It’s that time of year again. You know the one I mean. Ok maybe you don’t because that could mean a lot of different things. I’m talking about the time of year again when WWE makes it very obvious that they do not care what is going on with their television shows and more or less says we’ll see you when it’s time for Summerslam. I don’t know why I’m surprised by this, but it doesn’t make it any less annoying.
There is no secret to the fact that WWE does not try its hardest every single week. You can feel when they turn on the jets and it makes their television shows that much more interesting at the drop of a hat. It can be so frustrating to see the effort suddenly being there, but at the same time I can understand that they can’t go full blast every single week of the year. At some point you’re just going to run out of steam and while it might be annoying, it is also realistic.
Now that being said, who are they kidding with what we are getting at the moment? I can understand that there is a problem with the limited roster at the moment. Things have not been this out of wack before and it is causing all kinds of monkey wrenches to be thrown into their plans. Ok, that’s all well and good and not their fault. What is their fault is presenting what they have done and expecting it to actually draw enough interest to get us to the Summerslam build.
What makes this particular issue more annoying is the amount of talent that WWE still does have available at the moment. It’s true that they are not at full strength, but they still do have one of the deepest talent rosters in the world. You would think that would be enough to carry them through this situation, but apparently WWE would rather just kick back and take the month off from putting in any major effort. That gets old fast, and so does watching these rather lifeless feuds play out on television.
Summerslam does have great moments:
We’ll start on Monday Night Raw, where they might as well just wave the white flag now. Back in June, Dolph Ziggler came over to Monday Night Raw and immediately challenged Drew McIntyre for the WWE Title at Extreme Rules (or whatever they’re calling it this week). As soon as I’M HERE TO SHOW THE WORLD hit, I knew it was going to be a very, very long month, because you could see the show surrendering from here and it was another sad moment.
There is no denying that Ziggler is talented. He’s been around for the better part of fifteen years and has won almost everything of note in WWE. That being said, who in the world is chomping at the bit to see Ziggler vs. McIntyre for the title on pay per view? They have a history together, but it’s not like it’s some epic, amazing reign that makes this Ricky Morton turning on Robert Gibson.
But they were former Tag Team Champions! Yes they were, when they beat the B Team (who held the titles longer), held the titles for seven weeks and then lost them to the Shield. But they were friends/associates like Shawn Michaels and Diesel! Yes they were, for less than eight months. McIntyre returned and teamed up with Ziggler on April 16, 2018 and the team was dissolved on December 3, 2018.
There’s your epic history: they got together, Ziggler won the Intercontinental Title, Ziggler lost the Intercontinental Title, they feuded with the Shield, they won the Tag Team Titles, they lost the Tag Team Titles, they split up, McIntyre beat him up, Ziggler eliminated him from the Royal Rumble, then left to do his stand up comedy. That’s their story, and now we need to watch them feud for a month (involving Heath Slater of course) on the way to Extreme Rules.
They have something else to draw the fans in though: a stipulation! And not just any stipulation, but a MYSTERY stipulation! We won’t get to find out what the stipulation will be until we get to Extreme Rules. That’s one way to go, but it brings up the one major issue: the stipulation isn’t going to matter if there isn’t a match worth seeing between the people involved in the first place.
What thrilling material:
That brings us over to SmackDown, with the other match that doesn’t seem to matter all that much. This time around, it’s Braun Strowman facing Bray Wyatt (Eater of Worlds version) in a Swamp Fight. It will be their second pay per view match, coming after Strowman defeated Wyatt (Firefly Fun House version). This one is non-title, more or less guaranteeing a rematch at Summerslam with Wyatt (Fiend version) getting another title shot.
The problem here is three fold. We’ll ignore the factors of this being a glorified pit stop on the way to Summerslam and Strowman not having anything resembling the ability to cut a natural sounding promo. The bigger problem here is similar to that of Ziggler vs. McIntyre: while there is a history between the two of them, it isn’t the kind of history that makes me want to see them fight, let alone fight multiple times.
Strowman debuted as part of the Wyatt Family on the August 24, 2015 Monday Night Raw and left the team in the 2016 Draft on July 19, 2016. Normally I would list off what he did in the middle, but it was little more than various ways of saying “he was a monster”. Really, there isn’t much more to it than that. Strowman was never a significant part of the team and was little more than a big monster who did what Wyatt told him. This would make him one of three monsters Wyatt had at his disposal, which is hardly the most unique place for him to be.
So what we have here are two feuds, one of which is all but guaranteed to continue into next month, based on some fairly unimportant partnerships that didn’t last all that long in the grand scheme of things. At the same time, WWE has people like Shinsuke Nakamura, Cesaro, Kofi Kingston, Big E., Ricochet and a host of other main roster/NXT talents either stuck in tag team matches or doing nothing.
This needed a sequel:
One of them (or even two of them) couldn’t be used for a one off challenger? Ziggler and Robert Roode were moved over to Monday Night Raw. Why not throw Nakamura over there and have him face McIntyre in a fresh match? Or even keep him on SmackDown to face Strowman? It’s not like this Three Faces Of Wyatt idea is some revolutionary idea that fans are begging to see. The same is true with McIntyre vs. Ziggler, but it’s even worse there, mainly due to a high level of Ziggler.
This feels like WWE has taken July off, again, for the sake of going with something easy before we get to the show that matters. The problem is that it feels they do that just before almost every big show, which gets really tiring to sit through on such a regular basis. WWE made it clear that they aren’t going with anything important or interesting for a few weeks and it isn’t like the ratings and audience are suggesting that anyone is overly interested. There is no reason for them to be, as it is another example of WWE not trying that hard. If they aren’t putting in the effort, why should fans put in the interest?
Thomas Hall has been a wrestling fan for over thirty years and has seen over 50,000 wrestling matches. He has also been a wrestling reviewer since 2009 with over 5,000 full shows covered. You can find his work at kbwrestlingreviews.com, or check out his- Amazon author page with 30 wrestling books. Get the latest and greatest in professional wrestling news by signing up for our daily email newsletter. Just look below for “GET EXCLUSIVE UPDATES” to sign up. Thank you for reading!