Monday Night Raw was on the big stage last night, live from the Staples Center in Los Angeles. The marquee attraction was a main event showdown between Charlotte and Sasha Banks for the Women’s Championship. WWE’s premier show also continued the build towards its next pay-per-view, Hell in a Cell. The aptly named PPV event’s first announced match was a Hell in a Cell contest. The show, as a whole, was very good.
With all of that out of the way, let’s rebook what was wrong with Monday Night Raw.
Roman Reigns vs. Rusev IV
In a rather surprising turn of events, the WWE has decided to put on another Reigns vs. Rusev match for the WWE United States Championship. To put it simply: It’s a bad decision. SummerSlam was a great start to this feud and Clash of Champions was a great conclusion, with Reigns coming out as champion. The next night, Reigns and Rusev fought to a double count-out during Rusev’s mandatory rematch. That should have been that. A double count-out was the perfect storyline segue to have both men move on to what’s next. Rusev should be looking to rebound and prove he is still dominate. While, as champion, Reigns is awaiting whomever steps up to challenge the “Big Dog.”
Instead, there will be another match between these two, inside Hell in a Cell. There is really nothing more to come out of this match. We’ve seen these two fight already, and another loss to Reigns by Rusev could be a major blow. Last night should have been about setting up Reigns’ next challenger. The WWE could have gone to Chris Jericho, a heel to take on Reigns. Or go with Sami Zayn, who needs something to do. This could have been a good spot for Cesaro, if given a singles title opportunity.
Either way, having Reigns vs. Rusev again is a bad idea.
The cruiserweight division
It’s official: The cruiserweight division is lost. This group has no direction, and it is spiraling out of control fast. Last night, the WWE made the questionable decision to have its new champion lose in a non-title match. T.J. Perkins has been a member of the main roster for less than a month, and he’s already lost a match. What kind of message does that send to those who didn’t watch the Cruiserweight Classic?
The focus should be on who can challenge Perkins. If that person is Brian Kendrick, then let him show that against some other cruiserweights. Build up the division by showcasing talent. The top of the division isn’t even established yet, and Perkins already lost as champion. It’s a rather odd choice.
Kendrick can face a guy like Tony Nese or Cedric Alexander. It gives those Superstars a chance to get over with the crowd, while building Kendrick back up as a legitimate contender to Perkins.
What’s up with Sami Zayn?
Sami Zayn got a win on Raw. This is a moment to be celebrated, but what does it mean? Zayn is seemingly done with his Chris Jericho feud, a match that he lost. There isn’t a direction for Zayn as a character. The good thing going for Zayn is people will cheer for him no matter what. Even if he faces Titus O’Neil, the crowd will love him.
This is still something that the WWE should capitalize on. Have Zayn in a meaningful feud. Give him a title shot against Roman Reigns. Have him follow up his feud with Chris Jericho. Evolve his character over time. That will make the moment when he finally becomes champion an even bigger one.