With WWE Backlash in the back of the mind for most wrestling fans, how did Raw do in it’s build towards Clash of Champions?
On Sunday, SmackDown Live had their first brand-only pay-per-view. When Monday rolled around, Monday Night Raw was tasked with the challenge of making fans forget about that event. With only two weeks until Clash of Champions, Raw’s first brand-only PPV, Raw had an opportunity to continue their build to that show.
With the main event picture and women’s title picture in a state of flux, tonight was dedicated to fleshing out those issues. The women got the opportunity to open the show, while Kevin Owens and his WWE Universal title close it.
Let’s get right into it, and re-book this week’s edition of Raw.
The Women’s triple threat
We’ll start this week with a quick re-book. The setup to this triple threat match was very well put together. It made sense, and there was a clear reason for all three ladies to be getting this opportunity. Obviously, there is a ton of money in all three ladies facing off with the champion. In the end they went with Sasha Banks, but the finish was very suspect. It appeared, at least to me, as though both Bayley’s and Banks’ shoulders were down during the three count.
If there is going to be a storyline attached with this finish, then so be it. It will work. If Banks is just going to move on to the title match, this finish is rather odd. Why couldn’t she just beat her without it looking controversial? It’s a little thing, but it can make all the difference.
Bo Dallas, and squash matches
Last week, Bo Dallas made a surprising return to the WWE ring. It wasn’t a surprise because Bo hasn’t been seen in a while (although that is true), it was a surprise because of an incident involving Dallas. He was reportedly taken off of a flight because of how drunk he was. Days after this report came out, he appeared on Raw and squashed a local jobber. This week was the same old story.
Dallas took on a jobber and once again came out victorious. This is another case of the WWE doing something for the sake of doing it. When they don’t have a storyline for a superstar, it seems that using squashes matches is their work around. Braun Strowman has been doing this since the draft; so has Nia Jax. At least with the latter, there appears to be a direction with the Alicia Fox stuff from last Monday.
Bo is a former NXT champion, and somebody the crowd is familiar with. He doesn’t need squash matches and local jobbers to become relevant again. Put him in a match against actual competition and have him win. That’s better for his character. Sin Cara fought a week ago; he’s certainly a candidate. R-Truth and Goldust haven’t been used; they would work as competition as well. In certain situations, jobbers can help elevate an unknown superstar or for a gimmick change. In Bo’s case, they just are re-using him and he needs actual known competition for the crowd to care about him again.
Cesaro gets another victory
Another quick-fire version of re-booking for this segment. For the most part, this best-of-seven series has been booked perfectly. The odds were stacked against the babyface in Cesaro, and now he has clawed back to make it a series. The only complaint is the clear cheating by Cesaro to win. Faces shouldn’t use heel tactics to win. If the premise was to have Cesaro get another ‘cheap’ victory, he could have gotten a schoolboy pinfall or a roll-up pin, because we know the WWE loves those.
Seriously, the tag team title picture
Who thought it was a good idea to basically give away the tag title match from Clash of Champions? It was billed as a SummerSlam re-match, but the New Day took on Gallows and Anderson in a tag team match. The assumption of this one is that Big E will be in the ‘actual’ tag match at the PPV. Still, this basically is another case of the WWE giving away a finish for a match that they are going to have on a major show.
These teams have had quite the back and forth, meaning a Roman Reigns-Rusev situation seems unlikely. Mentioned plenty of times in re-booking Raw, the tag team division has lacked the competition and real feel that it sorely needs. Segments with the ‘Old Day’ should be replaced with serious segments of two of the best tag teams in the world wanting to go at it.
And, as mentioned in previous versions, if the WWE is dead set on these teams touching and interacting, singles matches would work. The feud could start with all the members of the teams at ringside. After some shady interfering over the course of a number of weeks, general manager Mick Foley can get involved and re-make these matches. The difference this time being that the partners are banned from ringside. Building to the inevitable tag team match should be the intending goal, not giving it away. The fans have seen so much of the New Day and Club over the last couple of months, it needs to become fresh to matter. Those skits of ‘ringpostitis’ and ‘Old Day’ were attempts at that; albeit bad attempts.