Happy Friday TJR Faithful! I have a simple question for you guys: is there anything good going on in the WWE right now? Besides The New Day of course, who continue to be a beacon of hope in the desolate wasteland that is WWE storytelling. Seriously though, it’s gotten to the point where discussion is almost moot. The show is bad. It’s literally the worst high production value show I watch (and I watch Gotham). The storytelling is nonsensical and everybody that I know and usually can’t wait to discuss WWE with have lost interest in talking about the weekly goings on of WWE TV.
Just take Raw last week. The dissolving of Summer Rae and Rusev. A haphazardly put together segment that involved Rusev losing (which seems to be a WWE go to when turning people babyface… because people love a loser right), and then Summer Rae revealing that Rusev was in fact engaged to Lana and had been for a month. Is it even worth it to get into the ways this is a baffling thing to put on TV? What in the blue hell were they thinking? Why were they under the impression that if we found out Rusev and Lana were engaged in real life that the whole storyline needed to be scrapped with Summer Rae? They are aware this is a TV show right?
In an instant, months worth of storytelling was tossed aside. Storytelling I wasn’t very much interested in, but storytelling nonetheless. Instead of continuing to tell the story or correcting some mistakes made in the narrative, they decided to scrap the whole damn thing with an explanation that for all intents and purposes was terrible and confusing. What was the point of Dolph feuding with Rusev for the whole damn summer? What was the point of pairing Rusev with Summer in the first place (especially if her feud coming out of the break up is with Dolph Ziggler)? What was the point of the Summer seeing Dolph’s dick and him getting her the earrings? What is the point of any of this stuff we watch every week?
As much as I hate wedding angles, I would have much preferred Rusev chasing titles, only to see how psychotic Summer became during his championship pursuits. She’d be willing to do anything to make sure Rusev got a title, which would start to creep Rusev out. In fact he’d be so creeped out, he’d start to sabotage some of his own championship opportunities. Eventually Rusev would capture a title (tag titles perhaps, because his partner could win it for them) and being a man of his word, he’d prepare to wed Summer. During the wedding, with his tag team partner (which could have been Breeze) as his best man, Lana would return and object, professing her love to Rusev and revealing that Summer had been fornicating with Breeze, starting that rivalry. They’d drop the tag titles shortly after and feud. That segment makes sense. That segment has emotional weight and narrative tension. It has ups and downs. It’s a little trashy for my taste, but it tells a story.
While this convoluted and ridiculous Rusev/Summer/Dolph/Lana/Breeze storyline is the WWE’s worst piece of storytelling in quite some time. Unfortunately, their best told story right now, is also pretty terrible because it is counter productive to the character that they are building right now. That of course is Kane vs. Seth Rollins.
Now on paper, this rivalry is the most sensible in the WWE right now. It had been building for months and is finally coming to a head at Hell In A Cell. Seth mistreated Kane as an ally and now Kane wants vengeance. Sounds good, except it’s been terribly received. Not because Kane isn’t a good worker or a good performer (he’s actually been really funny as Corporate Kane). It isn’t even because pretending to differentiate between Demon Kane and Corporate Kane is stupid (side note, WWE needs to come out with several Kane occupation action figures such as African Safari Kane, Garbage Man Kane, Used Car Salesmen Kane or my favourite Ice Cream Man Kane which plays his theme music with an ice cream truck twist). No the reason this angle sucks is because it defeats the purpose of Seth Rollins as champion.
Allow me to explain what I mean. Seth Rollins is being portrayed as the cowardly heel who is undeserving of being champion (at least that’s what I’m told by others is what he is supposed to be). That is the entire basis of his villainy. We hate him because he’s a slime ball that doesn’t deserve the position he has. Given that, you simply cannot book that guy in a Title Match that nobody wants to see him lose. It defeats the purpose of the character to have the Undeserving Champion defend his championship against The Guy Nobody Wants To Be Champion.
Outside of Ambrose and Lesnar, Seth Rollins hasn’t defended the title against or feuded with anybody that fans got behind as a more deserving challenger, which should be the whole point of his reign. I get why they had him face Cena, but most people didn’t really want Cena to win that match or Rollins lose because they liked what both Cena and Rollins were doing with their respective titles. The Sting rivalry was odd because it came out of nowhere, and while it was a novel idea to have Sting as Champion in WWE, nobody really wanted to see it prolonged and conceded it should probably be quickly switched back to Rollins in the event that he lost it to Sting at Night Of Champions.
I suggested in the early Summer that you give Goldust a shot at the title to main event a Monday Night Raw (a man that never won the world title in the WWE and hasn’t had a singles Chnaionship in WWE for years), which would lead into Cody Rhodes getting a shot at the title. Both legitimate underdogs who deserve recognition that they aren’t getting, thus two picture perfect opponents for Rollins.
Ziggler is a name they could have thrown in the WWE Title picture for Hell In A Cell that would have been better than Kane, especially given that Shawn Michaels segment with Rollins on Raw this week (Ziggler would have fit right in at that Shawn Michaels lecture). Let’s face it, it’s not like Ziggler was doing anything better (see my rant about Ziggler Rusev above). The key to telling great stories with Rollins as Champion should revolve around us wanting to see him beat, and him finding a way to leave us disappointed in the end as a heel. I don’t want to see Kane beat him, which defeats what on paper is a solid story and a good heel champion.
There you have it, but as always I want to know what you think! Am I being too harsh, or is Monday Night Raw currently a narrative nightmare? What should I care about outside of New Day? What exactly was the point of bringing Austin and Flair out to introduce two other people? Wouldn’t it have been better to tell a small self contained story with them that night?
Until next time folks, I’m Matty J. Douglas, hoping that next week things get better for the WWE. Have a great weekend everybody!