WWE hit Cincinnati for Monday Night Raw this week, the fallout show from the Clash of Champions pay-per-view (PPV) this past Sunday, and it was not a good show. Let's not waste any time and get right into exactly why that is.
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Nothing matters, ever
WWE reinforces time and time again that everything you are seeing as you are seeing it means absolutely nothing because you can always be reasonably certain they will completely ignore it as quickly as possible. Look no further than what they did with Cesaro and Sheamus.
After booking a non-finish in what was supposed to be the seventh and deciding match in a grueling series, Mick Foley was left to decide what to do with these two rivals whose hatred for each other is matched only by the punishment they inflicted upon one another. That was the finish they did at the PPV, really. They beat each other up so badly, they could not continue fighting.
Foley, having promised the winner of the series a championship opportunity, decides the right call here isn't to book another match between the two. No, he decides to force them to team up to go after the tag team titles.
This makes zero sense on every level possible. The entire point of putting the two through a hellish series of 7 matches was to rightfully determine who was most deserving of a title shot. The only reason for the two of them to put themselves through such a thing was for that shot. The only reason to get invested in that story as a fan was because we, too, could determine such a thing by the natural result.
Giving both of them a title shot is the worst cop out imaginable.
They attempted to save this stupidity in a backstage segment where Foley literally cried while explaining his reasoning: If he booked another match between the two, one of them could die and he just can't lose either of them because they're both too important. They're so brilliant, in fact, that they could do truly great things as a mismatched pair and, again, he just can't stand to lose one of them. "Trust me enough to give it a try and see what happens to see if the magic is there," he said.
That explanation is fine, on the surface, but, again, this completely kills any investment in the best-of-7 series. It feels like a lame way around actually having to give one of them a shot at a singles title while attempting to spruce up a sagging tag team division. Which would be fine if it wasn't at the expense of good storytelling.
Foley, by the way, was so inept all night that when they ran the inevitable backstage bit where Stephanie McMahon eviscerated him it felt deserved. He is not good at his job.
All the best to all the rest
Double count out: The Presidential debate was on last night but WWE had an entire hour to work with unopposed. They used half that time on a plodding Roman Reigns vs. Rusev match that ended in a double count out and featured the supposed babyface taking a chair to the back of the supposed heel as he was trying to crawl out of the ring after the match.
And still: They used a bit more of that time on The New Day beating Karl Anderson & Luke Gallows once again in the same match you saw at Clash of Champions only this time Kofi Kingston bled a bit. Whatever.
Bayley squash: The Hugger beat Anna Fields in two minutes and said she's not done chasing the title despite her defeat at the hands of Charlotte and Sasha Banks. This wasn't much but it's at least good to see WWE take the time to book this to start rebuilding her after a title loss.
Cruiserweights: This felt like an attempt to introduce a few new characters to the audience but in the laziest way possible, by booking a tag team match to get four guys in at once. It sure looks like they're going to book the cruiserweight division like they book the women's division. They're only going to get so much time, and they aren't going to be on the same level as the real stars on the show. To be fair, they did well in how they positioned TJ Perkins, and Brian Kendrick is legitimately interesting as an antagonist.
Rematch of a rematch: This was another dumb segment. Charlotte talked some trash, Sasha Banks showed up to say she wanted another rematch, this time just between the two of them, and Charlotte just came right out and granted it but swerved her and said it will be next week. Her explanation was Banks would cry to Foley and get what she wants anyway, so she might as well just give her what she wants. That's some seriously flawed logic. I hope it costs her the title, because heels should have their stupidity punished. Whatever.
Best friends: Kevin Owens is Universal champion, sure, but more importantly he's Chris Jericho's best friend. These two have managed to get their friendship over more than WWE has bothered to get its new Universal title over. That's a little sad but a lot funny. Then again, Enzo Amore and Big Cass are the two most over acts on the entire roster and they just keep getting beat and it just keeps not mattering. So what does that say about the fans and how much wins, losses, and good storytelling matters.
Final thought: Maybe it's our fault. Either way, this show sucked.
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