Triple Threat for the WWE championship
It’s not technically a rematch, because they added a monster they’ve diminished with repeated heel/face turns & comedy angles!
The Road to WrestleMania Backlash
After a timely distraction from MVP prevented him from reclaiming the WWE title in WrestleMania 37’s opening bout, Drew McIntyre earned another shot at Bobby Lashley on the first Raw after the Showcase of the Immortals.
That led to a time-filling angle between McIntyre and one of the men he beat in that #1 contender Triple Threat, Braun Strowman. Since Lashley & MVP kicked Cedric Alexander & Shelton Benjamin out of The Hurt Business, they’ve been bringing in outsiders to... do just as bad a job of taking out The All Mighty’s enemies as Alexander & Benjamin. For a couple weeks in April, that was former RETRIBUTION members T-BAR and MACE.
That led to a reluctant team-up between Drew & Braun. It got the duo now known as Extinction some wins (not by pinfall or submission, of course, and not that it’s done them much good, since T-BAR and MACE haven’t been on television in two weeks). But more importantly, it gave WWE a reason to book an “if you can beat the challenger you can join the title match” showdown between the Monster Among Men and the King of Claymore County. Strowman won thanks to a little help from Extinction.
From there, we’ve done two weeks of round robin singles matches between Lashley and his two challengers. Both finishes have involved the third man of course, who then stands tall over both the champion and his opponent.
What’s at stake
It’s all... fine.
But if you’ve been watching pro wrestling for more than a minute, you’ve seen it all before. And if you’re brand new to the world of sports entertainment, you’ll probably be impressed by the three prime cuts of beef throwing each other around the ring. After that wears off in a minute or two, though?
The really frustrating thing is, given the way the rest of the Raw brand is set-up, there aren’t many other options. We’ve seen most of the marquee-feeling match-ups before. There are lots of reasons why WWE’s struggled to make new stars, but two of them are on display in this storyline.
For one thing, when they do push a guy to the next level like they’ve done with the three men in this match, they have no plan for what’s next. That leads to more rematches, or heatless feuds with little doubt about the outcome. Another is that the tag scene is mostly used as fodder for established singles guys. If it were treated as an even somewhat equally important creative landscape, we’d care more when solo acts interacted with tag teams - and fans would get more attached to the members of those teams, potentially giving WWE new stars for the singles division.
Alas, none of this is likely to change any time soon. So we’ll just sit back and enjoy what should be a pretty good pro wrestling match. Even if it is a rematch from last year’s Backlash...
... with Nicholas’s former Tag partner added in.
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