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RAW vs. SmackDown!:  Who Wins?  

Week Ending March 5, 2004

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


OOficial Brand of the Week:

3.34  --/-- SD!: 3.31

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 (3/01/03) vs. SMACKDOWN! (3/04/04)  

Erin Anderson 

I freely admit that my rating might be too high, but dammit, I was at the show in the front row. It gets no better.

I truly did enjoy the show, though. The Undertaker bit was a good kind of spooky. Vince and Austin opened the show with a fun segment. Molly and Victoria will probably have a terrific match at WM if given enough time, and the title v. hair gimmick should really put some heat on it. Christian and Jericho are finally steamrolling along, and the Michaels/Benoit v. Evolution tag match was very solid with some good storytelling by Benoit and Michaels. And thank you GOD, the Rock is back to save Mick Foley from his weekly beatdown.

The only low points for me were the Rico promo and Hurricane/Rosey v. Cade/Jindrak. The crowd was dead for that particular tag match, and I think it would have been a good idea to switch that match with the Heat main event: the Dudleys v. Storm/Venis, which was quite good (Bubba shocked us all by busting out some chain wrestling, german suplexes, and a sunset flip. It was nice to see that kind of variety in his moveset).

It was a terrific live show, and most importantly: Orton Fears Jeb.

SmackDown!: 3.4 
Let's be honest here: this is the Angle and Eddie show. Everything else is just filler from where I sit. Angle and Eddie are fantastic, and Kurt is so good at playing the self-righteous heel it's scary.

My rating is low because I don't really care either way about everything else. The cruisers had a nice spotfest, and TWGTT actually got some screentime and showed something closely resembling charisma. Big Show even cut a good promo. But so what? I used to rabidly champion Smackdown! in favor of RAW, but one great feud does not a great show make. RAW is leaving the Thursday night show in the dust.

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

Canadian Bulldog 
RAW: 3.0

Finally... The Rock... HAS COME BACK...TO... ehh, screw it.

The good: Chris Benoit and Shawn Michaels worked an effective match against Randy Orton and the ever-improving Batista, although I think the "Wacky Mismatched Partners Who Can't Get Along" (tm Scott Keith) concept has been played to death. It also doesn't do much to advance Benoit's storyline as the underdog who might, just might (and won't) overcome the odds at WrestleMania because he's clearly the third wheel now. Wait, what was that sign in the front row... 'Orton Fears Jeb'? May I just say: HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!! Best sign ever!!!! Anything else? Not really.... Hennigan's debut interview had possibilities and Victoria's outfit was, like, awesome... which is kind of sad that I can't find much more to go on about.

The bad: The Rock return wasn't nearly as effective as it could have been, particularly because Orton telegraphed it so much beforehand. Yes, I realize the fans (probably Erin) were shouting for him, but he could have ignored that, no....? If it were up to me, I would have just had Foley come out, make the challenge, get punk'd again by Evolution, and have The Rock make The Save. But that's just me.... The Austin-McMahon ATV was creative and advanced their issue tremendously. Oh, wait, it's NOT 1998? Then what the HELL was it doing on Raw this week? They knew Goldberg was gonna be sitting at home, fine, why couldn't they have filmed some backstage stuff a few weeks ago that could have covered their ass?

SmackDown!: 2.5 
But he said he was sorry....

The good: The APA-WGTT stuff was kinda funny, and a nice little shout out to Curt Hennig and the boys... Brock Lesnar-Bob Holly ("The Rematch To Settle The Controversy") was well done as a squash, and proved to me once again that it really didn't belong at the Rumble this year.... I liked Kurt Angle's interview and dig where the character might be going (the quasi-face heel, but not the goofy quasi-face heel of two years ago).... Dawn Marie's outfit was even better than Victoria's, for those keeping score at home.

The bad: Eddie Guerrero Vs. Paul Heyman was the main event?!?!? Wha...? Not since the days of JR and The King against Al Snow and Coach have I felt so ripped off.... I mean, the guy SAID he was sorry and everything. Why are we suffering? Scotty 2 Hotty Vs. Danny "Or Maybe I Was Doug" Basham shows me everything that's wrong with the SD tag team division. I mean, it looks like they're setting up yet another four-way tag match for Mania, and we don't even need the first one. But, seriously, when the best you can come with is this piece of crap match, maybe its time to get some new tag teams.

Bulldogs year-to-date averages: RAW (3.2), SD! (2.9).

Adam Gutschmidt 

RAW: 3.4
RAW came off as one big infomercial and not an effective one at that.  It seemed like there was a lot of wasted time.  The Austin/Vince segment was wasteful as nothing really got accomplished.  There could have been other ways to have the end result be Brock stealing the ATV.  The Rock stuff was good, but it came at a point where you were saying "Oh just bring him out already" instead of "When is he coming?  When is he coming?"  The middle-of the show match was solid and I'm really surprised they are focusing the feud more on HBK and Benoit.  But then again, since they are the only two WRESTLING each week in this feud, I guess it makes sense.  This four-way is so so so very lazy, but everyone else shares that statement so I won't go on about it.  The rest was just there, nothing offensive, nothing to remember.

SmackDown!: 3.6
Smackdown gets the slight edge this week, because while they were in hype mode too, I enjoyed their segments more.  All of the Eddie/Kurt/Heyman stuff was solid.  Is there any doubt, except in the McMahon's minds that Heyman should remain GM?  My only complaint was that I thought the handcuffed beating could have been more brutal, but I'm nitpicking now. The TWGTT's spoof of the APA was great and dead-on.  If RAW wasn't doing a four-way I wouldn't be as upset about them doing one.  There has been at least a little build for this one to make it more sensical.  The cruiser 6-man was spot-errific and the Chavo/Funaki match was harmless fun.  Chavo Sr. continues to be gold.  I even enjoyed Brock opening segment.  Much better than the Vince/Austin stuff.

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

Matt Hocking 

RAW: 3.6
JR:  By GAWD, King, What an exciting night!  THE ROCK!!
JL:  Who was the babe in the front Row?
JR:  Lillian Garcia?
JL:  Huh?
TR:  FINALLY, The Rock has come back...To rate RAW.
HHH:  Screw the theatrics, chump.
TR:  Some build-up you got goin' there, huh?
HHH:  Hehehe...yeah.
TR:  Almost as good as Jericho/Christian.
JL:  They're not REALLY going to shave Molly, are they?
JR:  I guess....
HHH:  Everywhere?
TR:  Damn, dude.  That's gonna make for a good DVD extra.
HHH:  Totally.  Now get to ratin'.
JR:  Mostly good.  3.8.  By Gawd.
TR:  89,000.  The Rock brings in the ratings.
HHH:  Not this week.
JL:  I don't know.  89...,000...?
TR:  Hey!

SmackDown!: 3.4
MC:  Michael Cole and Tazz at Ringside!  And Tazz, what a Smackdown!
TZ:  Needs more Kane, eh?
MC:  Is Kane fighting that cross?
TZ:  Let's get down to brass tacks, Cole.  Eddie, Cena, cruisers:  Good. 
Everything else:  Eh.
UD:  I can't believe my Dragony ass made it onto the show!  Dragontacular!
TZ:  Yeah.  I can't believe it either.
SB:  Hi, I'm Shelton Benjamin.  I do a terrible Bradshaw impression.
MC:  But it's funny because the white guy is black and the black guy is
SB:  Yeah...yeah...that was...pretty funny.
TZ:  Big ups on that West Texas Rednecks reference though.  Where the hell
did that one come from?
UD:  My Dragon Teets squirted continuity all over them before they went out
there.  Too much.
TZ:  Ew.  Come on, dude.
SB:  No, no.  It's true.
TZ:  Rate!
MC:  Wow, Best Smackdown ever 48.900
TZ:  It was like watching Velocity...with clips of Smackdown mixed in.  3.4.
SB:  Pfft.  Like I care.  I dunno, what's good?  83?  Yeah.  83.
UD:  I can't believe I got on Smackdown!  PEDIGREE TO AKI...I mean... Dragon
Suplex to Akio!

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

Kyle Maxwell 
Note to Rock: the “evil Spock” look just doesn’t work for you.  You looked more like the “evil Cartman”.  Plus, you confused the hell out of the crowd- a goatee might seem like a minor thing, but to a live crowd, it makes the difference between a huge pop and a confused “uh, is this Heel Rock or Face Rock?” reaction.

The theme of Raw seemed to be “Let’s see how we can misuse people”.  Rico is a great wrestler- one of my personal favorites, in fact.  But his gimmick absolutely sucks, and sticking ANYONE with Jackie Gayda is the kiss of death. You could bring back Bret Hart and the crowd would despise him if Gayda was his valet.

Raw just isn’t clicking for me, and I’m not sure why.  I hate to say this, but it’s possible that the reason is HHH’s deathgrip on the title.  So far, the only people who’ve held the title other than HHH are people who absolutely did NOT need to hold it.   Over on SD, they’re creating new superstars.  On Raw, it’s HHH, HBK and Goldberg- guys for whom holding the Belt almost seems like a step backwards.

SmackDown!: 4.0 
Most of this is for Kurt Angle.  How he manages to simultaneously be the most underrated yet most popular wrestler today is beyond me.  He, Chavo and Eddy are single (dual?) handedly making SD a modern classic, regardless of how bad the rest of the show might be.

And speaking of “bad”- Stick a fork in Hardcore Holly, he’s done.  Enough already.  Why he and Bradshaw keep getting pushes is beyond me.  As for Scott y2Hotty: some of my favorite House Show memories are of Scott y, but he’s boring on television.

Special props to Haas and Benjamin- these guys are everything the Bashams aren’t- funny, talented, and enjoyable to watch.  Did I mention that the Bashams suck? 

Kyle's year-to-date averages: RAW (2.6), SD! (2.9).

Big Danny T 

Overall watchable show. Last weeks hamhandedness with setting up the Co-Brand Wrestlemania matches was left behind for some tried and true formula. Stone Cold punking Vince out? Check! The Rock making his triumphant return? Check! Benoit, HBK and HHH working to make the main event as intriguing as they can? Check! Only real problem I had was the fact they have decided to take the easy way out concerning the tag titles. The fatal 4-way for the tag titles is lazy booking at it's best (or worst, depending on your point of view).

Now, The Rock coming back is a good thing. He is adding a much needed element to the show. But if the attitude of my more markish friends  is any indication, just like his schtick was getting old when he was full time, this whole come-back-do-2-or-3-matches-and-then-run-off-to-hollywood-again-twice-a-year is getting old as well. Hopefully the rumors of Rock deciding to stay around for a month or so after Wrestlemania are true, because both sides could use the boost. In the mean time, we'll see what happens.

SmackDown!: 3.4 
A good show, read the recap!

Dannys year-to-date averages: RAW (3.3), SD! (3.4).

Rick Scaia
RAW: 3.7
For the second week in a row, RAW inches out the win with me due mostly to the intangible live/big show atmosphere.  Partly because they also had the hands-down Match of the Week (HBK/Benoit vs. Evolution), but mostly because of stuff like the Rock showing up and even Austin/Vince (which was entertaining in a braindead homage to 1998 sort of way) that you can't/won't see on SmackDown!.  It was enough to overcome the week's biggest glaring errors, all related to the RAW tag division (the lazy four-way storytelling and that buzz-killing Jindrak/Cade vs. Hurricane/Rosey match on Monday).  A very fun show.  And that's with ZERO points for "ORTON FEARS JEB" from me.  Because everybody knows that that should have been MY name on a sign in the front row. 

SmackDown!: 3.5 
Nothing quite as good as the RAW mid-show tag match, nothing quite so hot, angle-wise, as the Rock making an appearance... and yet, at the end of the night, SD! comes damned close to taking the BotB crown in my book.  They are certainly focusing on really sound talents in Eddie and Kurt for vast tracts of show time, which helps.  But they are also more consistantly entertaining across the board.  As evidence for this week: RAW's four-way tag feud seems lazy and arbitrary to me.  SD!'s, on the other hand, has been built up (albeit it in off-hand fashion, kind of) over the course of weeks and almost makes sense.  Plus, Haas and Benjamin as the APA made me laugh.  So there.  But still, not quite enough to overcome the pure fun of Monday's RAW....

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


RAW average: 3.34
Actual Nielsen Rating: 3.2 (converted to broadcast rating)  
RAW OVERdelivers versus actual rating this week.

SmackDown! average: 3.31 
Actual Nielsen Rating:  3.3   (prelim rating) 
SD! ?????delivers versus actual rating this week.


Average OO Rating for RAW:  3.20 
Average Nielsen Rating for RAW: 3.12 

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: 16 
Rounds Won by SD!: 22  
Current Streak: 2 by RAW (Since 2/27/04) 
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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