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Tonight’s Raw should stick with last week’s formula

Interweaving storylines makes everything more interesting

Pro wrestling, when it’s not at its best, can look like a bunch of small stories that all exist in a vacuum. Last week’s edition of Monday Night Raw (Jan. 13) avoided this trap and made most of its drama by making it clear it was playing out on the same stage.

Here’s three ways they accomplished that, to varying degrees of success.

Buddy needed buddies

After Aleister Black Black Mass-ed Buddy Murphy into yet another loss, the former Cruiserweight Champion was just unable to continue. Despondent past normal measures, he just sat there at ringside. Most of the time, people dust themselves off and move on, making way for what’s next.

Not Buddy Murphy, not that night. Even when Charly Caruso came up to interview him, he solemnly declined.

This was the perfect setup, we soon learned as Seth and his architects of pain Akam and Rezar couldn’t close the door on Joe, Kev and Show in the main event. Rollins — desperate for help — pleaded with the despondent Murphy, who then joined up.

The Monday Night Messiah, it turned out, finally started earning that nickname, converting Murphy into his latest apostle. And it really worked. It made Raw feel like anything could happen again.

This moment, when Raw seems less like a variety show (and a chore) and more like a living, breathing collection of people, felt like a breath of fresh air. The more this happens, the more other questions — which could have interesting answers — might pop up.

I’m not asking for more segments acknowledging Seth and Becky’s relationship, except maybe I am if they make sense.

Paul rambled, Truth declared and undeclared and then ...

Earlier in the night, similar storyline fusion had an equally surprising result. Paul Heyman and Brock Lesnar came out and did their Jay and Silent Bob routine, and it could have just ended there. But R-Truth came out to do what he does: misunderstand.

Not only did this give us Brock laughing his ass off — a rarity into and of itself — but then it gave Mojo Rawley the opportunity he needed to finally get a big win. Sure he got the 24/7 title off a post-Lesnar R-Truth. But that moment unlocked the “I’m not hiding!” moment from Rawley, which was actually electric.

Heck, even Drew became unglued

Lastly, let’s look at how Drew McIntyre won on Raw by crashing the party. First of all, mocking the “RKO-measuring contest” between Randy Orton and AJ Styles was a great line, but McIntyre’s personality jumped right out here, as WWE injected his humor into a feud already becoming kinda bland.

Styles gets cheers despite being a heel, and Orton isn’t a standard babyface. Until recently, the mountainous Scot was more of a baddie too. But by getting some lines over on his colleagues, Drew got to further his face turn, elevate himself upwards (and then win) - right when he needs it most, on the doorstep of the Royal Rumble.

So, Raw, keep it up

It’s rare that people have kind words for the Monday Night team, but I hope tonight’s show continues this trend of letting characters interact and stories intertwine like this.

It really works.

Hell, it could free Rusev or Liv from that storyline.

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