I know what you are thinking guys. Here’s just another guy going online complaining about a bad show that he watches week after week. I get it. Just hear me out, though. I want to begin by stating that the reason why I watch Monday Night RAW week after week is that in terms of raw talent (no pun intended), WWE has incredible talent. However, you could argue that their rosters were also very top heavy at the time. Between RAW, Smackdown and NXT, there are so many capable workers and potential few main eventers. That is why watching RAW was such a frustrating experience. Because I know they can do better, and they have shown me that they can do it.
First, we must add in the caveats that RAW’s World Champion will not be present every week and will likely not be on RAW again until Royal Rumble season. I would mention the absence of Braun Strowman, but since he hasn’t been out for a significant length of time yet, I won’t give them that excuse. The easiest way to analyze why RAW has been so sub-par as of late is to watch this past Monday’s episode, a show that people are calling the worst RAW of the year. Let us get the elephant out of the room first. WWE has not been original with their work at all, and you can visibly tell through the segments whether or not a certain show is going to be mailed in or not.
The show began and ended with the same concept. The newly formed faction of Baron Corbin, an Olive Garden attendant who is given a semi-permanent, not-really GM position, Bobby Lashley, a man whose excitement dwindled the week after his return 6 months ago, and a guy that shouldn’t be anywhere near these two, Drew McIntyre come out to gloat about what they did to Braun Strowman. It’s not terrible, but it’s completely unoriginal, adds nothing and is just there to pad time. Elias comes out, sings about Bobby Lashley, says he sucks and that’s that. It is all robotic. Elias was at first an interesting character, but the more you listen to him and his segments, the more you begin to realize that there aren’t deeper dimensions to his character other than that he can play the guitar and say mean things about the man he’s about to fight. Elias and Lashley have a match which is pretty boring, and when Elias is about to win, Baron changes the match to No Disqualification, allowing everyone to interfere. Bobby wins, heels stand tall.
Here’s the main event. Finn Balor vs. Baron Corbin. Yeah, this isn’t going to end funny at all. Nope. Finn and Corbin have another match which is, again, boring. Finn is about tow in, but then Baron Corbin changes the match from Baron Corbin vs. Finn Balor to Baron Corbin and Drew McIntyre vs. Finn Balor. Heels gain the advantage, heels win, heels stand tall. That’s that. It is basically the same thing you saw before, but with the superstars changed. Nothing is interesting, characters aren’t progressing and everything is stale. Wash. Rinse. Repeat. Let’s dive into another issue. The absolutely horrible faces.
Aside from Seth Rollins, aren’t Monday Night RAW’s top faces some of the most cowardly, uninspiring superstars you’ve seen? All Finn Balor does is smile and says about the most basic things any face says. Elias is one-dimensional and does the same shtick. Braun Strowman, a man who once destroyed his opponents by putting men through cages, flipping over ambulances and taking down entire stages has now been reduced to a catchphrase-uttering hillbilly who can’t win a big match. And notice whenever heels gang up on faces like Elias and Finn Balor, other faces do not come to their aid. I’m looking at the roster, and it’s pretty sad. Roman Reigns being out may hurt a little, but even beyond him, it’s incredibly thin. Take a look at which singles stars who aren’t in tag teams at the moment and you’ll want to curl up in a fetal position.
Past Seth Rollins, Elias and Finn Balor, the next top face not currently in a tag team is probably Apollo Crews. And he isn’t important enough to be a regular part of the show. So not only is the face/heel balance off, but there isn’t sufficient talent to carry the show for three hours. Let’s next address the tag team division, and boy oh boy are they deplorable.
Since WrestleMania, the tag team champions from the RAW brand included Braun Strowman and a kid, and they had to withdraw the titles the day after because one probably has math homework due tomorrow. The next was Bray Wyatt and Matt Hardy in a gimmick that got stale quickly. We then got the B-Team, who was strictly parody and even had the only great thing about them, their theme song, changed into a 5th-grade chant. Ziggler and Drew were a promising team, but they were too occupied in their feud with The Shield that we forgot they were even the champions. Rollins and Ambrose broke up the night they won the titles, and the Authors of Pain won the titles unconvincingly in a handicap match and recently needed their midget manager pissing their pants to gain an advantage. And on this past week’s episode of RAW, they needed a “midget manager pisses on someone else’s bathrobe” distraction to win another title match. It’s just bad, bland and pathetic all around with no redeeming qualities. There is no sense of urgency in the division and the titles could not feel any less important.
The women’s division is not as deplorable, but have plenty of faults. First of all, there is no indication that anyone on the women’s roster can beat Ronda Rousey straight up. Two women who we have yet to see try their luck against her, Bayley and Sasha Banks, are too obsessed with being in a tag team division that doesn’t have titles yet. The Riot Squad are literally just children with face paint in Halloween costumes who haven’t done anything since coming onto the main roster. Literally nothing. Nia Jax is cringe-worthy bad in literally every facet, and Tamina is just there. Ember Moon has been murked into an irrelevant part of the roster, and veterans such as Natalya, Mickie James and Alicia Fox hold no present-day appeal. It’s a division of woman and non-believable competitors.
If you look at RAW this past week, one segment featured perhaps the worst promo of the year by Nia Jax, who sounded unrealistic and forced all the way through. And the only reason why Ronda and Nia have any heat at all is that of what a woman on the other brand did. The other segment features an “open forum” in which one, ONE, planted fan asks a generic question, Sasha and Bayley predictably respond by saying to get rid of Alexa, non-important semi heels who were faces the other night like Dana Brooke come out to attack from behind, but because they are so incompetent, they can’t get the job done. Like, what’s going on there? Nothing means anything and everything means nothing.