by Zach Dominello
Its astonishing how lazy WWE booking and creative can be sometimes. This past Monday’s RAW is a prime example of that laziness. It’s so prime it’s Optimus. The only excuse I can think of is exhaustion from the company’s recent touring schedule and the usual nonstop culture of the WWE system.
But tiredness from tours should mainly affect the performers, and I’m not talking about the performers being lazy here, I’m talking about booking and creative.
Now, I know about being tired. I’ve got a full-time job, a 3 month old son, I write comics and articles in what little free time I have. I get it. But what I don’t do is cut corners in places they shouldn’t be cut.
This weeks RAW included four things that stood out to me on RAW that were just mindboggingly uninspired, lazy, or just straight up offensive to me as a wrestling fan. But, before I get too Negative Nancy, there was also some great stuff on Monday’s show. The Stephanie/Bellas segments were done really well. The Miz of all people, had a great match with Ziggler. BROCK LESNAR! There was a lot to enjoy on the show. Unfortunately, there was also a lot not to enjoy:
Cesaro and Heyman: He came, He Saw, He…Was Let Go
Cesaro came out and announced he’s no longer a Heyman guy. The end. That’s it. Months of storyline dropped, just like that. It’s like creative had a meeting to find out what the most boring way to end a storyline is. If that’s what happened, then well done, Creative. You found it! It was already bad enough that since joining with Heyman, Cesaro’s stock went from an all time high to the lowest it’s ever been during his tenure in the WWE. Instead of ending the storyline with a bang, something to give Cesaro a bit of his fire back. He just shows up, says it’s over, and proceeds to get beaten up by Dean Ambrose.
Let me use this analogy to explain how lame that is. Do you know Die Hard? The greatest Christmas movie ever made. Imagine if Die Hard was a movie where John McClane meets his wife for a Christmas party in Nakatomi Plaza. Then the movie cuts to the ending after all the action is over and John McClane leaves the Plaza in a limo with his wife. And then his wife says she wants a divorce. Sound like a short, crappy movie, right? That’s how the ending of the Cesaro/Heyman felt to me. A crappy ending without one Yippee Ki Yay! The problem with my analogy was that in the movie there actually was a lot of great action before the end, we just didn’t get to see it. Cesaro and Heyman ended without any action at all. That’s the problem. Where’s the action and excitement? Instead of Cesaro telling me it’s over, why aren’t they showing me? You know, with some sort of wrestling based action. Why did months of storyline between two guys end with one of the two guys involved in the story not even present? Lazy.
Emma and Santino: The Cobra Gets Cut Loose
Well, at least WWE actually acknowledged the ending of the Cesaro/Heyman storyline. Emma and Santino’s relationship was completely forgotten about when Emma returned to RAW after her adventure in Walmart. Santino has retired from the ring, but he’s still around. He can still speak. He can still put a snake sock on his arm and mispronounce words. Is a short backstage segment with Emma and Santino deciding to part ways too much to ask for? Is it a time constraint issue? Is there not enough time on a 3-hour RAW, a pre-show, a post-show, SmackDown, Main Event, Superstars, NXT, a 24hr Network, to acknowledge that their storyline is over? Just ten seconds, where Santino can say that he’s uncomfortable being associated with a possible kleptomaniac. Or Emma could say she’s met someone who’s really good at pronouncing words (I was going to say met someone with a bigger Cobra, but I’m better than that, aren’t I?). All I ask is for a little closure.
Rusev vs. Swagger: Or Russia vs. Current Events
This problem errs more on the side of offensiveness rather than laziness, but I’m not going back to change ,y well thought out title of this piece now.
At Battleground, Lana came out, said some controversial things that “shockingly” caused some controversy. Fine. Swagger had a match which ended in Swagger headbutting the ring post and knocking himself out. This lead to Swagger getting counted out and Rusev being declared the winner of the match by count out. BY COUNT OUT. Fine. After the match, Lana ordered Rusev to crush, and crush he did, putting a knocked out Swagger in the Accolade AFTER THE MATCH HAD ALREADY ENDED. Fine.
Come Monday’s RAW, and this is almost word for word what the commentators had to say about the Swagger/Rusev match from Battleground:
“A desperation move, King, by Rusev as he drives Swagger “boom” head first into the steel post. At this point Swagger was knocked unconscious. Completely out. Lights out amidst the USA chants from the Universe. Rusev locked on that hold and Swagger had no choice but to tap out.”
What now? Rusev won what how? Are you telling me that what I saw, one night earlier, was wrong. Are you telling me that my eyes are stupid a##holes that don’t know what they’re seeing?
I don’t think I’ve ever seen this before in pro-wrestling. WWE has literally changed history. They’ve gone back in time and changed the past. WWE is Doc and Marty McFly.
And why? Because they had to get away from the Rusev and Swagger storyline because of the controversy caused from what Lana said about “current events,” and they wanted to quickly put an end to the age old USA VS. Not USA rivalry?
It’s not like what Lana said just slipped out. This is WWE, the most scripted show on TV. If you don’t want controversy, don’t write a controversial line for your character.
Look, I’m in this until the end. I’ve been watching WWE for many years. I’ve seen numerous horrible, racist, tasteless segments and I’ve kept coming back. This isn’t going to turn me off watching their product. But it will turn me off giving a damn about anything that happens on the show ever again (for a few weeks, anyway). Why should I care if my favourite wrestler wins an important match or a title, when the next day they might just decide to act like it never even happened because it doesn’t suit them anymore? And not just act, flat out tell me it didn’t happen. I sincerely hope this is not the start of a new habit for WWE.
Finally, Sandow vs. Bo Dallas. Sandow is a heel. Bo is a heel. Bo was booked like a face against Sandow. Bo is a heel.
My 3 month old can work out the problem here.
WWE, what are you doing? Are you lazy or just an idiot?
Despite the 1000+ words I just wrote, I really do love wrestling, and the WWE. But a part of that love is calling out the aforementioned garbage decisions in the hopes that they don’t happen again.
Share your thoughts with me on twitter @TheKoalaMask.