Monday's episode of Raw was interesting, to say the least. With a myriad of changes to the TLC pay-per-view that came the night before, the red brand was going to need to find a way to salvage storylines out of their current roster when a number of the talents couldn't make the show due to illness.
Brock Lesnar showed up to accept Jinder Mahal's challenge and Kane appeared again to discuss his beef with Strowman. Even Kurt Angle thanked fans for making his in-ring return special. But, the highlight of the show had nothing to do with the fallout of TLC. It was a whole new direction as SmackDown Live invaded Raw in an effort to show supremacy heading into the next WWE pay-per-view, Survivor Series.
It was a surprising twist, and viewers watched on to see everything as it unfolded, but it didn't have that same "invasion" quality that it potentially should have. With that in mind, here are Five Reasons The Under Seige Angle Was TERRIBLE.
Since when was Shane McMahon a heel? Realistically, we know he isn't and he's in the midst of a war with Kevin Owens on SmackDown Live, but how exactly does that work now? There was no real way to have McMahon and his roster pool attack Raw and not come off as a bad guy. The whole premise of this feud with Owens is that he's not a bad guy, but Owens is.
Is WWE going to drop the McMahon versus Owens idea for the time being? Are other stories going to stop until Survivor Series is over? No one cheered for SmackDown when they did what they did. It's hard to say if the WWE was hoping for boos or cheers, but it probably shouldn't have ended with Shane-O Mac looking like he's got a personal vendetta against Kurt Angle.
If the brand is going to invaded, it would be nice if most of the key players were involved. The biggest names were The Shield and AJ Styles and the latter literally just wrestled for Raw a couple hours earlier. There was no Owens, Zayn, Orton, or Mahal from SmackDown Live and there was no Braun Strowman, Kane, Brock Lesnar, Roman Reigns, and John Cena from Raw.
SmackDown Live appeared to be led by Rusev who on Tuesdays is about the biggest whipping boy SmackDown has. Where's the logic there? So the guy who can't win a match on the blue brand can lead the roster to systematically wipe out the red brand? It's not logical to include everyone, but the WWE could have at least waited or figured out how to include some of the bigger names. It feels kind of like when a watered down WCW invaded many years ago.
Lost in the melee that was Raw wrestlers crumbling to SmackDown wrestlers were the alliances that were ignored and the small things like numbers being even. Are we really to believe that a group of women from SmackDown Live (Natalya, Becky Lynch, Carmella, and Tamina) could easily dispatch of Bayley, Sasha Banks, Mickie James and Alicia Fox? At the very least, it would have been a fair fight.
Raw put up no real fight at all, and while guys like The Shield looked good by not backing down, it hardly helps their credibility to get destroyed the way they did. There had to be a way to at least take out a few SmackDown Live guys in all of that.
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So, let's get this right. Bobby Roode and Dolph Ziggler hate each other but will fight side-by-side. Or, Chad Gable is still happy for Jason Jordan, but pushes people aside to take the first shot at his former partner? It was odd to see, and while the macro picture makes sense, the micro picture of what's going to happen with these feuds over the next few weeks is going to feel less than believable.
When AJ Styles seems more than keen on taking out his buddies Gallows and Anderson or attacking Finn Balor and The Shield after a match where the respective parties showed a great deal of respect for one another, it's hard to get behind.
This could have been a good idea, but it was done way too early. Survivor Series isn't until No. 19, 2017. That's almost a month that these wrestlers need to co-exist or feud before they can get their hands on one another. Is SmackDown Live going to be a show that just ignores past feuds or pretends like people who just fought alongside one another now hate each other again?
Let the storylines continue on both shows for a while and then as the pay-per-view creeps closer, let them have at each other. The only way this works is if Raw talents and SmackDown Live talents continually invade each other's shows. That's going to get old in a hurry.
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