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Cup of coffee in the big time: Baby steps for Raw

Last night, Seth Rollins was all of us. In fact, it seemed he may have mistakenly printed out frustrated Twitter rantings by fans rather than the show’s script.

Raw has sucked. Just look at the ratings!

Why don’t you realize how good The Revival is?

Brock Lesnar hasn’t wrestled on Raw since 2002, but he’s still champ!

It was an acknowledgement of WWE’s failings with their flagship show over the past weeks and months.

Of course, it was also reminiscent of some of the darkest days of wrestling TV.

Late stages WCW loved trashing its own product in an effort to get fans to think they “got it.” The problem was, the changes in direction rarely ever addressed the actual problems. And when they did, they usually just created bigger issues.

Raw didn’t do a hard pivot on stories or direction, really. The show featured a bit less of the dominant McIntyre/Lashley/Corbin group — but that was already being established last week.

Delivering a TLC match was a fun treat, though we have three ladder matches (two TLC, one ladder/guitar) set for Sunday. So there’s a risk of some burnout on a fairly special match type.

And having the immediate tag title change gave the show a feeling of unpredictability after Rollins’ show-opening promo.

Things were mostly business as usual from there aside from the really solid story they’re telling with Heath Slater, referee.

Still small changes in the right direction are hard to ignore when the show has been so bad in recent weeks. There’s some room for hope over the long-term.

Except with the women. I don’t know how the Raw writing team can’t manage compelling stories with the women they have in the locker room, but they’re struggling.

No shade Jinder Mahal or Apollo Crews’ way, but Bayley vs. Sasha Banks being entangled in a story with those guys isn’t something anyone would have predicted — or wanted — a year ago.

Somehow, Ronda Rousey vs. Nia Jax has fallen very flat despite their previous match being very good. Maybe that’s all a product of Rousey and Jax being on the wrong side of the Becky Lynch equation.

As Alex wrote in the recap, the best women’s feud on Raw is Natalya and Ruby Riott and it’s not even that it’s that good. But there’s a nastiness to Riott’s actions and Natalya is selling the hurt of her father’s legacy being under fire well enough.

But in 2018, WWE fans expect and deserve better storylines for the women.

Let the wheels keep moving this show forward a little at a time. Hopefully the women are addressed at the next stop.

Tuesday! Let’s keep it rollin’.

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