Tuesday, April 4, 2023

WWE RAW: Cody Is Just Another Loser

Well if Sunday's WrestleMania finish didn't tip you off, last night's RAW sure must have: Vince McMahon is back in charge of WWE.  And WWE is back to sucking.

After months of mostly very compelling, very focused, very engaging television under Triple H's creative leadership (a period that saw WWE become the hottest it's been in many many years) Vince, ever the malignant narcissist, forced his way back in to dump a big rancid bucket of piss on the raging fire Hunter built.  "Yeah I know with Triple H in charge ratings are way up and ticket sales are way up and the crowd is more emotionally invested than they've been in two decades and this WrestleMania drew a metric fuckton of money, but screw all that, I need to be in control."  

I guess Vince doesn't want fans like me to come back.  And man, WWE almost had me this time.  This WrestleMania build, while not perfect across the board, was nonetheless the most promising one in over a decade.  I really, truly cared about seeing these stories culminate at the Show of Shows.  'Mania Night 1 (clearly booked primarily by Paul) turned out to be one of the best 'Mania shows in company history and drew unanimous praise from diehard and casual fans alike.  Night 2 had Vince's greasy fingerprints all over it, and was universally considered inferior.  Imagine being so insecure you can't just let someone else get the big win for the team.  
Worse, last night's RAW episode was right back to pre-resignation-Vince-era twaddle.  Meandering, aimless, nonsensical, and another case of the company just filling time instead of furthering stories.  The show opened with Triple H essentially sucking up to the locker room, the staff and the fans, FOR FIFTEEN MINUTES.  This was dead air.  On the post-Mania RAW.  In what universe does anyone consider that compelling TV?  That transitioned into an interminably long Roman Reigns-Cody Rhodes segment, wherein Cody, the top babyface, whose opponent flagrantly cheated to escape 'Mania with his title, actually told Roman "Last night you were the better competitor."  Umm, what??  So not only does this would-be hero fail to close the deal when it really counts, he's a cuckhold too?  This is the type of character who, after finding out his wife is cheating on him with his best friend, would be like "I'd hate to let a thing like this damage our friendship, Steve."  So then Cody proceeds to politely ask for a rematch, gets told unequivocally no, and then says, ".....Well how about a tag match then?"  Wow, what a forceful self-advocate.  "I got royally screwed in front of the world and everyone knows I beat you and I deserve another shot, but if you're not up for it, ok then...."  So Paul Heyman agrees only if Cody picks someone who had a match at 'Mania, and only if that person agrees never to challenge Roman for the title, ever.  Fortunately one guy in the locker room fits both of those conditions since he lost to Roman at SummerSlam and is thus contractually forbidden from ever challenging him again.  Brock Lesnar volunteers, setting up a huge tag match for the main event.  "Well the way they got to this was stupid and contrived," said I, "but this match piques my interest."  Don't fall in love with the idea, kid....

I'd like to point out that the first (commercial-free, mind you) hour of this show featured two minutes of wrestling.  Two.  Minutes.  Anyone who attended this show deserves a refund.

Elsewhere on the show, Seth Rollins was shown backstage all giddy after his 'Mania win and decided to come out to be with the fans.  They sang his theme song for a couple minutes and then he left.  That was it.  Which on-the-fly revision of the script do you think this segment originated with?  Vince McMahon's brain is like a ping-pong ball.  I question whether he's capable of tying his own shoes.

They teased an eventual Bianca Belair-Rhea Ripley match, which I'm all in favor of.  'Mania 40 perhaps?  The women can steal the show for the fifth consecutive year.

Liv Morgan and Raquel Rodriguez are the new top contenders for the Women's Tag belts, begging the question, if Ronda is still too injured to pursue the belts, why'd they have her win on Sunday?

They set up Rey Mysterio and Bad Bunny vs. Dominik Mysterio and Damian Priest, as expected.

Matt Riddle came back.  Hey, maybe he won't be a total buffoon now.  But with Vince back in charge, probably.

So then the main event took place.  Or didn't, rather.  Vince McMahon, king of the bait-and-switch (Why on earth would you ever steal from Eric Bischoff's playbook?), once again used the advertised main event as a heat-building angle, which undoubtedly will have no logical payoff.  As the match was about to start, Brock attacked Cody, F5ing him all over the place, through a table, on the stairs, etc.  The announcers kept saying "Only Brock knows why he's doing this!" to which I replied, to no one in particular, "No he doesn't.  Even Vince doesn't know why he's doing this."  Considering Brock almost certainly flew home after the show and will not be back next week, there's zero chance this company offers a proper explanation for this angle.  Brock has nothing to gain by attacking Cody.  If anything he should WANT a healthy Cody to unseat Roman for the title so he can challenge for it again.  Wouldn't that have made eminently more sense?  Cody wins the title on Sunday, Brock attacks him on Monday, now free to chase the championship, thus setting up a title match?  None of this shit is difficult, and yet this near-80-year-old consistently does the opposite of what would be logical.  Side note: I'm willing to bet real money that was the original plan to set up Brock vs. Cody and Vince fucked it all up by insisting Roman retain the title on Sunday.

So now you have a top babyface who can't deliver in the clutch, who just got absolutely destroyed by Brock 24 hours later, and a thousand-day champion with no challengers.  Because "So much heat, pal!"  Getting heat on the babyface only works if you eventually pay it off at the climactic moment, dipshit.  Piling on heat day after day without an actual reason for it is just a burial.

It's been said before by wiser folks than myself, but never get emotionally invested in modern WWE programming.  You will only be disappointed.  I've been around for a long time, I should've known better.

I guess with Vince back to "business as usual" I can go back to "ignoring WWE."  It's truly a pity; they really came very close to winning me back this 'Mania season.  Vince could fuck up growing a moustache.  Oh wait.....

Thanks for reading - subscribe to our mailing list, and follow us on Twitter, MeWe, Facebook and YouTube!

No comments:

Post a Comment