I supposed Raw last night that stretch of “The Road to WrestleMania” that’s a lot like when you have to drive through rural Indiana for 3 hours.
There’s not much to see, but you have to get through it to get to the destination.
Let’s just get to the weekly two up, two down and hope SmackDown Live saves the week once again.
Up: A really good tag match and new champs – There’s validity to the sentiment Alex shared in the recap and reactions post when he said, “The Revival just won the freaking tag team titles in a match buried in the middle of the third hour with no real promotion. And you want to tell me tag team wrestling matters on Mondays? Lol.”
But also, we got a really good tag match that even received “this is awesome” chants. Now, those chants are overused across wrestling these days, but they’re almost never used on the Raw tag division.
The Revival and Bobby Roode & Chad Gable put on a match layered with a lot of drama and made the most out of an opportunity granted almost out of necessity. The roster is so thin right now on Monday nights that there was a lot of time to kill and the teams were given the time to tell a story.
If I have one complaint it’s the inconsistency in tag rules throughout the show. Last week there was all the talk of the tag rules actually being enforced in a “by the book” way. This week, it was pretty much your standard WWE tag structure in every match.
As long as the end product is good — as it was in this match — I won’t complain too much.
And The Revival get to be champions. Which is great, even if I don’t think it’ll last or be meaningful.
Down: That six-man – If there’s any true sin in WWE’s booking it’s the predictability of it all.
I’m not expecting wrestling booking to blow my mind, but if there’s a match between Finn Balor and Drew McIntyre, why are Bobby Lashley (in full ring gear) and Lio Rush allowed to just chill ringside. Why are they allowed to stay there when repeatedly seen interfering?
Because we have to get to the six-man tag, of course! It’s the Raw staple we’ve all had enough of.
So you smoosh everyone into the six man tag and drag the whole thing out for the better part of an hour.
Angle’s story was compelling but now they’re not really telling it anymore — he’s just motivated to wrestle again, I guess? Somehow they can’t figure out anything to do with Braun Strowman so they just keep him hanging around all of this. And Balor is treading water to face Lashley at Elimination Chamber where he’ll all but certainly lose as they grind down the hype he’d once again been building.
These six-man tags either have to be good (this wasn’t particularly good) or meaningful to the bigger picture (this wasn’t) or else they feel like they’re just a way to waste time (which this was).
Up and down: The Becky Lynch saga – I just can’t process how I feel about what they’re doing with Becky Lynch.
Like, I get it. They’re pitting her as a Steve Austin type working class hero who doesn’t give a damn about the authority. It’s worked incredibly well to a point. Then they layered in these tones of insecurity and fear and it was potentially a nice touch.
But then last night was a three hour decision about if it’s worth it to apologize — whether she meant it or not — to live her dream. And I’m pretty sure everyone has been made to suck it up and apologize for things they weren’t actually sorry for as kids, in school, at work, in friendships, in relationships … etc. So it didn’t seem like that tough of a choice.
But Vince McMahon crashing the eventual party to heelishly deliver the thing damn near nobody on earth wants in Charlotte Flair going to the WrestleMania main event just felt … off.
I get it, Austin’s foil does the things he used to do against a new generation of rebel. But it’s just so sudden and random for McMahon. This is a guy who got his ass kicked by A.J. Styles and did basically nothing about it not so long ago. Now he’s not willing to accept an apology given to his daughter who he’s spent a significant part of his on-screen career torturing and his son-in-law who has humiliated him repeatedly in the past?
Because … he’s now locked in on Charlotte Flair as champion to the point where he’s even taunting Ronda Rousey about it? Where’d that come from?
It’s a situation where there’s a good story laying in here somewhere but they keep muddying it up and I’m worried with a lot of time to go until WrestleMania it will only get worse.