One would think that a three-hour program would be lengthy enough for the WWE to be able to create multiple stories at once. That person would be dead wrong, as Monday Night Raw has turned into a cesspool of nothingness. A land where many a WWE Superstars have ended up in creative purgatory.
Creative purgatory is a place in the WWE’s storytelling process in which talent is on TV regularly, but does nothing of consequence that would make a soul consuming the product care for the performer any more than they already do.
Several WWE Superstars currently find themselves trotting about the company’s hallways in that landscape. Neville, everyone in the cruiserweight division outside Brian Kendrick and TJ Perkins, Sami Zayn, Bo Dallas, Braun Strowman, and now even R-Truth and Goldust.
The last two are a comedy act at this point. They can be explained away by that. The rest of them, however, are in a bit more of a troubling place.
All of those wrestlers have won over the last several weeks, or cut promos that make us believe a push is coming. And what are they currently doing? They are having matches on Raw. Winning some of those. But none of them in a storytelling way.
In TV terms, it would be like “filler” episodes of “Lost” or “The Walking Dead.” There’s 16-23 episodes in each season, but a third of them are not accomplishing anything. Nothing of consequence happens. They’re just airing them to have something to broadcast until “important” things happen.
The problem with “filler” episodes is that it can turn people off. People can, may and will give up on TV shows that do that far too regularly. A similar thing can apply to a wrestling character.
I mean, there are three hours of Monday Night Raw. Even a person with a low IQ would find it hard to believe that a billion dollar company can’t muster up enough creative genius to give some — even if not all — of those already mentioned performers actual feuds or stories to participate in.
Let’s highlight how bad this is by explaining each of their situations.
Unless you watched the CWC, you still have no idea who anyone is outside of Brian Kendrick and TJ Perkins. Why? Because everything is a damn tag team match. Also, we have no idea who are the good guys, the bad guys, who is good in the ring or who relies on whatever. It is just a complicated collage of talent being forced into matches, and the WWE Universe being expected to love it simply because guys flying around the ring… or something.
Seriously (and this does not apply for those who consumed the CWC). Name six people in the cruiserweight division. And if you can, tell me if they are heels or faces — because you can’t.
Neville has been in Creative Purgatory since the moment he has been called up from NXT. One would think competing in the cruiserweight division would be a natural fit for the “Man Who Defies Gravity.”
But no. Instead, he’s being randomly teamed with other talent in creative purgatory for even more random tag team matches.
I am assuming — dangerous, I know — the WWE is trying like hell to hold off Zayn fighting Kevin Owens for the WWE Universal Championship. Either way, how in the hell are we meant to care about Sami if all he is doing is appearing in nonsensical tag bouts?
What is there in his relationship with Neville, or distaste for Dallas and Axel, that explains him wanting to be in that tag match on short notice? Furthermore, he’s not that far removed from being near the main event scene and now we’re all meant to believe he’s just cool floating about the roster?
I fear the worst for him. I really do. I often thought of him as a Christian-type. You know, there’s nothing wrong with the person, but the WWE won’t ever go out of its way to make sure they get over.
We think there is a light at the end of the tunnel. There probably is too, as at some point someone legitimate will come out of the back to answer Strowman’s call for legitimate threats. That being said, the endgame here is to build Strowman up as a monster, then to have him lose to an NXT call-up? Or is it to build Strowman up, have an NXT call-up debut, then lose?
Also, for the love of local jobbers, can’t the WWE find someone who can take bumps to make him look better?
Another lifelong member of creative purgatory, Dallas is apparently getting a push after being drunk at an airport. At the same time, this push has been going on for three weeks and NOTHING has come out of it. No explanation as to why he’s more aggressive, or what is goals are, or if he’s mad at someone in particular. It’s just him talking more angrily and being more aggressive in the ring. That’s it.
I Bo-lieve that’s bad character development.
Raw’s next Network Special is in roughly a week. And guess what? All the above mostly useful talents are entering it without a legitimate storyline attached to their character.
Cool beans, WWE. Way to utilize three hours of programming.