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WWE Raw results, recap, reactions (May 8, 2017): Obey

WWE occasionally presents stories that make me question my very concept of pro wrestling and my fandom within it. Why am I here? Why are you? Why is this acceptable to me? To WWE? To anyone?

If WWE offers a story so dumb, so destructive to the very basics of logic and reasoning, how can I possibly enjoy it? But then, you could argue that perfectly describes pro wrestling itself.

There are times I think I just need to accept what's being offered to me without questioning it lest I reveal how poorly it holds up to scrutiny but this, in itself, is a failure of storytelling, is it not? But is the failure really with me for ever escalating to this point because it's on me to understand what I'm getting into in the first place?

This crisis of fandom was created by the Dean Ambrose/Miz co-General Manager for a night storyline on this week's episode of Raw in London. The idea that Raw General Manager Kurt Angle, who couldn't be there for the evening, would call Ambrose JUST as the show was going on the air to tell him he was running it doesn't work in any world other than fantasy.

We're to presume, then, that he booked the entire show and worked out all the details of it backstage in between appearances and all that but WAIT, here's The Miz bringing word that Stephanie McMahon has declared he will be co-General Manager to balance things out. He provided zero proof of this and everyone just blindly accepted it. NO ONE questioned anything about this arrangement.

There is so much wrong with this picture. Literally nothing about this makes sense. There is no logic that dictates Angle should make Ambrose GM for the night, none that supports Stephanie's decision to counter with Miz, none that supports the idea that anyone should believe either of these two in the first place. And, again, no one questioned it! WWE so often fails to create stories that include characters acting in ways that would look natural if they occured outside of this fantasy world we're supposed to accept as reality.

We could go on with the questions -- why would Miz accept any booking Ambrose ordered for him if he has equal power, and vice versa -- but they would never end, which is how this episode of Raw felt by the end of it.

What's funny about all this is while the main storyline for this show was one of the worst in its history, everything else they presented was actually pretty good.

- Alexa Bliss and Nia Jax did an outstanding job telling what appears to be the start of a great story. Jax confronted Bliss asking if she meant what she said about her on Raw last week, that she's great. Bliss, seeing no other choice, confirmed as much. Jax, knowing this is how the interaction would play out, demanded a title shot on that endorsement. Bliss, of course, tried to weasel out of it by saying Angle makes the matches, not her, but she could ask. Jax goes along with this but only before attaching herself to Bliss, promising to be her "best friend" until Alexa delivers on that promise. Bliss feels trapped by this but also shows us, in one perfect facial expression, that she believes she can take advantage of the situation. This led to a great visual of Nia following Alexa out for her match, lurking in the shadows. That's easy but impactful symbolism that helps the story along in ways you may not even notice, an immediate payoff to everything they set up in that earlier conversation. They did all of that in the span of three minutes. This was really great stuff and I can't wait to see where it goes from here.

- Finn Balor's entrance is great and anytime we get to see it is a plus. What happened to the Bray Wyatt program, though?

- Braun Strowman has become one hell of a promo, hasn't he? Particularly enjoyed his delivery when telling Kalisto he crushed his puny ass like an empty beer can. That's a great line.

- Meanwhile, Roman Reigns has never looked as vicious as he did when laying three Superman punches and multiple chair shots to Strowman to send him packing. This was a taped show and WWE left the boos in. Perhaps they've finally learned to lean in to those reactions, like Reigns himself has done in interviews for some time now, and if it leads to segments like this we should all be thankful for that.

- It's risky to book your heel tag team to outlast a group of other tag teams in a tag team turmoil match, considering the pscyhology of it and what not, but they executed Cesaro and Sheamus' victory well. It wasn't so much that they overcame long odds as they consistently let us down with each new victory, culminating in their defeating a pair of lovable losers who we maybe kinda sorta wanted to get a shot at the titles. Plus, who is going to complain about getting that much wrestling out of these two on an episode of Raw in early May?

- Seth Rollins and Samoa Joe pull aparts forever and ever, please.

- Sasha Banks and Alicia Fox had themselves a nice little brawl with some real intensity for a minute there. Early in the match, Sasha was laying uppercuts on Alicia that looked great. They didn't get a lot of time but they made the most of it.

- Really just want to see someone shoot TJP into the sun.

As mentioned, the main story was 80 kinds of awful but everything else was good to great.

Grade: B-

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