Albert Einstein once defined insanity as: ‘‘Doing the same thing over and over again, and expecting different results’’, no quote better phrases my emotions than what one of the most famous individuals in history had to say about that phrase after the events of RAW this past week.
Roughly two weeks ago I wrote an article pitching a simple plan for SummerSlam following the recent Extreme Rules event that WWE put on in Philadelphia. In this article I proposed a simple concept, a triple threat match at ‘The Biggest Party of the Summer’ involving Bobby Lashley as opposed to a rehash of the same old Brock Lesnar vs Roman Reigns formula that fans clearly don’t want to witness again, at least judging by the vast majority.
What I proposed would be a match at Extreme Rules and follow-up that would benefit everyone involved, whether that be Lesnar, Reigns or Lashley and would have everyone serve a purpose to the storyline at hand, give the returning Lashley more momentum & give the Universal Title the best chance of not ending in an absolute car crash, like the one we witnessed at WrestleMania earlier this year.
I’m now sitting here, roughly 5 days removed from the Extreme Rules rematch on Monday night between Roman Reigns & Bobby Lashley on RAW thinking, what was the point?
No seriously, what was the point of the events that just unfolded?
Whenever I seem to write an article these days it primarily bases around the booking of the current WWE product and the mistakes I feel they make on a weekly basis, especially when we look at RAW as opposed to its competition both inside & outside the realm of WWE. In no way do I intend to come across as repetitive or like a prototypical online troll that is out to get Roman Reigns head on a pike, because I genuinely respect him as an athlete and will defend him against any fan who thinks the man can’t go in a professional wrestling ring.
My quarrel with this past week on RAW was simple, what was the intention?
Monday Night confused me beyond belief because I simply didn’t understand what purpose the main event served to anyone who’s followed the product since WrestleMania, regardless of if you’re a fan or the superstars themselves. We once again had Roman Reigns overcome the competition set-up in front of him, adding yet another name to his already impressive list of defeats in his career thus far but beyond that I felt underwhelmed and just uninterested. To their credit, both Reigns & Lashley delivered a really solid outing in the main event, much like their initial encounter two weeks ago, the match really hit its stride in the 2nd half and gave the fans some great action but ended in a similar fashion to the Extreme Rules encounter only with the winners reversed.
That is where my issue arises, why was any of this necessary? Why was it necessary to put on the initial Reigns vs Lashley match with no real significant attachment to it just about 2 weeks ago, but then rehash the entire thing once again a matter of days later with a different victor of the bout? What did any of this achieve in regard to the credibility of the two men gunning for the title?
Absolutely nothing. Roman Reigns gets his 4th shot at ‘The Beast’ at Summerslam but doesn’t look quite as dominant as he should since he just lost to the man he defeated a few days prior & Lashley is left wondering aimlessly as we head into the 2nd biggest show on the calendar despite pinning the current contender for the title again, a few days earlier.
Booking like this infuriates me, there’s no clear attempt to build strong characters or a strong story in the long-term, all of this was clearly a plan to draw out the road to Summerslam to be as long as possible, potentially due to the arrival of the Universal Champion himself being so late in the build towards the summer spectacular. A simple and quick fix to all of this would simply be adding the stakes of Monday Night’s match to their initial encounter at Extreme Rules instead and give the audience a decisive winner, where one looks as strong as possible when they eventually face Brock Lesnar instead of reverting back to the standard 50/50 booking WWE is now famous for when it comes to its main roster product.
Having the match occur then and there would have added further significance to Extreme Rules as a whole, given the match a lot more emotion behind it than the forced ones the fans had exerted on that evening, made the winner look considerably stronger than he does now & given even more time to build towards Summerslam’s main event rather than 2 throwaway shows that in all honesty seem completely irrelevant in hindsight.
I do wonder as I rant about this though, am I missing something that other fans are aware of?
Maybe I’ve become so compulsively unsatisfied with the direction of Monday Night’s ‘Hottest’ show that it reflects in almost any decision they make as a brand? Is it just that other brands have more to offer in terms of their larger stories or content of wrestling? Or maybe, if you really look into it, could this be the WWE’s strategy? Confusion in an attempt to blur the logic behind their product and instead just wait for us to give into their direction as opposed to directions than the fans clearly want instead.
That last point seems like a bit of a stretch and something I’m clearly thinking too much into, but this is what happens when the booking of a product twists & turns this frequently to a regular follower like myself.
All I want from the headline match on one of WWE’s ‘Big 4’ event, is a great setup to it, one that I can buy into and not feel like I’ve voluntarily had my time wasted. The world of professional wrestling is on fire right now, with so much content available it’s almost impossible to keep up with, so when I invest my time I personally want to be satisfied. This doesn’t necessarily mean I want things my way but in a way where I feel engaged & feel like I’m about to watch something spectacular, larger than life & a match that will tear the roof of the arena it’s hosted in. Which is everything this 4th encounter between Brock Lesnar & Roman Reigns seems like it’s missing so far.
As we embark on the Road to SummerSlam I hope my criticisms are silenced–I truly do. Whether it seems this way or not, professional wrestling is a large part of what I read and talk about in my free time and I hate holding negativity or constant criticisms such as these towards it on an almost weekly basis. Here’s to hoping WWE brings out the biggest guns possible for SummerSlam in 4 weeks and completely subvert my expectations to what I hope ends up being a tremendous evening of professional wrestling…
…including Brock Lesnar vs. Roman Reigns.