Last week, Nick Aldis said that Mickie James, his wife, was booked poorly in her return to Raw because of Bruce Prichard’s personal vendetta against him.
To quickly recap: Prichard recently said that Aldis lacked the “It Factor”, so Aldis responded to him with some harsh words. James’ return match on Raw was then completely overshadowed by Seth Rollins bickering with Samoa Joe at the commentary table, and James lost by count out. Aldis put two and two together and concluded that Prichard, the man who leads the creative teams for Raw and SmackDown, was trying to bury James due to the personal beef with Aldis.
Aldis’ theory made sense at the time. But on this week’s (Aug. 31) episode of Raw, we got a segment where Asuka was looking for a new challenger for her Raw women’s championship on Sept. 27 at Clash of Champions. Mickie James came out and declared her intent to take the gold from Asuka, before defeating Lana in a singles match. The final impression coming out of this segment is that James is at the front of the line when it comes to determining Asuka’s next challenger.
Based on how things played out on Raw, Mickie James is certainly not being buried. But how else can one explain her terrible booking during her first segment back on Raw?
I think there is a relatively simple answer here. Vince McMahon no longer has any capacity for long-term booking, rips up Raw scripts on the day of the show, and even sometimes rewrites segments after the show has started. It naturally follows that incomprehensible or illogical booking decisions will occasionally appear on Raw as a result of McMahon’s chaotic approach, and angles could very well be forgotten about or reversed the following week.
Mickie James returned on the Aug. 17 episode of Raw, on the go-home show for SummerSlam. James was not in the creative plans for SummerSlam or Payback one week later, so it looks to me like a case where WWE didn’t put much or any thought into booking her Raw segment for Aug. 17. Raw is three hours long, which is way too long, and some segments primarily exist just to kill time. Seth Rollins was a key wrestler at SummerSlam, so they used Mickie’s segment with Lana and Natalya as a backdrop to Seth’s angle. WWE now has creative plans for Mickie at Clash of Champions, so her fortunes have changed.
Maybe I’m totally wrong about all that, but it seems like Aldis is also wrong about James being buried by Bruce Prichard. I think it’s a decent enough guess to assume that James was merely a victim of WWE’s extreme short-term booking, as well as the creative process being a chaotic mess due to Vince McMahon’s quirks.
What do you think of Mickie James’ booking since she returned to Raw?