I have a lot of my mind right now. It was quite an eventful episode of Monday Night Raw last night following a very polarizing Money the Bank Pay-Per-View. It’s saw returns, new champions and plans set up for the July 20 Battleground. My question is what was it all meant to do? Was it just done out of creative whimsy or is there a greater plan ahead?
Don’t get me wrong, the show felt like it moved at a brisk pace and the hours flew by. There’s something to be said for that. But as we’ve seen with TNA. If you don’t have a strong follow-up that it’s all for not.
I guess we should start at the beginning. I’m going to try not to go on to much of a tangent today.
The opening segment with John Cena and The Authority was awkward and clunky to say the least. The 15 time WWE World Heavyweight Champion gets the cover of your new videogame, does more charity work than anyone and he’s not the face of WWE you wanted? Cena trying to make himself likable by mentioning Daniel Bryan in the segment to try to get the crowd on his side. But to little avail. Not everyone has to be at odds with the COO and his wife. It felt really forced. The verbiage of we can do things the easy way or the hard way harkens back to the days of Vince and Austin and comes off really cheesy we need to have the personalities along with the issues to set the backdrop. John only had that one segment with Stephanie on television where he was really confronting The Authority. Every other time seemed to be by pure happenstance because Bray Wyatt was involved. So that is supposed to be the underlying issue is that Mr. conformity John Cena, who lives by the credo of Hustle Loyalty and Respect suddenly becomes a rebel without a cause?
Add this to the fact, that the Game’s version of tough love for the new WWE Champion was to put him in a fatal four-way match at Battleground. Who are his opponents you may ask? Kane, Randy Orton and Roman Reigns.
Yes, Kane and Randy Orton, the same two people that John Cena basically took out single-handedly at Money in the Bank. And Roman Reigns, remember that guy a few weeks ago Triple H didn’t what anywhere near the title picture? Now Roman gets put into a title match with no hesitation and little struggle from the COO? Do we even have continuity anymore?
What little is left in WWE these days seems to be consumed by Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins, who continued to do well in their limited roles with the company. Ambrose is great in his role and does more with what is given that anyone not named Bray Wyatt. I like the little twist with the Money in the Bank as the buffer stopping the opportunistic cash in of his former brother in the Shield. This feud has serious roots and I like that. I just wonder where is going to lead over the next couple months and whether Seth Rollins Golden ticket will be on the line when the two parties finally clash.
Tonight was also aware night in terms of character switching. I know “faces and heels don’t exist anymore.” But this is ridiculous Jack Swagger and Zeb Colter, who for two years have been spouting antigovernment sentiments and the tea party rhetoric suddenly come to the rescue of the USA Like Sgt. Slaughter after the Gulf War? I know I’m being a little nitpicky here, but I wish more groundwork was laid before the switch was flipped. Like Rusev breaking the American flag or messing with the troops at ringside. Something that would kind of bridge the gap between The Real American and the All-American American. To be fair segment got a pop so maybe I’m wrong. I don’t think so but maybe I am.
They do need to give Swagger strong wins heading into what I can only assume is a pay-per-view encounter. The longer the better I say build this going into SummerSlam. I would even have Hulk Hogan on television giving Swagger advice going into the match. Hell, you can have Made in the USA Lex Luger make an appearance. If you wanted. It’s all in how you build presentation. That’s what’s missing from today’s WWE.
Take for example, the Dolph Ziggler has been added this to Melrose Place story with Summer Rae and Layla and Fandango. This thing is all over the place. No one in this damn thing has any sympathy. It’s not doing anything for it. It’s just a time waster. The only person I feel sorry for in this whole thing is Dolph. Because considering the guys on-screen history with women his character should avoid getting in the middle of stuff with this. But as WWE creative continue to show us those who forget history are doomed to repeat it.
This brings me to the returns of AJ Lee and Chris Jericho this past Monday on Raw and what it told the audience. Let’s start with AJ first, Paige has wrestled every night and defeated Naomi, Tamina, Alicia Fox, Aksana, albeit not the strongest showcases but she did it. AJ hasn’t wrestled in three months and comes back and beats her in three minutes. What does this say to the common viewer? It basically says the whole division is crap. When Stephanie McMahon versus Nikki Bella is getting hyped last night on pay-per-view, there’s a definite flaw in your division. I’m sure that they will have AJ and Paige battle for the title but they cannot do it alone. No one really cares about this Cameron versus Naomi. Scrap those plans just they get a three-way feud and bring some prestige to the women again.
(On that note I would not be surprised if we don’t see Nikki and John Cena versus The Authority at some point.)
Moving on to Chris Jericho, I have to admit I like the swerve with the Miz it was a nice touch. However, I don’t understand why this is the next thing on the docket for Bray Wyatt. Jericho will definitely put him over but I don’t know what that means in 2014. So Bray beats the 40-year-old guy that wrestles in between rock shows? But cannot beat people that wrestled day in and day out like John Cena. No offense to Jericho, Wyatt and Chris will have great matches. I just think Bray as a character needs much more substance to his feuds.
There so much weird stuff on the show this week from Damien Sandow dressing up like Vince McMahon and gets the ire of Stephanie. So Sandow who tries to get heat one minute before is now humbled by the evil boss just to get the Great Khali’s return on television for the Intercontinental Battle Royal for Battleground How does that make the crowd feell? They don’t care. Bo Dallas does his moment of silence for Wade Barrett and Daniel Bryan. No one cares. Adam Rose and Santino are shilling hard iced tea no one cares. Goldust/Stardust versus Ryback and Curtis Axel. No one cares and why it is that because no one in WWE creative cares that they’re putting a safe product. It’s not taking any risks. You want people to buzz about your product again give them a reason not just old names coming back for the sake of nostalgia or goofy publicity stunts that never matter in the long run. You have to give us something to invest in as an audience. Much like your stockholders if you give us good reason to spend our money for a return on investment. We will. Otherwise, you’re always going to fall short of your perceived goals creatively and financially.
I apologize if that got be a little too bitchy. But I needed to get that out of my system. I hope you enjoyed reading this. Like this on Facebook share with your friends and until next time.