Hey everyone. I’m back again with another column on the happenings in pro wrestling. For the last few months, Raw has not been setting the world on fire. Storylines feel a little stale and it seems like WWE’s on autopilot until the Royal Rumble. We have a ton of one dimensional characters feuding over and over again without any real conclusions. This makes everything feel like there’s no real sense to anything.

It seems that Kane is not the only one that had a personality disorder as Stephanie seems to go from heel to face at the drop of a hat. This past Monday in Boston she seemed to be at odds with Seth Rollins the whole night as she puts the WWE World Heavyweight Champion in a match with a Demon at Hell in a Cell where Corporate Kane is also on the line. Wasn’t The Authority trying to help Rollins the week before try to get Kane dismissed? And if they are really in charge can’t they put him on sabbatical or give them another vacation?  I understand why you want Kane in the main event this time of year but it really makes you wonder.

Stephanie was also against The New Day on Monday putting them in a match with the Dudley Boyz. Funny because Triple H and McMahon were dancing with the trio. Suddenly The Billion-Dollar Princess has an issue with New Day’s tactics at MSG when they did the same thing at Night of Champions? It just doesn’t make any sense.

You really need to establish where the authority figures lie in this whole situation because it really takes away from storylines. Motivation and character intent are important to make you feel for them. Instead it makes you just scratch your head.

It seems like the squash match was back as Kevin Owens battled Sin Cara. I like the use of the preshow to establish matches but it seems like a throw away use of the Intercontinental Championship. Same thing with Sheamus battling Neville, I know you can’t have everyone focus on the same week. But WWE has to be very careful to start to establish some new talent in prominent spots.

Overall, Raw itself had no real direction. The brought in Brock to bump up the rating but didn’t really utilize him in an interesting way. I get promoting Hell in a Cell and Heyman did his job well I just think it was wasted by WWE creative. Although, Paul Heyman always does great work no matter the situation he was given. Lesnar is still character that has an aura about him and WWE has to be careful in the future not to make The Beast Incarnate feel like a special attraction.

The momentum that Paige had a few weeks ago with a promo against Becky and Charlotte seem to be all but gone as the English diva lost clean to the Queen of the Dungeon. While I’m happy for Natalya. It definitely feels like this was another week where the Revolution was not being televised. Truth be told the main storyline between Team Bad and Team Bella was better given that Sasha was given a showcase in her hometown. That’s usually not the case but it seems like she’s on the outside looking in when it comes to the title picture. She has been the one constant in this whole movement that has been booked strongly. WWE hopefully will make a three-way for Hell in a Cell and capitalize on that momentum. The Bella-Charlotte dynamic doesn’t seem to have that bite to make you want to see it again.

It’s one of those things that WWE doesn’t realize connect because you have not laid the proper groundwork to make the audience really care. Look at the Summer Rae proposal segment. While I appreciate them trying to move the battled Bulgarian brute in a new direction away from Dolph and Lana. The segment fell flat as it was just characters who had no momentum and no foil try to go out there and sell their love. And it came off lackluster. When Edge and Vickie Guerrero did the same thing they had the crowd in the palm of their hands. All WWE did here is put those talent in the position to fail. I assume this will lead to a reuniting of Lana and Rusev. Dolph seems to be away from them for the time being and is probably the best thing for him as there’s nothing left to do with the two of them.

 

The shining stuff coming out of Monday is without a doubt the New Day once again. And this time it’s not for the comedy but for the darker side the characters took. It showed when push comes to shove they can be serious threats. It really makes you wonder is Xavier Woods going to be the guy to take the US title from John Cena. As the WWE poster boy takes a sabbatical for a few months who will wear the Stars & Stripes?

Roman Reigns also shared a fire heading into his first Hell in a Cell I’m very interested to see what happens I almost see a three on three war happening before it’s all said and done.

The irony of Monday night is that WWE Network showed a behind-the-scenes look at NXT Takeover: Brooklyn. This one hour special showed the heart and soul of these young performers taking pride in the work and enjoying their new fan base. The differences between the two products are night and day. Mainly because you feel for these competitors in their journeys. Hearing Bayley and Sasha talk about their dream for women’s wrestling and then seeing the match they put on. It makes you feel something beyond ordinary storyline. UFC does this before fights and it really makes you understand what those competitors are fighting for. It makes you invested in the characters and WWE proper needs to learn that lesson. If you continue to be superficial with your storyline, viewership will be superficial.

 

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 PWpop.com.