There was almost nothing to like about this week’s episode of Monday Night Raw:
– One of the biggest reasons WWE has been stale for what feels like a decade is that they constantly go back to the well with the authority figure angles, and more often than not it’s a heel trying to hold back a babyface. There aren’t a lot of characters who can make this work, and there aren’t any who are currently on the WWE roster. We saw this all throughout the evening, with Baron Corbin running wild and even creating another authority figure, this one for the women’s division in Alexa Bliss. You won’t be surprised to learn that led to a segment where she was immediately feuding with two babyfaces over that power dynamic.
– Whatever happened to those reports/rumors that Vince McMahon hates factions? It sure feels like we’ve seen some variation of a treacherous trio on damn near every episode of Raw for the past six months, no matter how little it makes sense. Here, we got Corbin, Bobby Lashley, and Drew McIntyre. They ran roughshod over Elias, one of the only babyfaces who gets cheered consistently, and then did the same to Finn Balor, who has been utterly lost since he got injured was forced to drop the Universal championship. That was two years ago, by the way.
– That’s another big issue with this show. Everything is heat. It’s never ending. There are no babyface wins to be found.
– Oh, wait, there was a babyface win to be found — Seth Rollins issued an Intercontinental championship open challenge and defeated his opponent with the Falcon Arrow, which was a nice change of pace. The problem? Dolph Ziggler was the guy who answered said challenge. I don’t care who the two wrestlers are, I can’t get into a match if I’ve already seen it 748 times this year.
– Speaking of Rollins, we got a pre-tape segment with Dean Ambrose where he cut a promo about how Rollins is sick and there’s no medicine to cure him while a doctor was shooting a needle into his ass because he needed a rabies shot.
– The Lucha House Party are working a gimmick where they can basically do what they want as a trio in tag team matches under their own rules, where things like tagging in and out and being the legal man don’t matter. They are doing this as babyfaces.
– Nia Jax cut one of the worst promos of all time that may have actually hurt whatever heat she got for being terrible at her job and legitimately hurting an opponent. I’ve never seen an arena go from booing a heel to sitting on their hands cringing at every word. Ronda Rousey interrupted this promo, where Jax was verbally assaulting her, and she came to the ring smiling from ear to ear because the fans were cheering her. She even stopped the show, if only for a few seconds, to tell the crowd how much she appreciates them cheering for her. Then it was her turn to cut a bad promo where she did the weird voice fluctuation thing and at one point seemed to forget her lines. It was so uncomfortable. To top it off, Jax responded to a challenge for a fight by saying “I’m stalling for time” before everyone just stood around. Finally, Natalya’s music hit and she ran in. That’s what she was stalling for? Then Nattie was attacked by The Riott Squad before she could even get to the ring and Ruby Riott, Liv Morgan, and Sarah Logan were easily beaten back by the Raw women’s champion in a matter of seconds. The segment just sort of ended after that. Bad promos, terrible storytelling, awful timing — this was a disjointed mess that went nowhere. One of the worst segments of the year.
– AOP won a match because Drake Maverick pissed on a robe.
– After Ember Moon won a match against Alicia Fox, No Way Jose came out for his match against Jinder Mahal. He, of course, had his conga line and Renee Young could be heard on commentary saying “Ember Moon hates dancing” while Moon was dancing and smiling in the conga line.
– Alexa Bliss booked a segment where Sasha Banks and Bayley would have an “open forum” to answer questions from the audience. After announcing this, Banks and Bayley went on Twitter and mentioned women’s tag team titles as a way to promote the segment. They were asked precisely one question: “what would you change about the women’s division?” That left the door wide open to bring up the aforementioned women’s tag team titles. Instead, they ran down Bliss, because, again, this show has to be all about whoever the authority figure is at any given time. The segment ended when Alicia Fox, Mickie James, and Dana Brooke randomly ran in and attacked.
Again, this was one of the worst episodes of Monday Night Raw I have ever had the displeasure of watching. It is a show entirely dependent on stars and it has no stars, because the man in charge of making them doesn’t seem to know how to do so or caters to part timers who don’t want to show up every week.