Monday Night Raw is in the books for another week. Raw is building towards Fastlane, the last stop in the road before Wrestlemania. How did the show fare?
Roman Reigns faced off against Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson in a handicap match. You would think that the WWE Tag Team Champions would find a way to finish off Roman Reigns easily and in quick order yet they ended up winning the match by DQ after Roman took a chair from Luke Gallows and hit him with it. Why have Anderson and Gallows be your Tag Team Champions and yet go out of your way to make them look weak? I get that not everyone is going to win each and every week but you would think that during a handicap match of all things, the Tag Team Champs would find a way to easily handle one person. Having Roman Reigns keep up with two people at one time did more to hurt Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson than it did to make Roman look like a badass.
The WWE has a pretty bad history when it comes to their lower level titles. When it comes to character development or elevation of important props like the championship belts, they seem to only find time to make sure the only dominant talent are the ones holding or chasing the World Championship. Whether it be the Intercontinental Championship, the Tag Team Championship, they seem to find reason after reason to throw those champions to the wolves, sacrificing their credibility and the credibility of the championship itself to make one person look strong and dominant. Again, WWE Superstars will lose matches every now and then. I get that and am not arguing that we never let a champion lose. What needs to happen though is a renewed focus on making the lower tiered champions credible again. Take the Intercontinental Championship. Where would Randy Savage, Mr. Perfect, Steve Austin, The Rock, Triple H, and others have been without having an extended run with that title? The moment you make that champion look foolish by losing a match quickly or winning by the skin of their teeth, you make that superstar look bad and you lose any credibility the title had up to that point.
Bayley had an in ring segment with Stephanie McMahon. Steph rightly accused Bayley of relying upon Sasha Banks for winning the Raw Women’s Championship and asked her to relinquish the title. Bayley declined.
What a stupid mistake. Why take a character that is supposed to be good, a hugger, someone who plays by the rules and have her gleefully keep the championship in less than an honorable way? You can throw the shades of gray argument at me till you turn blue in the face. You can’t have a good guy character be happy with attaining a championship in less than an honorable way unless there is a specific reason for it to happen. I think back to the main event of Wrestlemania 4 where Hulk Hogan hit Ted DiBiase with a chair allowing Randy Savage to hit the flying elbow to win the WWE Championship. Hogan broke a rule doing it. He did something bad guys had done for years. But that chair shot helped start the eventual feud between Hogan and Savage which culminated the next year at Wrestlemania 5. I may end up changing my tune about Bayley choosing to keep the championship. If they have a logical story line reason for it, I’ll accept it. But as of now, it was stupid letting her keep the championship under such circumstances.
Overall, there was a lot to like about this show but the WWE keeps making little mistakes that hurt the credibility of their superstars. Based on interviews I’ve heard from former WWE Creative Writers, it appears that certain people, i.e. Vince McMahon, could really care less about long term continuity of their shows. I find that highly disappointing. The best moments in WWE history have occurred when they did care about continuity. Take the Hogan vs Savage example from earlier. Take the angle that got Vince McMahon a son in law, his feud with Triple H. When the WWE focuses on continuity, good things happen. Fans become more invested in the stories. For now, the show is kind of dragging at a time when things should be building to a peak.