By RJ Marceau
Last night, Monday Night Raw launched its first episode in the brand extension and it was great. The small tweak to the set, the new intro and relocating the commentators were fresh. Raw wasn’t filled with long promos or segments and actually focused on the wrestling. Both Fatal 4-way matches were great and Sasha Banks winning the WWE Women’s Championship was amazing.
The WWE decided to focus on the new “stars” with Finn Balor and Sasha Banks winning their marquee matchups while Braun Strowman and Nia Jax squashed local wrestlers. I am not a huge fan of squash matches but instead of 50/50 booking building someone up against jobbers kills the trading back and forth wins.
The Club attacking The New Day sets up that title match for SummerSlam and wouldn’t be surprised if teams like Enzo & Big Cass got involved as well. As a whole, the show was great and for the first episode of the New Era it received great responses from the WWE Universe. SmackDown will air tonight and I expect a great show.
The New Era still leaves many questions left to be answered especially with how the Women’s and Tag Team titles will be handled. It doesn’t seem like the champions will be appearing on both shows so it will be interesting to see if SmackDown introduces their own champions. Similar to what Raw is doing I could see them introducing new belts at SummerSlam and having a tournament leading to 2 separate championship matches. If handled correctly the WWE could have a well-oiled machine with two great brands.
SmackDown has the youth and should be able to compete with Monday Night Raw as the show that is featuring the rising stars of the WWE while still having marquee names such as John Cena, AJ Styles and Randy Orton.
I won’t double down on the New Era so fast but I hope they can keep this up and make wrestling great again.
SEE ALSO: "Out With the Old, In With the New Era in WWE"