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

Week Ending March 19, 2004

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

 

OOficial Brand of the Week:
SmackDown!
RAW:
3.13  --/-- SD!: 3.55

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 (3/15/03) vs. SMACKDOWN! (3/18/04)  
OOFICIAL RATINGS

Erin Anderson 
RAW:
3.4

The good:

  • A really nice promo to open the show... I've got to give Triple H credit, as he's taken his mic work up a notch recently. So has Benoit, for that matter, and I really liked his promo. See what happens when a "bad talker" is given regular mic time and something interesting to say? He improves! Who'da thunk it?

  • Chris Benoit is the World Champion. That's so fucking surreal.

  • The wig bit with Molly was pretty funny, but I wish they'd dragged out the reveal a little longer.

  • Jericho is nice and pissed off now, which is a good thing. He needs some kind of edge to his character if he's going to be a face.

  • Fifi. Yes, it's stupid, but I cracked up. And I'll always enjoy pointless backstage skits as long as Austin is involved.

  • Vince McMahon cutting a promo that was everything his mic work on Smackdown! last year wasn't: short, effective, and interesting. Also, him interrupting a T&A match automatically makes him a hero in my book.

  • Evil Trish. Now her Valley Girl promos won't seem so stupid if we're not supposed to cheer for her.

  • A really solid main event tag match.

The bad:  

  • The LONGEST TAG MATCH EVER between the Duds and Booker/RVD. Just sloppy and tedious for the most part.

  • Val Venis. Nobody was even trying to give him a sympathy pop for a gimmick that died years ago.

  • Only giving the women three minutes for their match.

  • Rene's pointless promo and subsequent stunner. Yay.

  • Sylvan Grenier is back. Dear god, NO.

I like the idea of shuffling the rosters around, but I'm going to hold off on my enthusiasm, because the Lottery itself may suck in execution. In either case, though, I can't wait for next Monday. It will either be great, or interesting in a train-wreck kind of way.

SmackDown!: 3.0
The good:

  • Baby steps are being taken to turn Shelton Benjamin into a credible singles competitor. This is a good thing.

  • Shelton v. Rey. I'd love to see an extended match between these two.

  • An awesome main event; the best I've seen on either show since HHH/HBK on the last RAW of 2003. Then again, it's Eddie/Rey, so that goes without saying.

  • I will always mark out for the Undertaker.

The bad:

  • Pretty much everything else.

  • John Cena needs to stop fucking begging the audience for cheers. Faces shouldn't do that unless they're trying to turn themselves heel.

  • Cena/Rhyno had promise, but was barely over two minutes long.

  • APA v. Scotty/Rikishi. Good god, put the titles on someone else already.

  • A piss-poor way of giving Ron Simmons his farewell. I'm not a huge APA fan, but he deserves better than that.

  • Shelton being pushed as a singles wrestler is a good thing; putting him in matches with Charlie Haas (if only because he's a heel) and Billy Gunn is not.

  • Big Show's promo and inclusion in the Gauntlet match. Both were useless.

Unfortunately, this show really meant absolutely nothing after the announcement of the Draft Lottery, and only a terrific main event and spectacular entrance for the Undertaker saved it for me. And what, no airtime for the two Chavos? This is a shenanigan!

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

 
Canadian Bulldog 
RAW: 2.5

But I didn't WANT it to all begin... again.

The good: HHH deserves a TON of credit this week. Not only did he job cleanly and put in one hell of an effort at WrestleMania, but he worked just as hard on Raw to promote Benoit. It was as if the more he complained about how cheap Benoit's victory was, the less valid his arguments became. Yes, I know, he'll probably be off the air for a while, and this was his way to plant the seeds of a win over Benoit over his return, but The Game was at the top of his game this week, and I see every reason in the world to give him credit for it. After all; he WILL remain the leader of this company, at least until Shane McMahon's kid can throw his first haymaker.... Main event was decent, but nothing spectacular. But really... does Shawn Michaels have to bleed in EVERY match now? I half expect HBK to be combing his hair during a backstage sketch one day and - bam - he juices.

The bad: I don't like the idea of a draft; I just don't. Maybe, after the talent has had time to get used to their new environments, etc., it will seem like a great idea in retrospect. Right now, though, I'm not buying it.... It seems as though the long-awaited La Resistance-Austin feud is about to bust wide open. What? You DON'T want to see this feud? I can't be the only one, can I? Oh, wait, I forgot: I don't want to see it, either. NO ONE WANTS TO SEE THIS WASTE OF PERFECTLY GOOD  BROADCASTING TIME!!! NOT EVEN FIFI THE POODLE! WHY ARE THEY DOING THIS TO ME? WHY ARE THEY DOING THIS TO, ARGUABLY, THE BIGGEST STAR THE COMPANY HAS EVER HAD? CAN ANYONE ANSWER ME? HELLO....?

SmackDown!: 3.5 
For one thing, no Texas Rattlesnake-French Poodle feud, here.

The good: A tremendous main event that brought back memories of the Rey Mysterio-Eddie Guerrero Hallowe'en Havoc match. I think, at this point, these two could have a thumb-wrestling match and it would be more entertaining that 80 percent of the SmackDown roster. I've said it before and I'll say it again: they need to get Rey out of the cruiserweight division, and this is certainly a step in the right direction...  I liked the *concept* of the mini-gauntlet match, but the problem is they've done a few of those in the past, and the timing was kind of off. It shouldn't have been the week after WrestleMania, and certainly not the week before a roster reshuffling, because it won't count for much afterwards. Kind of like that final WCW pay-per-view where they crowned a pair of Cruiserweight Tag Team Champions, who held the belts for, what, a week before the company folded? But now we're getting into...

The bad: I would have rather seen more one-on-one matches this week, showcasing who may stay and who may go next week after the draft. Not John Cena Vs. Rhyno for the fifty-third time, and certainly not Heyman saying over and over how he is going to be the only constant on SmackDown! next week (which of course, in WWE-speak, means he's going to get replaced by Stephanie during the draft)... Again, I would have saved the gauntlet for another time. Also, I think they fired the wrong APA member. What an awful way for Ron Simmons, who was a good hand and a team player by all indications, to be written off the show. DAMN!   

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

 
Big Danny T 

RAW:
3.2
Nice rebound from Wrestlemania. Jericho is psycho, Christian and Trish are evil and hot for each other, Benoit is still Champion (so you can stop pinching yourself, and the Tag match between the Dudleys and Booker/RVD was the Raw Tag Title match that should have played at the PPV. It was tighter and had better flow and feel to it.

But the real highlight of the show was Vince's announcement of the Lottery to rebrand each show next week. Is it really necessary? In my opinion, no, but it's going to happen anyway. Should be at least interesting.

SmackDown!: 3.5 
Ok, all you pundits that keep saying that there isn't enough actual wrestling on the wrestling show, TRY to find something to complain about with this show. TRY! One question, tho: Why did the world title get frozen on Raw, but not on Smackdown? The world may never know. In any case, Check the recap.

Danny's year-to-date averages: RAW (3.3), SD! (3.4).

 
Rick Scaia
 
RAW: 3.2
RAW had the blockbuster McMahon Announcement and a return of Actual Wrestling to Monday nights...  so a good outing, in my opinion.  Certainly a show that got fans talking, while also delivering some of the goods in the ring.  But that leads directly to my primary complaint.  You flip the time given to the two main matches (so the Duds and Booker/RVD aren't asked to carry a ridiculously long tag match, and Michaels/Benoit/Evolution get the extra 8 minutes), and the show would have felt a LOT stronger.  No mid-show lull where everybody was just waiting for the other shoe to drop...  a bigger finish to send 'em home (or in my case, to the Daily Show) happy.  Instead, the time mismanagement and a couple of water-treading/by-the-books segments (like getting the cheap pop with Austin/Dupree, a not-as-awesome-as-I-expected Christian/Trish bit, and the pointless Kane/Val thing), kept RAW at merely Above Average, and opened the door for SD!.... 

SmackDown!: 3.8 
A door which was summarily busted down.  You can go ahead and do like I did, and dismiss most of SD!'s opening hour.  I wasn't a particularly big fan of any of it, from Cena's pandering to Rhyno's wastage to the half-assed end of the APA.  But once we hit the gauntlet, we were in for a treat.  First part of SD! would have rated something abysmal around 2.0, but starting with the gauntlet, every single segment was a hit, and that portion of the show would have nailed a mid- to upper-4 with ease.  Haas and Benjamin started out, managing by the end of the match to keep the fans from crucifying them (as often happens with two heels) and gave us a taste of 2008.  Billy Gunn served his purpose, had a nice little 3 minutes go.  Big Show did a solid promo to create a looming threat on the horizon, kind of acted as a swerve to anyone who thought "Well, that's it, it'll be Show vs. Eddie."  Rey came in and tore the place down with Shelton.  Then Show came in for his presumed destruction of Rey, but it didn't turn out that way.  Cheap win for Rey, and a VERY effective use of Show.  Using him made Rey advancing to face Eddie that much sweeter than it would have been if Rey only advanced over Benjamin.  And of course, Eddie and Rey turned the mother out.  As a capper, they did the little Heyman/Taker bit, which played off the only interesting part of the opening hour (Heyman's "new vision for SmackDown!" shtick). Great main event and a satisfying/intriguing little tag ending.  Really, just a great second hour (or second 75 minutes, or however it worked out) with five contiguous matches making for what felt like one giant elimination match.  

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

FINAL OO RATINGS, WEEK ENDING 3/12/04

RAW average: 3.13
Actual Nielsen Rating: 3.3 (converted to broadcast rating)  
RAW UNDERdelivers versus actual rating this week.

SmackDown! average: 3.55 
Actual Nielsen Rating:  3.6  
SD! UNDERdelivers versus actual rating this week.

BATTLE TO DATE TALLIES

Average OO Rating for RAW:  3.19 
Average Nielsen Rating for RAW: 3.13 

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

Average OO Rating for SD: 3.37 
Average Nielsen Rating for SD:  3.36 

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

Rounds Won by RAW: 16 
Rounds Won by SD!: 24  
Current Streak: 2 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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