Alex Rants on RAW, March 13, 2017
What worked on this week's episode of RAW and what could've been so much better.
WWE has started to promote WrestleMania as some kind of ‘ultimate thrill ride’. The commercials they’re airing features sound samples of (mostly) excited-sounding kids looking forward to WrestleMania, with the actual rollercoaster ride starting at WrestleMania itself.
So does that mean that the Road to WrestleMania is meant to be that slow climb that gradually leads you up to the top of the coaster before that exciting drop? It sure seems that way, given this week’s episode of RAW.
This is supposed to be the most exciting time of the year for the WWE. The storylines are supposed to be at their finest, the drama is meant to be the most exciting, and the anticipation for WrestleMania should be at a fever pitch.
In reality, RAW is losing to SmackDown in every conceivable way, and a major reason for that was shown in the main event segment of the show.
So without further ado, let the rant begin.
Do you want to know the best way to completely subdue an excited audience? By segueing from a fun, dramatic and memorable promo by Paul Heyman to Stephanie McMahon talking in corporate-speak. This segment served only one purpose: to tell the audience that Stephanie is a smart businesswoman.
Yes, Stephanie, we get it, you’re a businesswoman. But what does this have to with anything else? The language she used was completely deflating and so out-of-place on a wrestling show that it killed the audience’s mood almost instantly.
WWE’s obsession with sounding like a business seems incredibly off-putting. They appear to be trying too hard to sound like evil businesspeople, except they’re going about it the wrong way. Why can’t Stephanie, and to a lesser extent Triple H, talk like ordinary people would in such circumstances?
Why do they have to throw out terms like ‘pay grade’, ‘performance evaluation’ and ‘business’ like they’re being paid to do so? Their language comes off as scripted, phony and superficial.
This is not what the RAW audience tunes in to see. They want wrestling and storylines centred on in-ring action, not semi-active authority figures. But more on them later.
Dana Brooke’s Face Turn
In the next segment, the WWE took us on a trip down memory lane, reminding us fondly of Women’s History Month…by having Dana Brooke lose in less time it would take a person to write these few lines of text.
While Dana did get a brief pop from the audience for breaking away from Charlotte at long last, it’s not going to lead to anything. WWE just did this segment to kill off that storyline allegiance between Charlotte and Dana. They know Charlotte is the bigger star, while Dana won’t even get a chance to score a major win over her former mentor.
So that moment was all for nothing, as Dana is most likely to either go back to NXT or to become lost in the non-Four-Horsewomen shuffle of women’s wrestlers.
If they teased or built up this moment even remotely similarly to how they teased Batista’s departure from Evolution, the moment would’ve had more impact to it. Instead, it happened on a random RAW that no one will remember in a few weeks.
It was clear from the beginning they were trying desperately to fill three hours of time, so they just threw together a random match and post-match beatdown, instead of giving Dana another chance to prove herself. You can see WWE’s priorities right there.