Last night on Monday Night RAW, the team of Sasha Banks, Ember Moon and Alexa Bliss were set to take on the Riot Squad. Alexa pretended to be hurt and ditched Sasha and Ember, making it a two on three handicap match. Then, Bayley runs into the ring and magically decides to make herself legal, and the referee for some reason doesn’t believe someone who wasn’t in the match attacking the other team constitutes a DQ. He counts the winning pinfall and the new trio of Bayley, Sasha and Ember Moon wins. Backstage, they celebrate and Sasha/Bayley nearly hug it out, only for Kurt Angle to inform them that the Riot Squad won by DQ because Bayley wasn’t legal and that there win didn’t count. That kind of summarizes the current state of WWE programming. Nothing has any meaning, and there’s no payoff to anything.
Towards the end of the episode, we got a preview of what to expect for next week. Ronda Rousey and Nia Jax will be face to face in the ring. There will be a fatal four-way match between Bobby Roode, Braun Strowman, Kevin Owens and Finn Balor. There will be another fatal four way between four of the eight women in the women’s ladder match. Are you starting to see the issue? Look at the repetitiveness. We just saw Nia Jax and Ronda Rousey face to face not only in the ring but backstage last night. We already had a contract signing between them and a brief staredown the week after. So tune in next week so we can see them do the same thing? Are they actually going to get physical? What’s so unique about it. Then there’s the laziest possible booking there is. Just take four competitors from two singles matches that we got tonight and throw them into either a tag team match or a fatal four way. The winner gets imaginary momentum heading into Money In The Bank, and they will no doubt climb to the top and grab the briefcase, which is the new way of pointing at the WrestleMania sign at the Royal Rumble.
There’s no kind way to put it, but right now, WWE sucks major ass. Yes, I know, this isn’t the first time WWE has sucked, as there have been many times where WWE has seen these stretches of actively bad programming. But what makes this cold stretch unique is because of the reasoning. It’s not due to a lack of talent or even a lack of quality. It’s the lack of meaning. Everybody each week has a role to play, and they just play it and that’s it. There are no strings attached, there’s no emotional connection we are to make with any of the stories in each feud and we are supposed to be programmed to absorb it.
RAW began with Elias in the ring doing his shtick. Seth Rollins comes out and the two have a staredown. Jinder Mahal attacks Rollins from behind in continuation of what they did the week before. At this point, we are all programmed to expect Roman Reigns’ music to hit within 30 seconds of the beatdown. Then, when the faces clear the ring, it is at this point where we expect Teddy Long to come out and announce a tag team match if Teddy Long was an Olympic Gold medalist. And because we all know that Rollins will probably hold the IC Championship past MITB and that it’ll be a cold day in hell when Jinder beats Roman, the faces will probably lose the match. There was about half an hour devoted to just this alone. If this sounds familiar, it does, because WWE spent even more time in the first hour not too long ago building to a tag team match with Roman/Seth and Jinder/Owens. Elias was just merely a substitute for what Owens would have done. Look at Bobby Roode. He has a big, shiny robe like Ric Flair. He smiles like Apollo Crews. He says things. His theme song is the same line on repeat. He likes saying Glorious. He likes posing. His finisher is a DDT. Isn’t that fun? Finn Balor comes out, says nothing, and does the same thing every week. You having fun yet? Sasha and Bayley like each other but they don’t like each other at the same time. Isn’t that controversy intriguing? Look at the tag teams. Do you realize Bray Wyatt and Matt Hardy have literally done NOTHING since winning the tag titles? They come out and they do the same thing, and we’re supposed to absorb it. What about the Bludgeon Brothers? Look at what The Usos have been reduced to. There’s nothing compelling about any of it.
Again, it’s not only meaningless, but it’s repetitiveness. WWE can switch around the characters, switch around the words and even switch around the segments, but the concept as a whole is in a holding pattern and the hamster is starting to get fatigued on that wheel.
Looking up and down the Money In The Bank match card, there’s no reason why it shouldn’t be an awesome show. And I think it actually will be. Just pretend that you knew that this was going to be the card one year in advance. Styles and Nakamura for the title in a Last Man Standing match? Epic. Two MITB ladder matches? Sign me up. Seth and Elias rockin with a potentially high-quality mid-card showing? Say no more. Ronda Rousey competing for a title in her first singles match in her WWE career? Reeks of awesomeness. But again, how many of you are exactly excited to see those matches? Just look at how each of the matches has been built. The MITB ladder match is really just thrown together with a series of random qualifying matches that certain guys happen to win, and it’s the same deal for the women. Jinder Mahal cost Roman Reigns a match, Roman Reigns tells Jinder backstage to shut up, and they have a match. Seth celebrates on an announcer’s stage, but because Elias hit him from behind, they just have to have a match. Just have to.
What turned into a series of fun tag matches between Strowman/Lashley and Zayn/Owens has degenerated into a horrible secondary feud between two of its participants. Zayn can’t take one extended vertical suplex from Lashley, and this leads to a match. Over time, Sami realizes that men with wigs and makeup aren’t actually Lashley’s sisters. He informs us that Lashley uses motivational quotes on his Instagram like every other human being, and does the one sure-fire, but cheap, way of gaining heat, and that is to question his military history. It’s a deplorably bad feud that doesn’t utilize any of Lashley’s strengths and just makes him look like a geek and makes a world-class performer in Sami look desperate trying to make something out literal shit. Styles and Nakamura can’t have a definitive finish to their matches, so they need to have a match where there just has to be a winner. And tomorrow, Styles and Nakamura will have a contract signing to make their match official (I guess this match and Rousey/Nia are the only matches that are happening since those are the only two matches that have had an official contract signing, right?) even though we’ve already seen them attack each other in the ring. The hype man for the preview asks, “Will Styles and Nakamura be able to restrain themselves?” Jeez, I don’t know. They keep kicking each other in the dick. Kind of hard to say.