I wish I could explain.
I wish I could explain why Braun Strowman suddenly decided to team with Drew Mcintyre and Dolph Ziggler. Why Shawn Michaels and The Undertaker seem to be on a collision course for another match despite both currently, or soon entering, retirement. Perhaps most importantly, I wish I could explain some sort of reason why Kevin Owens ended his retirement after a week to help the person who pushed him to call it quits.
I wish I had all the answers to those questions. Sadly though, I don’t.
This past week’s Monday Night Raw was the most scatterbrained episode of WWE television in quite some time. Nothing made sense. Basic logic and storytelling techniques were thrown out the window.
It was as if WWE forgot how to book a wrestling show that makes sense.
Rewind to a couple of decades ago and people were saying the same thing about a different wrestling company. WCW was in the midst of an utter collapse of common sense.
Goldberg, the most popular wrestler on the roster, lost his undefeated streak due to a taser attack. The NWO had ballooned to an unreasonable size before fracturing into infighting subfactions that struggled to capture the fan’s support. Decades-old superstars like Hulk Hogan and Ric Flair were pushing promising young talent out of storylines and TV tine.
All those instances of storytelling ineptitude became the catalyst for WCW’s eventual downfall.
The funny thing is, Monday Night Raw mirrored all those angles in one way or another.
Replace Hogan and Flair with Michaels and Undertaker and you have the same story of old talent pushing aside the development of budding stars in the fight for TV time. The attack on The Shield at the conclusion of Raw mirrored the same scattered storylines of warring NWO factions back in the day. Goldberg’s undefeated streak, a storyline poised for an amazing payoff, ended without the epic conclusion people expected much like Kevin Owens brief retirement.
Does this mean Monday Night Raw will go the way of late 90’s Monday Night Nitro? There’s no chance in hell as a certain Chairman Of The Board would say. WWE isn’t facing competition with the same amount of organized support as they threw at WCW in the late 90’s and early 2000’s.
However, that doesn’t mean WWE can allow itself to continue on this wild course of poor execution.
The die hard wrestling fans out there will only pay so much money to go to wrestling shows. A recent report from this past week’s Smackdown seems to show the proof in that statement. The live attendance in Detroit was far from the sellout WWE tends to expect and cherish.
It just goes to show that eventually more and more of the fans who fill out arenas during off-times for WWE will take their wrestling money, so to speak, and spend it on shows like All In, Ring Of Honor tapings, or any number of other high level independent wrestling events. That’s not to say those shows are even in direct competition with WWE, rather fans will just naturally flock towards the brands pumping out the better product.
That means WWE needs to shape up its act. Although WWE is far from going the way of WCW, the tale of the company with sloppy storylines and lackluster booking in the war for fans’ attention has an ending even an episode of Monday Night Raw could explain.