On the June 3 Raw, Brock Lesnar beat Universal champion Seth Rollins with his Money in the Bank briefcase so badly Seth had to be stretchered to the ambulance which would take him to the “local medical facility”. That it wasn’t the advertised cash-in, which was instead pushed off until Friday’s Super ShowDown in Saudi Arabia, is a topic for another post. I’ll be complaining about something else.
As my man Tommy has pointed out, WWE is anxious to promote Rollins and Raw Women’s champion Becky Lynch as a couple. I don’t love the idea - relationships come and go all the time, and it would be difficult enough to continue being in the same work environment with an ex without if having be something your bosses actively marketed.
But I get it. We know the way “wrestling couple” stories generate traffic for Cageside, and folks at The ‘E undoubtedly see the same results. It’s why they push Seth & Becky and Charlotte Flair & Andrade on social media, and why the Performance Center YouTube channel has a bunch of Ricochet & Kacy Catanzaro, Bianca Belair/Montez Ford and Roderick Strong & Marina Shafir content.
Correct me if I’m wrong, though (and I know y’all will), but there’s no in-story relationship between The Architect and The Man, right? Is milking a little bit of extra emotion out of Seth’s stretcher job really worth making it a kayfabe thing as opposed to a ‘Reality’ Era bonus for fans who follow the performers and not just their characters?
This is absolutely picking one needle out of the haystack worth of narrative problems WWE’s main roster shows currently have. It’s one of many things I could have given the Mr. Horse treatment. But it seems emblematic of rash decisions made without consideration for how they’ll impact future stories or even affect talent’s lives, and, well... no sir, I don’t like it.
Aside from setting up season three of Mixed Match Challenge (and maybe they are, but that show exists in a side-universe, anyway), I don’t see how either Rollins or Lynch’s character is better now that they’ve casually been made into on-screen allies. There are interesting and different stories that could be told about a partnership of equals between the two champs, but I have zero faith that’s what WWE has planned. Or that the creative process currently in place would stick with and execute such a story even if it was the plan.
But... WWE did just get me to create some content for a popular wrestling website based on a 60 second transition scene, so I guess the joke’s on me.