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While there were certainly some bright spots in the near 200-minute show, most of RAW was forgettable. A lot of that has to do with timing. With it being December, this marks the last time WWE can catch it's breath before the frenzy of WrestleMania season totally consumes the company. Well, RAW did more than suck oxygen last night, it laid down and took a nap.
Things should pick up next week as Brock Lesnar will be on the show, likely to introduced implications concerning his Royal Rumble opponent. While this is promising, it's still 6 days away, and after last night's episode, it can't get here soon enough.
Here are the 5 Things We Learned From RAW Last Night:
Paige Should Have Returned as a Solo Babyface
I'm sure Absolution will be fine, but I truly believe that WWE missed a substantial opportunity with Paige's big comeback.
One of the best ways to get the WWE audience behind you is to leave WWE. Whether it's by injury, protest, or suspension, absence makes WWE fan's heart grow fonder. Paige's year away from the company was tumultuous, to say the least, in fact, it was so bad that the 25-year recently admitted she considered suicide.
Naturally, when she returned, (a return that WWE teased for weeks) she got one of the bigger pops of 2017. It seemed that Paige was destined to take over the RAW women's division.
And while WWE would like you to think that's what Absolution is trying to do, it's not happening. Instead of being flanked by Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville, Paige is actually being held back. Now she has to share her momentum with two inexperienced stars who make every Absolution segment clunky.
Is Woken Already Broken?
Last week I was smitten by Bray Wyatt and Woken Matt Hardy's nonsensical banter. But when they did the exact same thing this week, but worse, I find myself resisting the urge to turn heel on their budding feud.
I would imagine that Woken Matt presents quite the challenge to WWE officials because they don't know how to package him. So instead they'll just continue to regurgitate what's worked previously, like dueling smash cut promos. However, in just its the second week, Bray Wyatt vs. Woken Matt already needs a spritzing.
No One Has Mastered the Meaningless Match Quite Like Finn Balor
Finn Balor's sputtering 2017 is mostly WWE's fault. Like Paige, Balor missed time after a highly unfortunate injury. However, unlike Paige, upon his return, WWE had no plans for him. Nearly 9 months since his return from injury and WWE is still sticking him in arbitrary matches. This man has no direction.
However, it's worth noting that it sounds like WWE's audience is getting behind Balor, but they aren't being given a reason to stay behind him. While Finn's negligible body fat and charming smile are the good starters, I'm afraid his character hasn't evolved past those shallow gratifiers in quite some time.
We should have known better. Why would WWE announce Brock Lesnar's Royal Rumble opponent 6 weeks before the actual event?
Braun Strowman and Kane's draw on RAW would have been more enthralling if they were playing soccer. For WWE to bait us into watching more of this luke-warm feud was a real dirty trick. And to make matters worse, they trolled us!
Look, trolling fans is what professional wrestling, not just WWE, is all about. But, WWE has officially run out of ways to make us care about Strowman vs. Kane.
Lesnar will be on the show next week and we'll likely get a big clue as to who will be sacrificing themselves at the Philadelphia Royal Rumble.
In a BATTLE of BEHEMOTHS, @KaneWWE and @BraunStrowman are out to prove who is the TRUE MONSTER of @WWE as they vie for an opportunity at @BrockLesnar's #UniversalTitle at #RoyalRumble! #RAW @HeymanHustle pic.twitter.com/7AdfJamt5P— WWE (@WWE) December 12, 2017
Pleasant Things That Happened
I hate to be negative, I do, but since Survivor Series, RAW has been all too skippable. A lot of this has to do with timing as WWE and its Superstars are charging their batteries for WrestleMania season.
So as most of this article has been sour, let's end with a few positive notes.
- Roman Reigns and Cesaro's match was nothing short of spectacular. In fact, WWE should consider a rematch on the road to WrestleMania with the Intercontinental Championship legitimately on the line.0comments
- Jason Jordan continues to grow into one of the more easily hatable Superstars on the roster. His entitlement knows no bounds and will eventually make for a great feud, likely with Kurt Angle
- Samoa Joe may be on course for a babyface turn. As a heel, he's never been too dastardly and has yet to act cowardly. Mostly, he just hurts people, and eventually, fans will get behind that.