As my man Brent Brookhouse pointed out in his daily ‘Cup of Coffee in the Big Time’ column - which you should be reading every weekday - earlier, there was a bit of an online debate after Raw aired this Alexa Bliss segment last night (Jan. 14):
A shameless grab for Attitude Era nostalgia and the “Celebrity Skin”-esque ratings/clicks that come with it? Almost certainly. Based solely on YouTube, it worked. As of this writing (early Tuesday afternoon) the clip is over 1.5 million views, almost double what the video of Finn Bálor’s Royal Rumble main event-changing win over John Cena, Baron Corbin & Drew McIntyre has racked up (pun semi-intended).
Was it exploitative? Does it needlessly drag us back to a time a lot of wrestling fans, and WWE itself, have worked to leave in the past? Is it especially insensitive considering how many members of their women’s roster have had private photos & videos shared online without their consent?
Yeah, at least in my opinion. But there will be debate about that, as there is over everything now. Heck, as I write this, Twitter is a-tizzy because a razor company encouraged its customers to not be @$$holes.
What I don’t see any debate about, though? How was this segment any good? Sure, WWE is getting some clicks out of it, but did it satisfy anyone’s needs as a consumer?
Nothing about it holds up to real or in-story logic. Why was a man delivering Alexa’s coffee if entering her dressing room is potentially part of the job? She’s not on the phone or listening to music, why didn’t she hear the production assistant’s repeated knocks or his opening the door?
What does the scene lead to? We never see the PA again. Paul Heyman doesn’t mention it as the guest on the Moment of Bliss talk show segment that follows, and Otis Dozovic’s “Pretty Lady” freakout doesn’t require a near-topless shot of Alexa to set it up.
Even if you just really wanted to see some “puppies” (how appropriate was it that this was all going on in Jerry Lawler’s hometown, and with him on the show and in the news?), you didn’t. And there are plenty of other shows or websites where breasts can be seen. Shoot, we see more cleavage with some of Alexa’s ring gear. And a lot of porn spends more time setting up the action than this did.
It’s too much to ask, I know. And I’d really prefer, and think it would be better for the whole industry/artform if they didn’t. But if WWE wants to play PG-13 sex comedy again like it’s 1999, can they put a little more effort into it?
Whatever else this scene was or wasn’t... it wasn’t sexy. And it was dumb.