue that Shawn Michaels Vs. Chris Benoit was anything but a great match. Solid work by both. I'm not going to argue at all with the decision to put Michaels over, because they kind of had to, in order to set up the three-way match for 'Mania. My only beef here would be that their first meeting should have been on PPV. Why would I want to pay for something instead of seeing it for free? Because I'm MADE OF MONEY!!!!! Or maybe not.... Booker T and RVD winning the tag straps was a pleasant surprise, though I wouldn't be shocked to see Batista and Flair regain the belts quickly (maybe even next week?)... I could comment on my joy over Victoria's new outfit, though I have a funny feeling several others will say the same thing in this space.... 

The bad: One could argue that The Undertaker's ability to channel weather storms, or the 75-minute beatdown of Mick Foley (I mean, could we at least have summoned one of the Hebners to break it up? Remember in the old days when the only jobs of guys like Rene Goulet and Nick Bockwinkel was to stop the heels?) were the low-lights of the night, but not for me. I didn't used to feel this way, but I get the feeling that Chris Jericho and Trish Stratus are the two stupidest people on the face of the earth. Take Y2J's comments this week: "Christian, you're my best friend and today I am going to give Trish this rose. Why don't you hold it for me, and then I will give it to Trish after my match? I will also leave my wallet here, which is full of cash. And look, here's a knife. I'm just going to turn around and stare at the wall. I sure hope no one stabs me...." As much as I'm digging this little soap opera, sometimes less can be way more meaningful.

SmackDown: 3.5 
Did only Kurt and Los Guerreros show up this week?

The good: Although it went on for wayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy too long (we're talking Triple H or Shane Douglas territory here), the Eddie Guerrero celebration ceremony was an extremely classy touch. Too often, the company overlooks what winning the big belt should mean, but this week, they nailed it down perfectly.... The turn, while extremely obvious to anyone over the age of three, was well done and gives their WrestleMania feud enough time to simmer.... John Cena and Kurt Angle Vs. The Basham Brothers was a fun tag team match that would have made more sense BEFORE Angle and Cena's (and Big Show's) match at No Way Out. Of course, Eddie and Chavo put on another great performance.

The bad: By my count, there were three matches this week, two involving Kurt Angle and one involving Bob Holly. A similar pattern for the backstage vignettes. Not good... After I gave some props to Michael Cole and Tazz last week for defending the SmackDown brand, this week I have to take it back. Why? When Kurt Angle turned, they were both like 'where is this coming from?'. I know its part of the business to play dumb to surprises, or else the surprises aren't as meaningful. But really -- would it have been so hard for Tazz to remember that Kurt has been frustrated lately? Or that there has been tension between the two ever since Chavo and Eddy broke up? Or that Eddie and Kurt are facing each other in a big match at freaking WrestleMania? Come on, guys! Next week on SmackDown!:

Tazz: Hey, Cole, tonight we'll hear about why Kurt Angle turned on Eddie Guerrero.

Cole: Yeah, I still have no idea what led up to that. Even though they explained it on wwe.com. And even though a three year old could have understood why.

Tazz: Cole, can you hold this rose for a minute? I gotta go get injured for a minute before I ask a woman out who doesn't know about my feelings for her.

Cole: Sure thing. Can you hold onto my wallet?

Canadian Bulldog's year-to-date averages: RAW (3.2), SD! (3.0).

Mark Coale 
RAW: 3.0
As always, a middling bag.

SmackDown!: 4.8
Eddy + Belt = Gold!

Mark's year-to-date averages: RAW (3.4), SD! (4.1).

Adam Gutschmidt 
RAW: 3.5
I give RAW the nod this week, despite it having more bad segments than Smackdown. The reason being is that at the end of the both shows, RAW left me more fulfilled than Smackdown did.

RAW scored with some nice angle progession in all of their main WM matches. I dislike mismatched tag teams with the titles, but I am glad to see the titles off Flair and Batista. Plus it increases the likelihood of of RVD and Booker being on WM. Benoit/Michaels was just an awesome main event despite to poor finish. For the women's match, I just put it on mute and enjoyed Victoria's outfit to its fullest. And I personally enjoyed the Kane/Taker stuff. The Jericho/Christian/Trish stuff is a mixed bag for me. If they produce a decent blowoff to the angle, this is good stuff. If they don't, this is just frustrating television.

RAW missed with it's horribly long Foley beatdown. After Rick teased us with a Rock appearance, his absence made the beatdown even worse. RAW presented two great potential scenarios for the World title at the beginning of the show and then gave us the horribly unoriginal and unwanted match at the end of the show.

SmackDown!: 3.3
Smackdown didn't do a whole lot wrong, but there just wasn't a whole lot there. The main event was some really solid stuff and that should have been that match we saw at the Rumble. The postmatch beatdown was just what was needed from Angle to start putting sizzle to this feud. I can't wait for the explanatory promo from him next week.

The rest of the show seemed like an expansion of stuff that could have been done in all of 3 minutes. As much as I want to see Eddie revel in his big win, it seemed like a huge waste of TV time. And then the only end result was the announcement of Chavo Sr. as the guest referee which didn't even happen. The wrestling content was low and one of the few matches we did get was Show/Holly. I didn't need that, especially since its seemingly only purpose was for Cena to then challenge Show for WM. Like I said, most of what Smackdown did wasn't bad, it was just all completely fastforwardable to get to the main points.

Adam's year-to-date averages: RAW (3.7), SD! (3.2).

Matt Hocking 

RAW: 3.5
JR:  Is that beatdown thing over yet?
JL:  No, no.  A few more minutes.
JR:  Yaaawn.  So, King, how was your week?
TT:  Isn't anybody going to talk to me?  The Testmeister?
JR:  No.
JL:  Oh, it wasn't so bad.  I'm actually kind of excited for a Triple
JR:  Benoit/HBK, BY GAWD~!
JL:  Plus, you could totally see Victoria's jiggly ass.
JL:  I'm gonna give it a ass.  I mean ass.  Ass.ass.
JR:  Booker T/RVD?  Rain?  Whatever.  3.5.
HHH:  Go ahead, Test.
TT:  Well, I feel that....
HHH:  Nobody cares.

SmackDown!: 3.4
MC:  Michael Cole and Tazz at Ringside!  What a night for Eddie Guerrero,
TZ:  I got this note:  "You overused Eddie Guerrero at your last show." 
What does that mean?
MC:  Hey, Kurt Angle is evil.  What the heck?
TZ:  And why was he feuding with Cena if Cena's feuding with Show?
EG:  I just can't believe that I'm the fricking champion, Esse.
TZ:  Neither can I!  What is Vince smoking?
EG:  Whatever it is, holmes, Benoit better hope he doesn't run out before
MC:  Was Brock Lesnar pretending to cry?
TZ:  Yeah.  That was pretty cute.  Poor Brock.
MC:  Chavo v. Eddie is the main event?  What IS Vince smoking?  88.2.
EG:  I'm the frickin' Heavyweight Champion.  WTF?  5.0.
TZ:  Plus 40 for Eddie, -200448 for everything else.  3.4.

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

Rick Scaia  
RAW: 3.1
The highs were pretty Benoit-centric on RAW... granted, the opening promo was HHH's good work, and Benoit had help in the main event match agaisnt Shawn Michaels, but Benoit was right there in both segments.  His "I got one thing to say to you" line before popping HHH was classic, and then the match with Michaels was a very good 20 minute affair.  But RAW dragged in other spots, including the interminible beatdown on Mick Foley that was SCREAMING for a run-in.  If not from the Rock, then how about at least remembering that Booker and RVD are in the building and probably feeling pretty friendly towards Foley?  Oy, talk about letting the steam out of the whole show, and smack dab in the middle, to boot.

SmackDown!: 3.7 
I honestly don't think SD! used more than about a half-dozen performers last Thursday, and honestly, it didn't much matter.  The guys who the built the show around -- Eddie and Angle, mostly -- were dead-on perfect whether it was in promos or in the ring.  A little bit too narrow-focused to break through to the rarified air above 4.0, but still a very enjoyable show and a pretty easy winner in my book, this week.

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


RAW average: 3.42
Actual Nielsen Rating: 3.2 (converted to broadcast rating)  
RAW OVERdelivers versus actual rating this week.

SmackDown! average: 3.74 
Actual Nielsen Rating:  3.5    
SD! OVERdelivers versus actual rating this week.


Average OO Rating for RAW:  3.19 
Average Nielsen Rating for RAW: 3.11 

RAW is OVERdelivering, on average, versus actual ratings since the start of the Battle.

Average OO Rating for SD: 3.36 
Average Nielsen Rating for SD:  3.35 

SD! is OVERdelivering versus actual ratings since the start of the Battle.

Rounds Won by RAW: 14 
Rounds Won by SD!: 22  
Current Streak: 1 by SD! (Since 2/20/04) 
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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