After being openly criticized by WWE Hall of Famer Mick Foley, this episode of Monday Night Raw delivered the kind of show fans have been craving for weeks. We were treated to the beginning of an actual interesting storyline involving Charlotte and Becky Lynch, the proper formation of a new stable, and the return of a hardcore legend. And despite still suffering from a few confusing storylines, this episode of Monday Night Raw showed a lot of potential for the future.
The first noticeable thing about the show was the use of New Day throughout. It was a solid example of giving the fans more of what they want. While the team is far from underutilized considering they have remained a consistent source of entertainment every week, they saw more airtime than ever; which is always a plus. Hopefully, we will see them utilized the same way weekly. Because like them or not, they can turn bland episodes in to gold with their comedic timing.
The second thing that stood out the most was the formation of League of Nations. Despite the cheesy name, the stable added a reason for King Barrett, Rusev, and Sheamus to work together. There were a few moments in the past in which the team formed an alliance without being completely fleshed out, but it seems like WWE has officially pulled the trigger on it becoming a legitimate group. The best part of the stable is the addition of Alberto Del Rio. With his recent run wasted on the “Meximerican” angle, the League of Nations gave him a reason to move on from the awful storyline and achieve greater things.
Another great thing about the League of Nations is that they could get involved in matches and feuds to help get each member over. For example, Ryback has a current feud with Rusev. The numbers game can help Rusev’s feud out in the long run. In all honesty, the group was most likely put together solely for the purpose of being a thorn in Roman Reigns’ side as he attempts to gain the title from Sheamus. But if used right, they can become another interesting group to throw in to the mix.
Speaking of Reigns, WWE missed a huge opportunity to make him look like a real team player. In another attempt to get Reigns over with fans, WWE has surrounded him with Dean Ambrose and The Usos. And ironically, the same day I posted an article about WWE forcing the product to revolve around Roman Reigns See article here the Authority made Ambrose and The Usos’ fate literally revolve around Reigns. He was given another title shot against Sheamus for the WWE title with a time limit of five minutes and fifteen seconds to win. If he failed to do so within the time limit, both Ambrose and The Usos would lose their shots at the Intercontinental and Tag Team titles.
My issue with the segment is not with how Ambrose and The Usos were shoehorned in to a situation to get Reigns over. It’s with how the match ended. Reigns won by DQ, which means that he technically defeated Sheamus within the time frame. However, it was revealed that Reigns still has his match at TLC for the title. So in other words, Reigns didn’t have any personal risk involved in the outcome of the match. Which makes the finish a little underwhelming, and a complete waste of a chance for Reigns to show his dedication to Ambrose and The Usos.
I usually try to avoid fantasy booking, but this is how WWE should have ended the match in order to help get Reigns over. The match could have ended with Reigns intentionally taking the fight outside of the ring. The idea would be that after repeatedly trying to score a pin before the end of the time limit, he decides at the last minute to win by count out. A back stage segment could show Reigns being approached by Ambrose and The Usos questioning why he intentionally threw his chance to win the title out of the window, and Reigns could reveal that he did it to save their shots at gold. The segment could have ended the same with the formation of League of Nations, but it would have done wonders in building him as a babyface for Reigns to have made a small sacrifice considering that he had nothing to lose anyway.
This episode of Monday Night Raw was pretty entertaining from beginning, to end. While not perfect, it at least gave fans, and Mick Foley, hope that the product may be on to something. There are angles that are interesting enough to keep even the most disgruntled viewer invested a little longer. Let’s just hope WWE can build from this, and it is not just another one off incident. We’re tired of getting our hopes up for nothing.