Raw and SmackDown have become a bore to watch, let’s face it.
Numbers are sliding downhill faster than Arsenal’s top-four hopes. Vince McMahon must be pulling out what hair he has left in trying to figure out how to stop the rot. There’s zero creativity left, and rehiring Bruce Prichard is not going to change that. Brother Love might be entertaining, but he’s no Vince Russo when it comes to bringing eyeballs to the product. So, what we are going to do each week is help because I know the entire McMahon family are avid readers of TWM. In these weekly articles I will explain what happened on Raw and Smackdown, before discussing what should have been done instead to draw more attention to the shows and give fans something to talk about.
Raw opened with Seth Rollins and AOP explaining their newly formed alliance. Rollins tried to stay on the good side by insisting he’s doing what’s right to make sure people step up on Raw. He came across more of a deluded heel, but that makes the perfect bad guy when they believe what they are saying and doing is right.
The OC knocked off the Raw Tag Team Champions The Viking Raiders in a non-title match, of course. Gallows and Anderson couldn’t beat the Champions with the gold on the line at TLC in a comedy effort, but did so on Raw. Not sure where they’re going with this, but at this point does it even matter? The tag team division is more dead than Manchester City’s title defence.
Erick Rowan defeated another local competitor while the cage sat at ringside. Completely pointless. Sooner the reveal happens the quicker we can all move on. In the worst segment of the evening, Lana asked Bobby Lashley to ask her to marry him. How romantic. He did so, and the wedding is set for tonight’s episode of Raw. So, you have another reason not to tune in.
Following an hour of TV time dedicated to a number one contender’s gauntlet match for the United States Championship which didn’t end decisively, Seth Rollins wiped out the title holder Rey Mysterio to set up a one on one clash between the pair for this evening’s Raw. Should be a corker, but meaningless.
Asuka defeated newcomer Deonna Puruzzo in an exciting contest. Deonna has a bright future. Becky Lynch had a taped interview where she was intense in describing the need to defeat Asuka, something she’s never managed to do. When they do clash it should be lively.
Raw ended with Randy Orton beating AJ Styles in a thrilling main event following a stellar RKO. These guys are pros and can always deliver the goods. It just felt a lacklustre way to end the show. I mean, when was the last time Raw ended with a cliff-hanger? This is a TV show after all.
Here’s How Raw Should Have Been Booked
Seth Rollins should have been gloating with the AOP about their attack on Kevin Owens, only for KO to channel his inner Stone Cold Steve Austin and invade the ring on a truck, drenching the trio in some kind of liquid. It would make the new faction look like fools but in a good way. It’s how Owens would respond, and gives the audience something memorable to watch and talk about.
To get their heat back, I’d have AOP refuse to leave the ring and issue an open challenge, to which The Viking Raiders would accept. With help from Rollins, AOP would emerge victorious and leave as the new Raw Tag Team Champions.
I’d have Erick Rowan beat Cedric Alexander, only for Aleister Black to show up and reveal what’s hiding in the cage – a mannequin head of Black. As far as Lana and Bobby Lashley go, I’d want this to end as quickly as possible. So I’d have Rusev interrupt the romantic segment to challenge Lashley to one final battle next week on Raw. If Lashley wins, Rusev will quit WWE. If Rusev wins, Lana and Lashley will never be seen in WWE again.
Rather than an hour Gauntlet match, I’d have Drew McIntyre defeat Ricochet and Andrade in a Triple Threat bout to set up a United States Championship match with Rey Mysterio. I’d have that match take place there and then, with McIntyre taking home the gold and ending the year on a high.
I’d have had Asuka beat Charlotte in a lengthy contest before Becky Lynch lays down the challenge to her for the Royal Rumble. In the main event, I’d have AJ Styles overcome Randy Orton, only for Seth Rollins and AOP to lay out both men. The night would end with Stephanie McMahon emerging on stage to promise a monumental announcement next week on Raw that will change the face of WWE forever.
SmackDown opened with King Corbin gloating over his TLC win over Roman Reigns before he and Dolph Ziggler attacked Daniel Bryan and The Miz to set up the night’s main event. How very original. Elsewhere, Heavy Machinery knocked off The Revival in a Miracle Om 34th Street Fight because it’s that time of year to make fools of your roster.
Carmella beat the criminally underutilised Sonya Deville, while The New Day pinned Shinsuke Nakamura and Cesaro in a decent tag team outing. Bayley continued to look strong with a win over Dana Brooke, while Lacey Evans and Sasha Banks fought to a double count-out in a bout where Lacey’s daughter was the star of the show.
In the main event, the odd pairing of Daniel Bryan and The Miz overcame Corbin and Ziggler. No sign of Roman Reigns, but we did get a cameo from The Fiend after it was announced that Bryan, Miz and Corbin would clash next week in a Triple Threat Match to determine Bray Wyatt’s Royal Rumble challenger for the Universal Championship.
Here’s How SmackDown Should Have Been Booked
I’d have had a pissed off Roman Reigns start the show, demanding King Corbin come fight him after what went down at TLC. Instead, Corbin would send down his security team and Dolph Ziggler, who would get destroyed by The Big Dog, while Corbin high tails it out of the arena.
I’d have The Revival defeat Heavy Machinery thanks to cheap tactics to stay relevant. I’d have them attack Booker T backstage, further teasing a showdown with Harlem Heat. Sonya Deville would lose to Carmella due to Mandy Rose inadvertently distracting her. Rose would try to apologise, but I’d have Deville snap only for Mandy to shock her with a kiss.
Up next, I’d have Kofi Kingston defeat Shinsuke Nakamura to become the new Intercontinental Champion and redeem himself somewhat for losing the WWE Championship in such short fashion. Lacey Evans and Dana Brooke would then beat Bayley and Sasha Banks after The Boss walked out leaving Bayley on her own. I’d then have Sasha target Lacey’s young daughter and make her cry with hurtful comments.
On a heated episode of Miz TV, I’d have Miz and Daniel Bryan discuss their history before having Miz thank Daniel for coming to his aid at TLC. The Fiend would then emerge to lay out both men as the show ends with him manically laughing.
You can find the author of this article on Twitter @JK_CFC3. Thanks for reading!