Sometimes a WWE show runs like a well-oiled machine. That was not the case on Monday, January 8th as the WWE put on one of the most awkward episodes of Raw in recent memory.
From the moment the first words were uttered to open the first segment of the show, to the main event, there wasn’t a moment in the show — even when some talent hit home runs — that this week’s episode didn’t appear poorly written, poorly delivered and often thrown together.
The Shield Meets Balor Club Opening Segment
Let’s start this off by suggesting the WWE Universe should be excited to see WWE doing something useful with Finn Balor and The Good Brothers. Reuniting “The Balor Club” is fantastic news and while the name may not be the most creative, fans should be confident these three will make the most of their opportunity, take the ball and run with it.
Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for the Shield as their reunion is dying a slow and painfully awkward death. Roman is back to being booed, the partnership of Jason Jordan and Seth Rollins is just not working and all three parties fumbled through the poorly-written material in a segment that felt like no one really knew what was supposed to happen.
Brock Lesnar and Kane Segment Explained While Abandoning Live Audience
It was obvious to everyone that the segment between Kane and Brock Lesnar wasn’t well delivered last week. It was full of poorly-timed moments, less than believable anger and the entrance of a variety of WWE Superstars who were somehow on site before the action even began.
In an effort to try and explain the bad storytelling away, the Raw announce took minutes to explain the segment, made excuses for why the wrestlers were there so soon, how the timing of the contact between Lesnar and Kane felt off and then the announce team moved awkwardly onto other topics, literally abandoning the live crowd.
“Extremely” Awkward Hardy and Wyatt Laugh-Off
Matt Hardy saw his first in-ring action as a wrestler since being “Woken” and it was anything but smooth. First, he got a new theme and while the WWE Universe can argue over whether it’s a good theme or not, the fact that the WWE didn’t even take the time to make a new promo video for Hardy and he walked to the ring with his old “Team Extreme’ graphics suggested to everyone that the technical and visual graphics team simply didn’t have time.
Then, after he defeated Curt Hawkins in a squash match, viewers were treated to (sense the sarcasm) a laugh-off between Bray Wyatt and Matt Hardy that was pointless, strange and more than terribly unproductive for either competitor.
Miztourage Odd Moments
The Miz returned! This is good news. He even delivered a believable promo that reminded fans he was one of the company’s best talkers. The problem was, it took a couple of awkward moments to get to that point.
First, he was introduced by Elias and a fairly awful musical performance. Not awful in the sense that it was meant to be, but awful in that it was awkwardly delivered and felt extremely out of place. Second, the Miztourage spent a couple minutes figuratively kissing the Miz’s butt and taking off their own belongings to shower the Miz with gifts. Why?
Enzo Cut and Injury Angle
Enzo Amore was back after falling ill last week. He was scheduled to take on Cedric Alexander in a match for the Cruiserweight Title. Somehow, he got cut during the contest and the referee wasn’t able to help him despite the WWE’s policy of stopping the match to attend to the blood. Then, in a surprising twist, WWE played up an injury angle to get Enzo out of the match.
Asuka Versus Nia Jax
— WWE (@WWE) January 9, 2018
One has to wonder if the WWE was purposely keeping Nia Jax and Asuka away from each other, why would they decide to abandon that plan two weeks before the Royal Rumble when they could have run through the women in the Rumble to find themselves facing off in a memorable Rumble moment.
Instead, WWE fans will now see Asuka and Nia Jax meet up in a match next week.
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