Two days removed from the overall debacle that was Super Showdown, WWE seeked to correct course with this week’s edition of Monday Night Raw.
Oddly enough, creative seemingly accomplished this because last night’s Raw was almost watchable. Honestly, this show was nothing to write home about, but it certainly was a noticeable deviation from what we’ve grown used to seeing from World Wrestling Entertainment. Fortunately for me, a half decent Raw means that my weekly task becomes somewhat easier. My weekly task, as always, is giving you fine readers five things we’ve learned from Monday Night Raw. So, without further stalling, let’s jump right into it!
1. Baron Corbin Is Heel Gold
As of late, anytime I see Baron Corbin’s name mentioned on social media, it is almost immediately followed by dozens of comments about how hated Baron is. In my opinion, some of the younger fanbase are forgetting that getting that reaction means that Corbin isn’t just doing his job, he’s doing it very well. This couldn’t have been more apparent than when Baron made his appearance during tonight’s opening segment. Corbin’s presence was met with a tsunami sized wave of boos from the crowd, resulting in him having to pause several times during his promo to address the fans’ displeasure. A negative pop like this only proves that Corbin is one of the best heels working for WWE currently. So, next time you hear someone complain about Corbin’s current push, remind them that it wouldn’t be happening if they didn’t hate him so much.
2. They Are Looking To Make The U.S. Title Great Again
After weeks of mediocre, botch/injury laden matches between ring veterans Samoa Joe and Rey Mysterio, it would appear that WWE has remembered what the purpose of a mid-card title actually is! Championships like the Intercontinental and United States were created to give non-main event talent a goal to pursue, while also showcasing the superstars lucky enough to capture these belts in the hope of propelling them to the main event level. Tonight’s MizTV segment saw five competitors throw their names into contention for Samoa Joe’s United States title. Now, it’s fairly obvious that The Miz will be the next challenger for Joe, but that doesn’t make it any less refreshing to see talent the likes of Braun Strowman and Ricochet acknowledging possible future runs for the U.S. Championship. Hopefully this is a sign of WWE starting to put more focus on what may have been considered lesser titles by creative.
3. The 24/7 and Women’s Tag Titles Are Still There
Speaking of lesser titles, it wouldn’t be Monday Night Raw without WWE having to remind us that their newest championships still exist. Staying in the same vein as the last subject we highlighted on this list, it has become extremely apparent that WWE has forgotten that the legitimacy of a championship depends on the attention it’s given. Both the 24/7 Title and Women’s Tag Team Championship are shining examples of this rule not being followed properly. The 24/7 Championship has been the subject of countless vignettes, the result being the realization that the 24/7 stipulation is more of a joke than it is entertaining. On the other hand, the Women’s Tag Team Titles have been so poorly promoted that I honestly forgot they were a thing until I saw the IIconics sporting them to the ring last night. I’m not usually one to harp about a wrestling company having too many titles, but it’s becoming very clear that WWE needs to either start highlighting these belts correctly, or trim the championship fat.
4. Raw Superstars Getting SmackDown Title Shots Is Silly
Well, only WWE could bury an entire division with a single match. In yet another asinine utilization of the company’s new Wild Card rule, Stomping Grounds will see Smackdown Women’s Champion Bayley defend her title against Raw Superstar Alexa Bliss. How is this not supposed to make the Smackdown Women’s division look unqualified? Sure, creative could’ve used this opportunity to push someone like Ember Moon, or even given us a Money in the Back rematch between Charlotte and Bayley, but screw that! Alexa’s been cleared and she needs a title match! They even built to this on RAW with a tag team match, revolving around three RAW women’s superstars. It’s hard to not think WWE sees Smackdown as the inferior brand with booking like this.
5. We Might Be Going A Bit More Attitude Era
In recent weeks there have been several rumors that WWE are planning a return to their Attitude Era style. Tonight seemed to add a small amount of credence to these rumors. Both Drew McIntyre and Paul Heyman delivered promos heavily focused on violence, with the latter even blatantly mentioning going against the PG Era. Now, it’s easy to think that these promos could be explained as both men seeking intensity in their respective spots, but also taking Seth Rollins sudden continued use of a steel chair into the equation, a return to the more adult-oriented programming certainly doesn’t seem out of the question. Returning to the Attitude Era style definitely could be the key to WWE holding onto their top wrestling company position, but for now we’ll have to wait and see if this is just wishful thinking on the fan’s part or WWE finally going “All In”.
And there we have it, folks! A better than usual Monday Night Raw and five things we learned from it. Hopefully a slightly better show is a sign of things starting to change for the WWE, but in wrestling, no one can ever predict what the future holds. Until next time, may all your kicks be super, and every frog splash five stars.
You can find the author of this article on Twitter @DirtSheetDandy. Thanks for reading!