Monday Night Raw was taped this week because it was taking place in Glasgow, Scotland. Thanks to Twitter being a wonderful place of wealth and knowledge, many a pro wrestling fan knew what was going to happen well before the event even aired.
It made consuming the show on the USA Network strange, too. Not because of the show’s actual product (though, that wasn’t great), but because it was obvious certain segments were edited quite a bit.
Enough of the small talk. Provided the government hasn’t been overthrown by the time you read this, let’s rebook Monday Night Raw.
The women’s Survivor Series team segment
What actually happened
There was a lot here. Try to stick with me while I attempt to put in the relevant parts.
Michael Cole was in the ring to introduce every member of the women’s five-person Raw Survivor Series team. It is worth noting that, at that point at least, there were still two mystery members.
He started by bringing out Charlotte. Now that Flair has gone full “I’m a queen” gimmick, she did a promo calling the SmackDown Live team “peasants.”
Next was Nia Jax. Cole was about to interview Jax, who may or may not have the ability to work a mic, but Charlotte interrupted her by praising Jax for taking out the team’s “weak link” in Bayley. Instead of leaving well enough alone, Jax told Charlotte off saying whatever she does, she does for herself.
The next team member was Alicia Fox. She was one of the surprises, I guess. Fox is awesome, for what it is worth. Too bad she always got caught up in the weird Divas era stuff. She hurled out a pop culture reference to say she and Jax would be able to get along.
Bayley was out next. Here is where things “changed” from what actually happened to what aired. As to what we saw on the picture-box, Bayley spoke some words, thanked the crowd, and everyone was happy.
Dana Brooke came out to do worthless Dana Brooke things before Cole said she wasn’t the fifth member, and that it was Sasha Banks.
At this point, before Sasha even came out, the crowd had hijacked the show and was singing like crazy.
This one needs a little context since “the fix” would have been for the WWE to not edit out as much as it did.
Twitter allowed us to hear and see the crowd going absolutely bonkers for Bayley. The chants and cheers for her took a bit of time, people seem pleased with themselves, and — even in the TV broadcast of it — Alicia Fox can be seen in the background with a smile from ear-to-ear as it was one heck of a spectacle.
The WWE shouldn’t have cut this out. But it did, and what the at-home-viewer was left with was about a third of what happened when the world’s top hugger came out.
Considering everyone assumes the company wants Bayley to be that type of over, it is odd WWE cut out so much of her positive crowd reaction. While totally understanding time restraints, the company could have just as easily cooled it with one of the 10 Lesnar-Goldberg promos that ran during the show.
New Day’s ‘Braveheart’ segment
What actually happened
This was a segment dedicated to setting up Raw’s tag team, uh, team for Survivor Series. We won’t recap all of it. Just the part (New Day) that feels like it needed to be slightly reworked.
After every other member of Raw’s Survivor Series tag team was out there — and The Golden Truth for attempts at humor, I suppose — New Day’s music hit, and they came down the entrance ramp in full-on “Braveheart” (the movie) outfits. Don’t worry… no Mel Gibson-face was used.
When the trio got to the ring, they did a bunch of “Braveheart” lines, made fun of the way each other talked, and it was all mostly fun.
There was a small issue here, though. Let’s get to that in…
Like many — but certainly not all — New Day segments, this one went a bit too long. One or two “Braveheart”-related jokes would have been fine, but by the time the tag team champions actually got in the ring, I mentally checked out on them.
Maybe that’s a preference thing. Even if it is, I’m still not 100 percent sure the best route to get cheap pops in Scotland was to reenact parts of a movie in which the main character’s actual history is up for great debate.
There was a 50 percent chance that The New Day’s attempt at an easy pop could have resulted in them getting crushed. I guess it is a testament to them that it worked, though. Nevertheless, the shtick ran too long.
The Shining Stars defeated The Golden Truth
What actually happened
We have gone relatively long elsewhere, so let’s make this short: The Shining Stars toppled Golden Truth to earn a spot on Raw’s 10-team tag squad for Survivor Series.
Listen, for disclosure: I actually like The Shining Stars (hot take) and also think Goldust is awesome.
However, this match felt rushed if not downright forced to help fill out a card. There was no angle or story to explain why these two teams were battling for Raw’s last spot. I mean there was, but it was extremely passive.
It would have been nice if Stephanie McMahon mentioned a week or two ago about a “few fringe tag teams” who she doesn’t think are all that great. You know, go a little meta on us.
All that would have done is upped the ante in this match a little bit, and potentially helped The Shining Stars’ win mean a little more than just making them a member of a team in which they’ll likely be the first to be eliminated from during Survivor Series.
Nitpicky stuff, to be honest.