A WWE crowd that was very into this match
Drew is awesome. Seth is awesome. They clash while on the road to the Royal Rumble. That's all great and all, but sometimes a match doesn't quite live up to its potential for a variety of reasons.
First, the match is just thrown out there in the middle of an episode of Raw with no build. These are 2 out of the top 4 or 5 members of the Raw roster. I would argue the top 2 when it comes to match quality. Building anticipation can be vital to making a match feel special. I get that WWE thinks that announcing a match a week in advanced is old fashioned, but at the very least this should be a Raw TV main event. It's worth noting that this is the second Seth Rollins Vs. Drew McIntyre mid-show-no-build match on Raw. The first one was back in October. That match wasn't exactly a difference maker either despite good in-ring action. Independent of whatever creative ideas your writers have, the art of promotion matters. If you don't set up a good idea correctly, it may not come off as a good idea.
Second, they started the match during the commercial break. The opening of a match is crucial for establishing the tempo, and for setting up the story of the match. You can break with convention on the right occasion. If you want to kick off a show mid-match to create an artificial hot start to a show and surprise the TV audience you can. But you obviously don't do that with theoretically one of your biggest matches possible. That's what mid carder matches are for. You give the main eventers time to do what they have to do.
And speaking of time, the match felt short despite going a solid 14-ish minutes. That's possibly due to a combination of the start and the usual WWE TV mid-match commercial break. I guess that's WWE's way of saving something for a possible TV main event or PPV match in the future. I get the logic, but to me not doing the match or giving them time to have a really kick-ass match on TV would be far more useful for making fans look forward to a rematch. As of the writing of this review, Rey Mysterio Jr and Andrade have had 2 excellent TV matches on Smackdown. Probably the best matches in WWE so far this year. I'm far more interested in a 3rd Rey Vs. Andrade match because their previous two have been excellent than I am Seth Vs. Drew because it just doesn't feel as special as it should.
My complaining aside, this was a very good match. The people in the building loved it, which isn't an easy feat to accomplish with WWE audiences in 2018-2019. They told a nice story in the match with Seth's risky offense Vs Drew's overconfidence. Not the most fleshed out in-ring story, but it was something that they could expand on in future matches. Seth is also going the extra mile these days to come up with creative transitions for his usual spots. I much appreciate that, and I think most WWE fans do as well. Everything Drew does in the ring looks great. Hopefully, these two guys get to work a long one on one PPV match later this year because I think they are capable of having one of the best main roster matches in WWE today.
Overall, I recommend the match, but the match is going to fall just short of the match of the year list. I think the people in the building would greatly disagree with me because they got to experience the full match, but I'm judging the TV match that I saw and the complaints that I have above bring down the match a notch. Not enough to ruin it by any means, but enough to keep it from that very top level.