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OO BATTLE OF THE BRANDS   
RAW vs. SmackDown!:  Who Wins?  

Week Ending March 12, 2004

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

 

OOficial Brand of the Week:
SmackDown!
RAW:
2.63  --/-- SD!: 3.43

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 (3/08/03) vs. SMACKDOWN! (3/11/04)  
OOFICIAL RATINGS

The Cubs Fan 
RAW:
2.3

Okay, so they long term planned all of this out, and then realized much to late they had an extra week, right? Nothing Happened. Every angle and bit was just there to remind us who was fighting who and what we already knew - just treating as a two hour Heat for the show - nothing you didn't figure out already (except maybe they really are splitting Steven and Victoria and that is horrible.) And This Is Your Life lived up to the first one, going far too long and having a poinltess ending. And that was before the run in.

Good to see they so thought out Tough Enough John's character that he's changed his name after one week.

SmackDown!: 2.9
Here to, it was cruise control as well, but the scenery was much better. I think the skit here has more value, just because it was presented as a part of a bigger story - why did they all back off Austin? - that'll mean something after Sunday.

I think the angle, so far and presuming a decent end, was done nicely. The backstage speech hit the right notes in the story they wanted to get across and the goofy things that appeal to me - finding out that Matt Morgan is actually still part of the show, Nidia getting stuck behind Show and having to peek around him, Paul some how thinking Jamie Noble's imaginary kid is heading to college. Tazz pointing out that he's heard that speech before was perfect.

Of course, if they don't pay this off with anything, then I take these first three paragraphs back.

I enjoyed the 7 Cruisereweights + 1 Sakoda match more than any match on RAW, even if the announcers were too busy fussing during it. Shannon sneaking (despite those shiny pants) to punk out Rey after the match was nice.

Still, it was obviously a filler show, or they wouldn't have time for something as pointless as Big Show's handicap squash. Too much coasting to the PPV. At least Sable and Torrie only appeared in a video package.

Cubs Fan's year-to-date averages: RAW (2.8), SD! (3.4).

 
Canadian Bulldog 
RAW: 2.0

Lame, lame, lame final buildup to WrestleMania

The good: Honestly, not much. The Kane "ring's-a-shakin'" segment made for a fun visual, but that was about it. Sure, This Is Your Life II with Mick Foley and The Rock was funny, but what did it prove? The eight-man tag match, Chris Jericho Vs. Steven Richards and Evolution Vs. Hurricane and Rosey were passable. Just passable.

The bad: As mentioned earlier, I don't see a segment involving Rock, Foley, an old woman, a cranky book critic and Jimmy Snuka really gives us the hard-sell for Rock and Sock Vs. Evolution. They could have SO MUCH MORE with that segment, especially given that The Great One only made his grand return last week.... I don't understand why Matt Hardy was made to be Chris Benoit's bitch tonight. The segment they COULD have used to make Benoit a serious threat to Triple H turned into (get ready for the shock of a lifetime) a segment that made HHH look good. Likewise, the Christian-Jericho and Goldberg-Lesnar feuds needed a final spike before the PPV, and this show simply wasn't able to deliver it.

SmackDown!: 4.0 
This week, the anti-Raw

The good: A hot, hot, hot opening match that showed us just how deep the cruiserweight division is. Look at how much the division has improved since it got started in 1997 (Taka Michinoku Vs. Brian Christopher every other week, anyone?) and its hard to whine about what they're doing with that belt... Paul Heyman showed once again why he's one of the best talkers in the business throughout the night, and Eddy Guerrero's interview was rock-solid. The closing segment was a LOT better than I expected it would be, which sets the stage for the WrestleMania Main Event of Steve Austin Vs. Brock Lesnar Vs. Maybe Bill Goldberg in a special 'winner, loser and referee must stop wrestling' match. Still, why the hell did they need Orlando Jordan's help to stop Austin? What was THAT GUY gonna do?

The bad: Scotty 2 Hotty and Rikishi (Too Phat?) Vs. The Bashams was their usual crapfest, and Big Show Vs. Assorted Jobbers didn't really do much for me. But still, at least every match here had a purpose -- to sell the f'ing PPV. So it's hard to complain with such a good all-around effort.

Bulldogs year-to-date averages: RAW (3.1), SD! (3.0).

 
Adam Gutschmidt 

RAW: 3.1
SmackDown!:
3.7

Raw was in cruise control again this week.  Their wrestling content, what little there was, was very weak.  The talking segment were hit or miss.  Highlight of the night was the This is your Life, Mick segment.  Far better than the first one as it was funnier and actually had a decent conclusion to it.  Smackdown on the other hand decided to have some really good wrestling even though it was the last stop on the Road to Wrestlemania.  Both the cruiser stuff and the Eddie/Benjamin match were solid with Cena/Rhyno just a peg down.  Also, Heyman and Chavo Sr. continue to shine each week.  The end segment was a head scratcher but I'll cover that more in my WM preview.

Adam's year-to-date averages: RAW (3.5), SD! (3.4).
 

Kyle Maxwell 
RAW:
2.0

Upside: The Rock’s tattoo appears to be in danger of consuming his entire body.

Downside: It’s always nice when they work some wrestling into Raw, but this time they didn’t.  Further, the “this is your life” segment reminded me of Kurt coming out with a milk truck:  it was a pale attempt to recreate a classic moment from WWF history.

 

HHH/Benoit/HBK.  I can’t help but believe that this is nothing but an excuse to avoid having HHH job to Benoit.  Even though I called Benoit to win at Mania, that was mainly wishful thinking.  My gut tells me that HBK is going to win, so that Benoit can complain that he was screwed, leading to HBK/Benoit at Backlash. 

SmackDown!: 3.0 
Upside: 
Kurt f’ing Angle.  Everyone is whining about how Brock Lesnar is leaving, because he was SO talented and SUCH a big start, while conveniently forgetting that the guy isn’t worthy of washing Kurt’s jock.

Eddie Guerrero.  I was skeptical of his ability to function as a legitimate champion, but boy, was I ever wrong.  There’s something about Eddie that screams “champion.”  I sure hope Vince is smart enough to have Eddie win at Mania.  Kurt doesn’t need the belt, but Eddy really does need it to cement his place in the Main Event.

 

Downside:

I’m not sure if they were trying to say that the SD locker room ‘respects’ Steve Austin (Which would be stupid, because most of them have legitimate storyline reasons to hate him) or if they’re just trying to tell us that the SD wrestlers are, en masse, such wimps that they can’t handle one fat, middle-aged, broken-down wrestler.

Kyle's year-to-date averages: RAW (2.5), SD! (2.9).

 
Big Danny T 

RAW:
3.2
"Ok, We've got Wrestlemania set and ready to go! Let's just throw some stuff at a dart board and hope that it sticks."

While Monday night was entertaining, (the bulk of my score is from the "This is your life" segment) I didn't really feel the vibe at all. 
Yeah, there was JR and King with the Wrestlemania Pizza (and they didn't tell us where to get one!) and everyone was going, "At Wrestlemania I'm gonna do this, I'm gonna do that!" but it didn't really feel like it was the week before Wrestlemania.

SmackDown!: 3.5 
Good show to lead into Wrestlemania with. Read the recap!

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

 
Rick Scaia
 
RAW: 3.2
An entertaining effort, but one that was all about maintenance and not about doing anything particularly memorable or fresh.  And when you put on a show where Lita vs. Molly is the best WRESTLING MATCH of the night, you're doing a storyline show, and probably oughta bring a bit more oomph to the table.  The overall vibe was underwhelming... but since they'd done a decent job of putting over key storylines in weeks past, even the maintenance of them was quite tolerable.  It wasn't that it was a poorly constructed or bad show.  It just didn't have the same kind of sizzle as the previous two weeks, and heading into Mania, I kind of missed that. 

SmackDown!: 3.5 
On the other hand, SD! tried at least one fresh thing: importing Steve Austin for a one-night guest appearance.  And in future weeks, it might turn out to be even more significant, as Austin's appearance seemed to lead to a SD! Mutiny, which might be an important storyline in the future.  For now, though, it was just an entertaining climax to the week's TV viewing.  Toss in the very entertaining Cruiserweight 8-Man, and you've got yourself the Brand of the Week.

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

FINAL OO RATINGS, WEEK ENDING 3/12/04

RAW average: 2.63
Actual Nielsen Rating: 3.2 (converted to broadcast rating)  
RAW UNDERdelivers versus actual rating this week.

SmackDown! average: 3.43 
Actual Nielsen Rating:  3.2  
SD! OVERdelivers versus actual rating this week.

BATTLE TO DATE TALLIES

Average OO Rating for RAW:  3.19 
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!: 23  
Current Streak: 1 by SD! (Since 3/12/04) 
Longest Streak: 7 by SD! (6/27/03 thru 8/08/03)

BROWSE PAST WEEK'S BATTLES OF THE BRANDS   Shop at Amazon.com


  
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Bonding Exercises
 
RAW RECAP: The New Guy Blows It
 
PPV RECAP: WWE Night of Champions 2012
 
SMACKDOWN RECAP: 18 Seconds? NO! NO! NO!
 
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
 
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Backfired!
 
RAW RECAP: Bigger IS Better
 
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Hitting with Two Strikes
 
RAW RECAP: Heel, or Tweener?
 
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Destiny Do-Over
 
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
 
SMACKDOWN RECAP: In-BRO-pendence Day
 
RAW RECAP: Crazy Gets What Crazy Wants
 
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Five Surprising MitB Deposits
 
RAW RECAP: Weeeellll, It's a Big MitB
 
SMACKDOWN RECAP: #striketwo
 
RAW RECAP: Johnny B. Gone
 
PPV RECAP: WWE No Way Out 2012
 
RAW RECAP: Crazy Go Nuts
 
SMACKDOWN RECAP: You're Welcome
 
RAW RECAP: Be a Star, My Ass
 
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Needs More Kane?
 
RAW RECAP: You Can't See Him
 
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Lady Power
 
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?
 
SMACKDOWN RECAP: No! No! No!
 
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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