Five minutes 15 seconds. WWE wanted to make sure you remember that time. Five minutes 15 seconds. For those of you who did not watch Raw from Pittsburgh, that’s the amount of time and that Roman Reigns held the WWE World Heavyweight Title at Survivor Series. WWE did their damnedest to get that number is synonymous in your head with digits from the past. Particularly when the World Heavyweight Champion Sheamus had a Steve Austin parody T-shirt with 5:15 on the front in the main event. The funny thing is the only numbers I can remember are 180 and 605.

Why 180 and 605 you may ask? Well, the answer is quite simple. 180 minutes is the amount of time it takes someone to watch an episode of Monday Night Raw live as it happens. And 605 because It reminds me of how far we’ve gotten away from the old school way of doing things. 6:05 was synonymous with wrestling action for many years on TBS and now with NWA World Championship Wrestling on WWE Network. Going back and watching those old episodes further shows that the genre of sports entertainment has veered away from what made the wheel go around. Sure to the modern fan these episodes are filled with squash matches that don’t really have a lot of good action. But at least they have characters that were strongly portrayed and you felt like there was real conflict between everyone involved. The problem is WWE these days feels like a parody of itself. The in ring action is much stronger then at the NWA counterpart but they miss the key elements to storytelling to really make compelling television these days. Don’t get me wrong they have the talent it’s there but they don’t utilize anyone in a position where they can be seen as top talent beyond past names.

Case in point, the show opens up with The New Day celebrating Sheamus’ WWE title win. If you been following the WWE product since Survivor Series, then you may be scratching your head. The Tag Team Champions left the Celtic Warrior high and dry at Survivor Series Survivor Series causing him to lose their traditional Survivor match. So you would think the WWE Champion might bring this up during the segment? He doesn’t. Instead, you have Sheamus dancing around like a damn fool blissfully unaware that Roman Reigns was sneaking up behind him hitting a Superman punch and stealing the title. If this was Sheamus from seven years ago, he would’ve taken the heads off of New Day with a Brogue Kick or two. Showing how much badass he really is. Many could’ve had a stare down between Champion and Challenger with the two of them going back and forth. Instead going backstage we see Roman gleefully get back the title and be told that he will get a title shot later on in the night but with the stipulation in place that he must win in under five minutes 15 seconds. This is fine for a story I guess. They did a lot of timed challenges in the past in multiple different territories. The problem is they added in caveats for Dean Ambrose and the Usos title opportunities. These stipulations and the match placement on the show dictated that this was not the main event, foreshadowing what was to come. Add this with a really lackluster Miz TV and the opening hour of Monday Night Raw was nothing to write home about.

The first hour did close with something decent. A promo from Bully Ray talking about the feud with the Wyatt Family. He brings out tables with the names of all the Wyatt Family. This is very similar to the angle then Bully Ray did with Dixie Carter’s contingent in TNA. The only problem is he already put the main patriarch to the table at the end of the segment. Of course, that was not the main focus as Tommy Dreamer returned to help his extreme cohorts against The Wyatt Family. That without a doubt got a big reaction from the live crowd. Probably best of the night. Now I could nitpick and say that Tommy coming through the crowd made it looks a little weird that the Wyatts were just standing there and not attacking. But I’m actually going to let that go in favor of arguing another point. I love Tommy Dreamer but it’s relying on past nostalgia without truly focusing on making Bray and company stronger stars. A theme we’ve been seeing a light of in the last few years. Not saying Tommy does not deserve a paycheck. Just saying it seems like the Wyatts are getting the shaft yet again.

Those were not my only griping points, you had Dolph go over Breeze pretty easily. Team Bad take-out Brie Bella and Alicia Fox in a weird heel versus heel matchup. Adam Rose debuts a weird gossip segment. And Charlotte takes a page of her father’s playbook against her best friend Becky Lynch out of nowhere. The one that bugs me the most out of all this is probably Charlotte and Becky Lynch. Now I guess you could argue that Paige saying what she said a few weeks prior about The Divas Champion’s family lit a fire under the female Flair. That’s all well and good it just came out of nowhere. They had Paige saying that she knew the real Charlotte but beyond that they generally focus on The Champion that much. If there was just one backstage segment with Charlotte feeling conflicted about advice her father gave of doing whatever she had to. Or something to connect the dots for the main audience it would be better. So I guess Becky is the only baby face in the divas division now?

Oh I guess the final thing I really want to talk about is the new faction The League of Nations. For those who don’t know your history. The League of Nations was an international organization established after World War I to deal with affairs and disputes. It’s similar to NATO or the UN now. Countries coming together to broker peace and tranquility. That being said the faction probably work as well as the original organization it is named after.

I don’t have a problem with Sheamus having a faction. It’s fine. It’s actually a story line from the WWE videogame a few years back where Sheamus, William Regal, Drew McIntyre and Wade Barrett all formed the European Union. In the game, this contingent had all the championships and even brought back European title to show their dominance over WWE.

However, The League of Nations haven’t really been portrayed in the strongest fashion since coming together. Look at this episode alone. Rusev walks out of a match with Ryback to tend to Lana, Alberto after defeating Goldust runs from Jack Swagger. Sheamus needs help surviving five minutes With Roman Reigns and Wade Barrett is well, Wade Barrett. Not exactly striking fear in the hearts and minds of those in the WWE Universe. And having Sheamus played up for jokes isn’t exactly helping matters. This of course goes without mentioning the obvious problems with the group. Everyone except for Wade Barrett should hate Sheamus. Alberto had a six-month feud with the Ginger giant in which one of ADR’s cars was destroyed. The Bulgarian Brute should really dislike Sheamus from the run-ins at the WWE at MSG show and other tagging encounters they’ve had in the last few months.

I know WWE is trying to make the best out of a bad situation. But anyone thinking The League of Nations is going to be a dominant group might be mistaken. Again I point back to NWA World Championship Wrestling look at those episodes where Dusty’s friends battle The Four Horsemen both sides look strong showing off their best efforts. In 2015, WWE really is not doing that. When the two NWA factions clash it felt like superpowers going to war. This feels like kids playing Super Friends in the backyard.

The interesting thing to me is there was no Kevin Owens on the episode. Are they keeping him on the main storyline for a reason? Was it a Triple H call? I honestly think it was. While WWE may want you to remember five minutes 15 seconds. Triple H doesn’t want to remember that Kevin Owens was a part of any of this. Honestly, other than a few segments there was nothing really worth watching and that’s a shame. But when you don’t reward a long time viewer and don’t really have nuanced storytelling that will happen. The thing WWE now has be cognizant of is the more subscribers you get the more there will be a contingent of fans watching the old content and realizing how lackluster today’s storytelling is. I never want to be one of those old guys this is the modern product is terrible. But it’s starting to even get to that point with me where there are glaring holes in everything they do. But they don’t seem to care. And don’t expect you to care about anything but the story they’re trying to tell you at that very moment. And for some fans I guess that’ll be fine. They want to escape from their everyday lives for just three hours. That’s cool. But you should want the diehard fans be happy as well. You shouldn’t treat your audience like their stupid. You should talk to your audience not down to the lowest common denominator.

About The Author

Dan is host of Shooting from the Hip which you can hear every Sunday at 8pm EST, 7pm CST right here on