Monday Night RAW HITS:
The Usos vs. Luke Harper and Erick Rowan: The only hit of last night’s Monday Night RAW came from a likely source. The Usos are turning in career performances every night they’re in the ring, and much like Cody Rhodes and Goldust, very, very rarely have an off night. Last night was no exception. It also benefited by the carry-over heat brought on by the anticipation of Bray Wyatt and Daniel Bryan’s paths crossing. The only true hit of the night, and I wouldn’t necessarily insist you go out of your way to see it.
Monday Night RAW MISSES:
Overall episode: Since WWE is so big on themed episodes of RAW, they might as well have called this episode “RAW is REMATCH”. How many more times are we going to see Rey Mysterio vs. Alberto Del Rio? Or Kofi Kingston vs. Randy Orton. Or some combination of the Shield vs. Cody Rhodes and Goldust. If filling three hours of television with original content has become too difficult to do, perhaps that (amongst the other 100 reasons I’ve given over the weeks and months in this column) is enough of a reason to end the three hour RAW era. There was nothing worth going out of your way to see on RAW. Who knew that one of the biggest pay per views of the year was only 6 days away, which has the biggest implications on the biggest pay per view of the year, WrestleMania? It felt like the creative team completely forgot that the Royal Rumble was less than a week away, and then at the last minute, slotted in some half-assed “hype”.
Royal Rumble “Hype”: The winner of the Royal Rumble goes on to face the WWE World Heavyweight Champion at WrestleMania. The champion of champions. Not a choice between two “top” champions. There is only one, and it should be regarded at the be-all, end-all of the Royal Rumble hype. So where is the hype? CM Punk is more concerned with his feud with the Authority than he is with winning the Rumble. Daniel Bryan, who has been screwed out of the championship more times than I can even remember is bogged down by a mindlessly illogical feud with Bray Wyatt, and
Justin Beiber Batista returned, seemingly more concerned with a personal vendetta with Randy Orton than actually winning the Royal Rumble. No one seems to care that the best opportunity to main event the biggest Pay Per View of the year is just six days away, and are, instead, too busy with their tampons hanging out. Ridiculous, and shameful booking, and completely disrespectful to one of the most important Pay Per Views of the year.
Batista Returns: Boy, that was underwhelming. Does anyone remember how awesome Batista was during has last year in WWE prior to his hiatus? After last night’s complete dud of a promo, I’m having a hard time remembering it myself. Did Batista honestly finish his promo with the line “So deal with it”? Whooooa! That’s a serious, school-yard throw down from the 300 pound beast. He might as well have just said “Na, na, na, na, boo boo, stick your head in poo poo”. And for a guy who’s always been a little bit more top heavy than what is humanly natural, skinny jeans are not the look for you. A complete disappointment coming from someone who considers himself a Batista fan.
Daniel Bryan Explanation: A weak explanation to explain away an even weaker angle. Bryan explained that he needed to get into the mind of the maniac, in order to fool him into trusting him, and get him alone. But why? Why even bother with Bray Wyatt in the first place? What does he have to do with “the machine” that you’re trying to bring down, which, to the best of my understanding, is in reference to the Authority. Wouldn’t it make more sense to target the Shield, who have a clear allegiance to them? I mean, there are gaping holes in this storyline so large, even the local whore house would be ashamed. I could spend my entire night on this topic alone. Thankfully, Bryan appears to be more over than ever, and I sincerely hope that we can put all of this behind us really, really soon, and never have to talk about it again.
Big Show and Brock Lesnar: WWE is trying to teach Brock Lesnar a lesson in humility that he will never learn (and has no need to learn). Vince McMahon and Triple H very obviously hold a grudge against Brock Lesnar for how he left the company directly after WrestleMania 20. It has been evident almost since the very first moment he was “welcomed” back into the company two years ago. But here’s the trouble. For one, WrestleMania 20 was 10 years ago. Secondly, Brock Lesnar doesn’t care. He is paid a ridiculous amount of money to work a very, very limited schedule. By making him look weak/stupid/incompetent/afraid, it diminishes his image, and makes him less valuable to the company. It doesn’t make him less valuable to himself. Do you think by “humbling” Brock Lesnar, he’s going to sign for less money next year when his contract is up? Nope. Brock doesn’t need the money, and he doesn’t need the job. If his WWE contract was voided tomorrow, he has a wide-open door to walk through with the UFC. And if that door happened to shut, he has tens of millions of dollars in the bank, more money than he, his kids, his kids kids, or his kids kids kids could ever spend. So, what’s the point? Why not promote Brock to be the biggest monster you possibly can, and then when someone finally slays the Beast, they’re instantly made. But it’s way to late for that now. Instead, we suffered through a Big Show comedy promo, from the same Big Show who I’ve seen cry on television more times in the past 12-months than my toddler step-son has cried all year, only then to watch him throw Brock Lesnar around like a sack of crap, which is exactly what he’s been booked lately to be. It’s so mind-boggling. There are so many problems with WWE’s booking formula right now, that this column has spent more than 1000 words GLOSSING over the problems. Think about that for a second. Something needs to change, and something needs to change fast. At least, in 30 days, I’ll have thousands of hours of previous television and pay per views to re-watch on the WWE Network. Maybe the creative team should do the same, and try to remember the formula that created years of must-see television. Because, anymore, RAW is anything but must-see.