What is the only logical follow up to “kicking ass and taking names”? Monday Night Raw, of course.
Twenty-four hours removed from the company debuting their newest pay per view, WWE pushed forward with a Raw full of build up for the next upcoming event, Extreme Rules. Matches were made, feats of strength were had, and a certain “funhouse” was suspiciously absent (or was it?).
Ladies and gentleman, my weekly task is to give you fine readers five things we learned from Monday Night Raw, although WWE’s current programming certainly makes that troublesome more often than not. Nevertheless, it’s time once again for us to jump right into what we’ve learned.
1. Rollins/Lynch = Work/Shoot
It’s common knowledge that if WWE chooses to embrace something the fans love outside of the kayfabe world, it’s only a matter of time before it becomes part of the kayfabe world. The most recent example of this seems to be the real life relationship of Seth Rollins and Becky Lynch. It was, after all, WWE that broke the news that Rollins and Lynch were officially an item, resulting in a communal “Awww” from many of the online wrestling communities. A reaction like that is all it takes for WWE to start seeing dollar signs. Lo and behold, now we have Becky and Lacey Evans getting involved in Seth’s Stomping Grounds match, leading to last night’s announcement of a Winners Take All Mixed Tag Match between Corbin/Evans and Rollins/Lynch at Extreme Rules. Sure, it’ll probably be a decent match, and mixed tag matches for titles are rare, but it’s difficult to not think the only reason we’re getting it is because superstars on the level of Seth and Becky are actually dating.
2. No One Wants To See A Tug O’ War
It has been quite some time since we’ve seen classic “Feats of Strength” promos in WWE. A trope harkening back to the early carnival days of pro wrestling, feats of strength were utilized to sell wrestlers as above average humans capable of astounding things most people would find impossible. In our modern age, these kind of visual presentations are used to usually get talent that may not be ring ready over before actually participating in matches. With that in mind, why are we seeing talent the calibre of Braun Strowman and Bobby Lashley involved in arm wrestling and tug o’ war contests? Lashley is a multi time World Champion in several promotions, and Strowman has sat at the top of the WWE food chain pretty much since his singles debut. Are we supposed to believe either of these men aren’t capable of putting on a fairly great match? It’s certainly starting to feel like our intelligence is being insulted with this angle.
3. The State of The Club Is In Question
If the country of Japan recieved royalties for every time they were mentioned on American television, WWE would owe a hefty fee for the last few weeks. Now, I’ll never complain about Gallows and Anderson being featured prominently on Raw, but it certainly feels like this growing intensity angle between them and longtime friend AJ Styles is only being featured to build hyper for the upcoming WWE show in Japan’s Sumo Hall. However, focusing on a storyline for what is essentially a house show that may or may not end up on the network seems suspicious. Hopefully the Japan show will only serve to further what seems to a very interesting storyline.
4. The Funhouse Has Been Freed
I’m positive I’m not the only person who was disappointed by the suspicious lack of a Firefly Funhouse vignette tonight, but the keen-eyed viewer would’ve noticed that Raw definitely wasn’t completely Funhouse free. Two unrelated spots from tonight’s show featured Easter egg like appearances of two of Bray’s Firefly characters. A precommercial shot of The Miz making his way to the ring saw Abby the Witch pop out from a side wall, and later Mercy the Buzzard could be seen sat behind Kofi Kingston while he stuffed pancakes into his tights. The smart bet is that WWE creative is trying to keep the Funhouse fresh in our minds without risking a full segment coming across as stale, but it is odd that this is the first time we’ve seen these characters outside of Bray’s new environment. And that’s not even taking the commentators lack of a reaction into effect! The plot around this gimmick definitely seems to be thickening.
5. Even a New Day Can End
Since the beginning of “KofiMania”, I’ve fully believed that Kofi becoming WWE Champion would serve as the seed of the destruction of the New Day. Xavier Woods and Big E were instrumental in Kofi defeating Daniel Bryan at Wrestlemania, and nearly every person Kofi has faced since then has made a point of reminding us of this fact. Tonight saw Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn as the newest spokesmen for this idea. This kind of heavy emphasis on Kofi appearing to rely on his teammates can only mean that an implosion of the New Day is in our inevitable future. It’s only a matter of a time before Woods or Big E start believing what all these challengers keep saying and decide it’s time to see if Kofi truly is champion solely because of the team.
There you have it, folks! Five things we’ve learned from this week’s edition of Monday Night Raw. It’s safe to say that things are only going to get more interesting as we move closer to Extreme Rules.
So, with this week in our rearview and another Raw only six days away, 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