I would love to spend a day at WWE, talking with whomever currently makes up their creative team. Not because I want to know what they’re going to do with my favorite wrestlers, or what the outcome of SurvivorSeries is going to be. I want them to explain to me, in the most minute details, why it is so difficult for them to write storylines for everyone who appears on their television program.
Tonight’s episode of RAW was about the second round of the tournament for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. Four of the show’s matches were a part of round 2 in this tournament: Owens vs Neville, Ambrose vs Ziggler, Del Rio vs Kalisto, and Reigns vs Cesaro. We also saw a match between The Usos and The New Day (with an inexplicable appearance from Ryback). But the other matches that filled out the card showed that when someone (or several someones) are not involved in a title or main event feud, then WWE has no idea what to do with them – and they don’t care.
The first pointless match we saw tonight was between Tyler Breeze (accompanied to the ring by his ring wraith, Summer Rae) and R-Truth (who, I cannot lie, I still say “oh, right, I forgot about him” every time he appears on my TV.) This, I imagine, was to keep relevant Breeze on TV in preparation for his feud with Dolph Ziggler (who is out of the tournament after losing to Dean Ambrose.) But what does R-Truth have to do with anything? There was a very easy fix to this really strange pairing: last week Breeze lost to Dean Ambrose in a first round tournament match for the WWE World Heavyweight title. If WWE had given us one backstage segment with him and Ziggler, it could have moved the feud along. But it also could have lead to a match with The Miz who has genuine beef with Ziggler because he took away his opportunity at the title. And if anyone’s getting their hands on Ziggler first, it should be Miz. Instant feud. Instant match.
The second match of the night that left me baffled was between The Ascension, an NXT Tag Team Championship pairing that came up to the main roster and promptly died, and The Dudley Boys. The Dudleys have been out of the tag team picture since losing out on a second chance at the titles last month at Hell in a Cell to The New Day. They took the win tonight over The Ascension, but for what purpose? This one is a little harder to find purpose before, because I can’t clearly decide who deserves to be on TV more. Three weeks ago Jordan & Gable, an NXT tag team, invited the Ascension back down to Orlando for a match, so perhaps we should be focusing more on giving the Dudley Boys a reason to appear on RAW. The Prime Time Players have been mysteriously absent from TV after being the last team to hold the tag titles before The New Day. Los Matadores are apparently off TV to be revamped. The Lucha Dragons are on a short hiatus while Kalisto gets fed to Alberto Del Rio. That leaves us with – oh, how about another two dudes who lost last week? Sheamus and Barrett were rolling pretty well for a bit there as The Euros or whatever they’re calling themselves, and I think their losses last week would be enough to remind them that maybe if they’re working better as a pair they shouldn’t kill a good thing. And if they are confident enough in their abilities as a tag team, they should be willing to take on anyone the boss can throw at them – even veterans like The Dudley Boys.
And on top of everything else, we didn’t actually get a women’s match. Instead, we were served a train wreck of a main event spot – Charlotte and Paige trading poorly-memorized insults over their Diva’s Championship Match contract. If anyone in that segment deserves credit, it’s Michael Cole, who tried very hard to give the women a central point to return to by consistently pointing to the contract (which Charlotte never signed, by the way) whenever there was a pause wide enough to land a 747 in. This atrocity was avoidable, too. I’ve already hypothesized about how to get Becky Lynch involved in this feud, and successfully set her up for a solid title reign. Where was she tonight? Charlotte talked at great length about Paige having no one behind her – but where was her back up?
It is no secret to anyone who reads my blog that I would love to be on the creative staff for a wrestling promotion. I love good story telling, and I would relish a chance to work with skilled athletes to tell powerful stories. There is no school you can attend to learn how to do this. But I refuse to believe that watching RAW every Monday will teach me everything that I need to know. I want to be better than one main storyline and three matches that have no point or are poorly crafted. I want WWE to be better. Soon.