Live from ThunderDome!
Last Monday, with some help from Alexa Bliss, WWE continued to stir the pot with the Seth Rollins/Rey Mysterio program. It’s an impressive trick for a months-long storyline that’s already seen the heel win pick-up several decisive wins. But that’s what happens when there’s even a hint of something romantic involving a 32 year old man and a 19 year old young woman many of us saw get a creepy birthday serenade a decade ago.
Yes, Rollins’ mind games quickly shifted from a saying he had proof Rey isn’t his daughter Aalyah’s father - a call back to the Eddie Guerrero “I’m your Papi” paternity angle with Mysterio’s son Dominik - to outing the friendship/flirtation between his disciple Murphy and Aalyah. It’s definitely driven a wedge between the Mysterios, and gotten fans talking.
That’s all well and good. But as we’ve seen before (* cough * Liv Morgan’s one week love affair with Lana * cough *), short-term buzz doesn’t equal a good story or an increase in ratings in the long run. So what would here?
Probably the heels being really heel-ish, and the babyfaces eventually kicking their asses for it. You know, pro wrestling 101.
We’re going more into fantasy booking territory here, so if you only want the usual hype and snark about what happened last week and what’s been announced for tonight, feel free to skip ahead. But what if all of Seth’s abuse of Murphy was part of the long con here? Say the Monday Night Messiah has his Aussie minion so brainwashed he agrees to accept beatings* as a way to prey on the well-meaning, impressionable youngest member of clan Mysterio...
Murphy may end up converting Aalyah to the cause & getting her to permanently turn on her family. Or they can break her heart when Rollins can delivers a mustache-twirling promo explaining his evil plan after she costs Rey or Dom a match. Either way, the focus is on what pricks the bad guys are, and how much we want to see the heroes kick their asses.
The downside is that the male Mysterio’s paternalistic speeches about Aalyah being “naive” are kind of proven right. But I’d prefer that to seeing and hearing arguments about the morality of adult men seducing teen women.
It’s WWE; sometimes you have to pick the lesser of two evils.
Now, if I had complete control of the book, I’d have Aalyah sniff out Seth & Murph’s plan and play along to eventually screw them over, then have her dad & brother apologize for ever doubting her. But I don’t want to stray too far into full-blown fantasy. Nobody’s ever getting that book from Vincent Kennedy McMahon.
We’ll see how they play it tonight. Now back to your regularly scheduled nonsense.
The title scene
Some of us foolishly thought getting loaded into an ambulance and driven away by Ric Flair was the end of Randy Orton’s time in the WWE title picture. But the Legend Killer returned to get revenge on the Nature Boy, Big Show, and Christian. So his path towards what feels like an inevitable Hell in a Cell match with Drew McIntyre continues tonight with a six-man tag which could also set up Street Profits’ next Raw Tag Team championship defense: McIntyre, Montez Ford & Angelo Dawkins vs. Orton, Dolph Ziggler & Robert Roode.
The WWE Draft - coming our way this Friday (Oct. 9) and next Monday (Oct. 12) can’t come soon enough for the the Raw Women’s title scene. Asuka beat Zelina Vega twice last week, and appears to have cleared out the division. Fresh blood is needed, which could come from SmackDown or NXT. Or, you know, they could have Bianca Belair step to the Empress. The EST’s been getting the video promo treatment the past couple weeks, and you know that feud would kick all kinds of ass.
Nia Jax says she & Shayna Baszler will be on Raw tonight, so we could see Liv Morgan & Ruby Riott get their postponed shot at the WWE Women’s Tag Team championship sooner rather than later.
Back to the topic of feuds we thought might have ended at Clash of Champions, United States titleholder Bobby Lashley and The Hurt Business continued to tussle with Apollo Crews & friends last Monday. Mustafa Ali was the face who pinned Lashley’s leader MVP this time, though, so perhaps it’s his time to shine as the All Mighty’s foil.
One week and counting on R-Truth’s 41st run as 24/7 champion. God is good.
Other stuff to keep an eye on
- Always the gentleman, Kevin Owens is thanking the blue brand for inviting him to their show last Friday by extending an invite to Bray Wyatt tonight. He may also want to know why Alexa Bliss set him up for a Fiend attack ahead of his match with Wyatt’s alter ego this upcoming Friday, but let’s go with the gentleman thing.
- Unlike the Women’s Tag champs, we’ve heard no word on RETRIBUTION’s status as of this writing. Look for more recap videos about the invaders in WWE’s employee, and tweets from T-Bar.
- He looks to have exited the Orton/McIntyre story, but despite a dominant win over fellow former NXT champ Andrade last week, we still don’t have a clear sign about what’s next for Keith Lee.
- Aleister Black got a new entrance and an updated look to go along with his heel turn, but he still couldn’t get one over on Owens.
- Raw Underground might be closed for business. Thanks for the memories, I guess.
- Who had “forming a tag team with Dana Brooke” in the “what will Mandy Rose do on Raw?” pool? You’re a winner, baby.
Three weeks until Hell In A Cell!
What will you be looking for on Raw tonight?