Plenty could be fixed last night on what was a fairly lackluster go-home show for one of the biggest events of the year. As we've seen more of Brie and Stephanie's feud, I've grown less and less interested in it. It peaked two weeks ago, then we all endured Brie attempting to speak lines from a script to end last week's RAW, and then came tonight.
When WWE told the audience Stephanie had a confession for Brie Bella, you knew it was going to be an affair or spurned sexual advances from Daniel Bryan. You also knew it would be bogus and it would piss Brie off and lead to the inevitable final confrontation, with emotions at a high, on Sunday.
The "actress" used as the mistress was horrendous, of course she was supposed to be. A heel set this up. We're supposed to see it as a cheap ploy and recognize it as a poorly executed stunt. The problem was those that hated that segment largely did so not because she was a bad actress, but because it was simply bad, low-rent television.
But later, when Brie was arrested, that's when I felt the mistake was truly made. That's provided of course we give WWE a pass on the first portion of the angle and the fake mistress. I don't, but for the purposes of this piece, I will.
Brie gets arrested as Stephanie gets her revenge for being led away in handcuffs the night after Battleground. That's fine. But, explain to me why Brie Bella broke down in tears like a wounded animal. That was the wrong reaction for her character.
The heel says "I'm going to prison" and the heel cries and screams and whines and says "I'll get you for this and your little dog too." The babyface, bearing in mind the charge is garbage and because she's supposed to be seen as intelligent and strong, should not have cried and acted forlorn as she was led up the ramp.
Brie Bella should have rolled her eyes, reacted with pure defiance, and basically treated the situation like it was a mockery. Maybe even a few words for Stephanie or just a glare as she was taken away from the arena floor. Brie's a babyface. We want to think she's tough and savvy and prepared for Authority shenanigans.
In that moment, she looked weak. If they want to draw sympathy for Brie, she has to act like her husband would, because the only reason she actually matters to 95% of the WWE audience is because of Daniel Bryan, not because of her. If that weren't true, she wouldn't be using his color scheme and attempting to put the YES Lock on another woman. They want us to associate Brie Bella with Daniel Bryan. Once that association is broken, she's largely irrelevant, regardless of push.
Bryan would have acted like Austin in that arrest moment, probably with a big grin on his face. Brie Bella looked ridiculous playing it out in serious fashion.
As a result of Brie's tears, I found myself less focused on the angle. I want to see the match because I know they'll pull out all the stops, Bryan will be there, and it will be a fun story to see unfold. They'll likely get it right at SummerSlam. But the last two weeks have shown even Stephanie's brilliant work can't save shoddy tabloid concepts.