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Watching WWE set-up matches they already announced is weird

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Last night (Sept. 17) on Raw, WWE finally paid off the last several weeks of The Bella Twins hanging around Ronda Rousey when they ran in to save Rowdy from The Riott Squad.

We’ve been wondering what the in-story reason for their alliance would be since around SummerSlam. And we’ve known there would be an alliance because before there was any kayfabe reason for it, WWE announced a six-woman tag match featuring Nikki, Brie and Ronda for Super Show-Down in Melbourne on Oct. 6. Their opponents? Low and behold, it was Ruby Riott, Liv Morgan and Sarah Logan.

What a serendipitous turn of events!

Look, we all know these things are scripted. We’ll gladly overlook “card subject to change” advertising. Heck, we actively look for information about upcoming feuds and rivalries, in part so we can watch the creative teams connect the dots to get there.

So this isn’t a complaint, really. But watching WWE build to matches they’re already promoting is weird. And we should probably get used to it.

Traditionally, characters within a wrestling company’s fictional universe will come into conflict with one another. Those conflicts will result in matches between them being made. The outcome of those bouts resolve the conflict.

That didn’t happen in the case of The Riott Squad vs. Rousey & The Bellas for Australia’s stadium show. The third step of the process is technically still there (although if you think Ruby & Company will emerge the winner of this disagreement, I’d encourage you to stay away from sports books which allow gambling on exhibitions with predetermined outcomes). But the match was made before there was a storyline reason for it.

It’s just... weird.

If this fall’s schedule of shows is any indication of how WWE will continue to do business, it might be something we’ll become more accustomed to, however. When they took some pay-per-view (PPV) events off the calendar, it seemed they were giving themselves more room to develop angles and programs between wrestlers. Instead, they’ve filled in every gap in the schedule with as many or more shows than there were in the past. And with both Raw and SmackDown represented on every PPV and a talent roster that’s getting bigger all the time, there’s actually less room for writers and bookers to work.

So instead of an A-to-B-to-C narrative structure, we’ll occassionally get B-to-A-to-C.

If, as some of us claim, story and character is the most important thing, this would be a bigger problem. But since enough of us (and I include myself in both “us”es) continue to give The ‘E our attention and money even while we complain, there’s no reason for them not to grab for more cash from events, knowing they can count on ours regardless.

Creating product the way they did in the case of this trios match is weird. But we’ll probably get used to it. We always do.