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Cup of coffee in the big time: Unpacking the good and bad from Raw’s ‘night of change’

Once upon a time, the McMahon family as on-screen characters felt interesting and edgy. Now, though? Getting the gang together in the ring feels like a bunch of moms and dads in suits.

Seeing Vince McMahon trot out his old shtick while clearly starting to look his age — though looking a million times better than I will should I make it to 73 — and Shane and Stephanie feeling like your parents when they tried to be hip is... it’s just not fun.

And, when people are looking to shake up WWE and bring its television product to a new era, I don’t think anyone is actually asking for more McMahon TV time.

But before we get too far ahead of ourselves, let’s simply run through the good and bad of a night designed to change the landscape of the promotion.

The Good

Giving women an hour to battle for a shot at the championship was a good decision. There is clearly trust in putting the women in a position to main event or even dominate TV time. That’s a great thing, as seen at TLC (and many times previous).

That the women involved delivered on all fronts makes it even better.

I’m a giant sucker for competitive but predictable title matches where a lower card guy gets a crack at the belt, so seeing Tyler Breeze answer Dean Ambrose’s open challenge was a solid moment. Nothing earth shattering happened in the match, it was just a solid TV match like we had in the good ol’ days I’m almost certainly romanticizing.

Also, The Revival won and Sami Zayn & Kevin Owens are returning soon.

The Bad

Everything with the McMahons is very confusing. They’re aware of the issues and going to try to fix them and it’s all very shooty. But they’re also blaming Baron Corbin in character so that lessens the impact of the earnest talk of “we hear you and we will do better.”

It’s like if McDonald’s had a nationwide food poisoning crisis and CEO Steve Easterbrook responded by holding a press conference to say “we understand your concerns, and in response we’ve fired Mary, the assistant manager at the Schaumburg, IL location. Trust us, we’ve got it all under control.”

And the writing to close the segment was a huge issue. If you’re spending 20 minutes talking about how you know how much things have sucked and you promise you’ll not see more of the same... how do you then do a near shot-for-shot replay of Baron Corbin vs. Braun Strowman from the night before just with Kurt Angle swapped in?

And next week we have such fresh match-ups as... Baron Corbin vs. Seth Rollins and Elias vs. Bobby Lashley.

And Rollins continuing the weird “we won’t go all the way shoot, but we’ll wink at it” thing during his promo by half-addressing the “this is boring” chants felt like it lacked much impact at all.

Also, not to sound down on the NXT talent getting the call-up, but outside of Lars Sullivan (who is obviously getting the big push) and Nikki Cross, there isn’t a sense we’re seeing any needle movers called up right now.

Heavy Machinery are fun, but fun tag teams generally get to be on TV once a month or so, if that much. Lacey Evans feels like she’s going to get lost in a deep locker room and I just don’t know how EC3 fits into the main roster puzzle.

For all the hype and excitement, it seems we have to wait a while longer to see how much truth there is to the sweeping changes promised. Because if last night was an indication, we shouldn’t expect much.

Hey, one week until Christmas!

Also, Terry Funk is the greatest gift.

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