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Rebooking Raw: Shortcomings of a Halloween episode

(Courtesy of WWE.com)

Halloween is a holiday, but not in the same way Christmas is one founded from a religious standpoint then commercialized for capitalistic purposes. It is just kind of there. Kids dress up as princesses and superheroes, adults get to pretend they are kids again, and grandparents get to force trick or treaters into singing songs for food. It’s all great fun.

Despite the purity of it all (sarcasm), Halloween doesn’t need to be jammed into everything that is going on.

The WWE did not get that memo, however, as it was most certainly highlighted on the latest edition of Monday Night Raw. The broadcast team was all dolled up in costumes — with Michael Cole going as the scariest monster of them all, being Michael Cole — and a few other Halloween-related things were forced in the program as if the WWE had a Halloween-segment-quota that needed to be filled.

Anyway, let’s rebook Monday Night Raw.

Enzo defeat Gallows in a Halloween-themed match

What actually happened

The Club defeated Enzo and Big Cass at Hell in a Cell, so in the WWE’s usual 50-50 booking, you knew these two teams would somehow face again at Raw. What we didn’t know, however, was that the give-back-win Enzo would receive would be at the cost of The Club’s dignity.

The match was dubbed a “Trick or Street Fight,” and the ring and ringside area was decked out in Halloween decorations.

Enzo and Cass come out dressed up in costumes from the “Toy Story” movies — because being topical in one’s costume choice is unimportant in 2016, I guess.

Enzo would begin things off in earnest, taking things to ringside and walloping Gallows with a skeleton (this is not a typo, nor am I having an aneurysm). He would then shoves Gallows head in a bowl to help him for bob for apples.

Naturally, Gallows comes back and smashes a pumpkin over Enzo’s face.

As things kept going back and forth, Anderson tried to get involved, but Enzo hit him in the face with a pumpkin pie (what a waste) and Big Cass booted him off the apron into a table. To finish off the bout, Enzo low-blowed Gallows, and Cass put a pumpkin over Gallows’ head, with Enzo coming off the top with a DDT for the win.

Absurd, I know.

The fix

How about just not make a mockery out of a tag team by way of Halloween-related festivities? I mean, this is a rather easy one.

By doing what the WWE did, it make a complete joke out of the somewhat struggling Club. Enzo and Cass are hugely over with both the IWC and casual fans. Only the IWC cares for The Club at this point. By doing all of this tomfoolery, it is going to be awfully hard for casual fans to take them seriously at this point.

While I would argue that Gallows should have won to keep The Club’s momentum going — especially since Enzo and Cass are not negatively hurt by losses — if the WWE really wanted to do the 50-50 booking route, it could have done so in a normal match.

Moreover, it could have just done it without making The Club a joke because pumpkins on the head of Gallows is good for a quick joke.

Braun Strowman wins Battle Royal

What Actually Happened

The Battle Royal was Strowman’s to win from the moment we knew the match was happening. Not only did the WWE dedicate a backstage segment to making sure we knew it, but the rest of the participants in the match are all either involved in other angles, or are name-brand jobbers.

Strowman would eliminate several guys until he was forced through the second rope (not eliminating him) by way of several guys hitting their finishing moves on him.

He would eventually re-enter the ring, destroy some more humans, eliminating Sami Zayn to win the super important prize of being a member of Raw’s five-man Survivor Series team.

The fix

I am going to be somewhat nit picky here, but part of the point of Strowman is to be built as a beast.

There was zero need for him to be knocked to the outside, and staying there for a little bit. Instead, he should have won the entire match in a few minutes by just manhandling every single wrestler in the bout — to the point of eliminating them all.

That’s how you book a monster in the simplest way possible. Just have him destroy all. Especially when “all” are just bums on the roster.

Cesaro and Sheamus defeat The Shining Stars

For context: Cesaro and Sheamus “beat” The New Day at Hell in a Cell, but failed to win the tag team titles because it was by way of a disqualification. Also, during the Battle Royal, Cesaro eliminated Sheamus before he got tossed over the top-rope himself, which led to the two arguing and shoving each other on the outside.

As for this match, there was some issues with the two wrestlers, but after The Shining Stars got off to a decent start, it was a mostly one-sided affair that was a squash match.

The fix

The endgame here is as clear as the sky on a crisp October night. We are inevitably getting Sheamus vs. Cesaro Part XIII or whatever. And just like sequels in a horror movie franchise, no one wants to see the same thing, just in a different variant, again.

Hell, what is next — Cesaro vs. Sheamus in space? Eh, I digress.

If they are going to continue on as a tag team a little bit, that’s fine. The WWE is presumably going to have them face The New Day for the titles again because they won their match against them at HIAC.

All of that being said, we were literally a few segments removed from the two fighting each other after each were eliminated from the Battle Royal. To further create this “rift,” they should have lost to The Shining Stars.

Primo and Epico would have gotten a much needed win, and the oddly paired duo’s issues with each other could have been exasperated. Plus, Cesaro and Sheamus wouldn’t be hurt by the loss.

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