WWE makes some incredibly whacky decisions. This week, the company highlighted their strange choices by squashing Kurt Angle, giving the Universal Title to a guy who's never around and weakening the reputation of a new tag team.
Raw and SmackDown Live are never perfect. When you add in two pay-per-views in short succession, there are plenty of opportunities for great programming and some obviously poor choices. WWE doesn't get it all right, but for some reason, we tend to focus on the terrible decisions. WWE gave us lots to focus on recently.
Over the past few days, WWE squashed Angle in a match with Drew McIntyre, gave the title to Brock Lesnar over Braun Strowman, handed the Raw tag title to the Authors of Pain in an insane fashion and essentially ignored one of their big attractions at a recent pay-per-view.
The Kurt Angle Squash
Recent developments have revealed that the match between Kurt Angle and Drew McIntyre on Raw this past Monday was actually booked and planned out by Angle and Vince McMahon himself. Let's hope that means there's something coming for Angle because if not, this was an odd way to treat a former great.
Angle challenged Corbin for the captaincy of the Raw Survivor Series team and said he'd been reinvigorated by competing at Crown Jewel (he lost in the first round to Ziggler, by the way) and was proud of being the captain of the winning team at Survivor Series last year (he didn't survive the match). Corbin bailed, McIntyre took his place and Angle wound up losing to his own set of finishing maneuvers.
How Angle, McMahon, and WWE try to convince the fans Angle is worthy of a spot on the team now or can be taken seriously as a competitor moving forward should be interesting to watch. The way he's been booked lately, he's a shadow of his former self.
Brock Lesnar Over Braun Strowman
WWE must be a glutton for punishment when it comes to Brock Lesnar. Either that, or they know something the rest of us don't because it seems clear as day he should not be the Universal Champion, yet he's held the title longer and more times than any other Universal Champion in the title's history. He won it again this past Friday at Crown Jewel.
More baffling is the fact that the circumstances surrounding the event and perhaps giving the title to Braun Strowman made for a perfect storm, yet WWE refused to do so. Is Brock not going back to UFC right away? Does he have more dates with WWE than the last time he was champion? Is Strowman in hot water with WWE? What's going on behind the scenes that would make WWE choose someone who's never on tv over a man who competes regularly and is one of the most popular WWE Superstars in the company?
Authors of Pain Given WWE Titles
To give the Authors of Pain the Raw Tag Team Titles was not necessarily a poor decision. It was the fashion in which the title change took place that should be questioned. By having them defeat Seth Rollins in a virtual handicap match doesn't make them look like a very strong team. That he almost beat them by himself actually makes them look weak.
This is a young and on-the-rise team that needs to be treated like their the next wave of tag team dominance in WWE and giving them their first title run with this kind of an opening can't be good for them. Now, the company will have to book them in a way that allows them to overcome the stigma of only winning because they fought one guy instead of two.
Ignoring The World Cup
It's been argued WWE dropped the ball with the World Cup Tournament at Crown Jewel from the very beginning. Not bringing in Superstars of different backgrounds and nationalities for a tournament to determine the "world's best" is one thing. Then to have Shane McMahon win the trophy was like putting the WCW belt on David Arquette. But, WWE didn't stop there.
On SmackDown the next night, McMahon all but ignored the tournament, only mentioning it in his opening for a few seconds before moving on to discuss Survivor Series. Is WWE not going to mention this again? If nothing else, this would have been a good way to turn McMahon heel and that was the common thought coming out of the Crown Jewel pay-per-view. If you watched SmackDown, it sure doesn't feel like WWE is following through on that idea.