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

Week Ending March 26, 2004

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

 

OOficial Brand of the Week:
RAW

RAW:
4.02  --/-- SD!: 3.07

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 (3/22/03) vs. SMACKDOWN! (3/25/04)  
OOFICIAL RATINGS

Canadian Bulldog 
RAW: 3.5

The night wrestling was(n't) changed FOREVER!!!

The good: I was apprehensive about the draft last week, but, hell, they did it right. The moves weren't HUGE (especially after Triple H returned home less than 24 hours later), yet the show took on a big feel to it.... The closing shot of blue shirts battling red shirts around the ringside area was an impressive visual, and one that will eventually help to launch the Raw Vs. SmackDown feud, and unlike the InVasion mess of 2001, this feud looks damn promising.... Paul Heyman was pure gold this week, and hopefully, his performance will lead to better things (for example, the leader of an ECW invasion, take two). Heyman also had the line of the night when he told Nidia he hoped she "didn't go blind again." ... Not a bad pair of main events at all, with HHH looking especially good in there with Eddie Guerrero.

The bad: Although it was a great match, I think they went with Guerrero-HHH too early. A day later, and one understand WHY, but still, here's something that could have been a major angle, and it was a chance for The Game to give off the considerable rub he has. Yes, yes, insert your own 'glass ceiling' joke here... Why kill Rico and Dupree on their way out? Makes no sense to me.... I think that Bischoff and Heyman oversold some of the trades (as was evidenced in my ITR cartoon this week, which was taken off the website for some reason. Censorship?). I mean, you're getting Rene F'ing Dupree, don't get all that excited. But overall, very little to complain about with the draft.

SmackDown!: 3.0 
Time for a re-set

(In the interests of full disclosure here, I watched this show on tape reallllly quickly this morning, so no idea if that's a positive or a negative.)

The good: Liked the addition of new/tweaked characters here, such as General Manager Angle, Egotistical Booker T and Bradshaw, Evil Stock-Picker. It already SEEMS like a new SmackDown in many respects. Add some of the other trades, and you've got a fresher show, which is just what the doctor ordered for this beleaguered brand.... Really dug the quickie RVD-Charlie Haas match. A lot of people peg Shelton Benjamin as the next break-out star, and while I don't disagree with that, I think Charlie can hold his own.

The bad: It's almost as if SmackDown! was under the impression that they had the Dudleyz, Booker, RVD, etc. for one night only, and had to put them all in high profile matches. For the second time this week, I would have kept Guerrero away from Booker for a while. Obviously, that's where the company is going anyways (and not a bad idea), so keep them apart. Same with Dudleyz-Bashamz. SmackDown's talent pool is still on the shallow side; save these matches for a PPV or something. They'll need all the help they can get. 

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

 
Fonzo 

RAW:
4.5

SmackDown!: 2.8

You can almost disregard the numbers this week, because with Vince hitting the reset button, both shows were anomalies, especially RAW! which hosted the lottery, the return of Edge and some interpromotional matches. You certainly won't see that kind of excitement week in and week out. That said, the difference in quality may be a sign of things to come. The conspiracy theorists could have had a field day with the lottery, since, even though many thought it was a move to bolster SmackDown!'s depleted roster, in the end, it may have wound up even weaker, having lost the talented potential main event star Edge, and the talented Rhyno, Tajiri and Shelton Benjamin. Plus they lost A-Train, who could have been a solid big man opponent for Undertaker, sparing more important stars from having to do the inevitable jobs to the Dead Man. In return, they got the stale Dudley Boyz, the aging and increasingly uninspired Booker T, unproven muscle heads Rene Dupree and Mark Jindrak and Heat mainstays Spike Dudley, Rico and Jackie. Arguably, the only sure fire boost to SmackDown! was RVD, who, himself, has had a shoddy track record in WWE. The one-sidedness of the roster shuffles was apparent come SmackDown!, where Booker T and Bradshaw's push as main event superstars just wasn't flying with the bored crowd. I give WWE credit for trying to make new stars, on both sides, but you have to worry about Booker T's heelish statement about SmackDown! being the "minor leagues" being an unintentional premonition. Had the Triple H trade stuck, it would have made the rosters much more even, but as it is now, you have to worry about the future of the SD! brand, and, especially, its champion Eddie Guerrero, who is left without a credible heel adversary.

Fonzo's year-to-date averages: RAW (4.0), SD! (3.4).

 
Matt Hocking 

RAW: 4.4
JR:  What a RAW!  The draft lottery was great!
JL:  Yeah!  We got...uh...well...uh....
SB:  Me!
JR:  Ladies and gentleman, Shelton Benjamin the newest arrival to RAW!
JL:  No!  Puppies!  Nidia and her puppies!!
JR:  Shut up, King.  It was an impressive and entertaining night....
SB:  Does the wrestling always suck on this show.
JL:  I wouldn't say it SUCKED...but....
JR:  King?
JL:  Puppies?
JR:  That's better.
JL:  Puppies.puppies.
JR:  4.4.
SB:  I'm going back to the midcard.  2.1.

SmackDown!: 3.0
MC:  Michael Cole and Tazz at ringside!
TZ:  I can't believe it, Cole!  Booker T and Bradshaw actually have
something interesting to do!
MC:  Yeah, Tazz, and Bradshaw is the number one contender for the WWE Title!
TZ:  Uh...yeah...that sucks.
MC:  And now please welcome our guest, Smackdown's newest Superstar, Triple H.
...
TZ:  Uh...Cole, he was traded back to RAW.
MC:  HHH!
UD:  Sorry, he told me he couldn't come-uh.
TZ:  Yeah, Stephanie told me that too.
UD:  WHAT?!  Uh...That'd Dragonmean of you to lie like thatm Tazz.
TZ:  Whatever you say.  3.0.  We didn't suck, but you know...we kinda did.
UD:  8.0.  Needs more Dragon-uh.
MC:  HHH!
UD:  Where?

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

 
Adam Gutschmidt 

RAW: 4.0
Raw gets an easy win this week from me.  Just an overall fun show.  Bisch and Heyman were on the top of their game.  Their quips at each other were priceless.  The lottery itself was a little underwhelming at times, but at least they didn't ruin a lot of foundational things they needed to stay (i.e. cruiser division on SD).  You had some solid matches from both champions and the tag title match was ok even if I didn't want to see Evolution regain the straps.  Finally, the show ends with an all out crazy brawl that gave a great visual.

SmackDown!: 3.2
Smackdown gets hurt this week as having to deal with the aftermath of RAW's happenings.  I hope things improve in the next few weeks but Smackdown gave off the vibe of the shows that happened right after the first draft, and that's not a good thing.  Booker's heel turn came off very forced and I don't know how his angle can be beneficial for SD.  Kurt as GM should be good but I will always rather see him in the ring.  Evil Republican Bradshaw completely sickens me as he has done nothing to merit this push.  The rest of the show was just "eh" with Smackdown getting a lot of talent that is completely stale (I'm looking at you Dudleys and RVD).  *sigh* I miss my old Smackdown!

Adam's year-to-date averages: RAW (3.6), SD! (3.4).
 

Big Danny T 
RAW:
3.6
Draft was pretty cool, and I laughed out loud when Heyman got drafted by Raw. Matches were good, if not on the short side. I liked that they are now trying to seriously push the rivalry between brands, instead of simply making the occaisional snipe every once in a while.

SmackDown!: 3.7 
Good show, both drama and wrestling-wise. Check the recap.

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

 
Rick Scaia
 
RAW: 4.1
I expected little, I got a home run show.  Color me happy.  I'm divorcing the next night's un-do, and just rating RAW on the pure enjoyment I got out of it on Monday night.  The pacing of the lottery, the great mic work by Heyman and Bischoff, HHH to SD!, the cross-brand storytelling, HHH vs. Eddie, the awesome ending of the show with 50 guys in the Red vs. Blue brawl...  it all added to being about the most fun I've had watching RAW in a long time.  I'd say more, but I'm quite confident I've already said it at some point this week.  As Danny says, Read the Recap~! 

SmackDown!: 2.7 
And then SD! has to go and bring me down.  Not THAT far down, mind you, and certainly not as far down as I thought it would after getting a pair of less-than-enthusiastic spoiler reports. But c'mon: pushing Bradshaw as your top heel, and then having the balls to put the words "SD! is the minor leagues" in Booker T's mouth?  That's a recipe for convincing the fans of something you don't actually want to convince them of.  Still, as dubious as some of the overall booking concepts of the show were, the execution was still fairly sound.  My gripes came later, when I started thinking.  As the show was on, I was mostly amused by it: good action in RVD/Haas and Chavo/Spike and some glimmer of potential from Dupree also helped.  SD! got owned by RAW this week, but it was still watchable...

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

FINAL OO RATINGS, WEEK ENDING 3/26/04

RAW average: 4.02
Actual Nielsen Rating: 3.8 (converted to broadcast rating)  
RAW OVERdelivers versus actual rating this week.

SmackDown! average: 3.07 
Actual Nielsen Rating:  3.3  
SD! UNDERdelivers versus actual rating this week.

BATTLE TO DATE TALLIES

Average OO Rating for RAW:  3.21 
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:  3.36 

SD! is performing ON PAR versus actual ratings since the start of the Battle.

Rounds Won by RAW: 17 
Rounds Won by SD!: 23  
Current Streak: 1 by RAW (Since 3/26/04) 
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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