One day I was trying to buy a car. It was time to replace the first one I ever had and for the first time ever, I could actually afford to get something new. That meant that it was time to go around to various dealerships and look at what I had to pick from and eventually make a decision. It is a little bit harder than it sounds because there are quite a few options to pick from. Going from car lot to car lot, I talked to quite a few salespeople and they all said some form of the same thing: they wanted to earn my business.
Eventually that was the case, as I saw a car that I liked well enough and the salesman was able to convince me to pick it. The car was purchased that day and I wound up driving it for years, even though it wasn’t that great of a car in the first place. I was convinced to buy it though because the presentation was very good and it was clear that the salesman knew everything there was to know about what he was trying to convince me to buy. That brings us back to wrestling, and one match in particular on this coming Sunday’s WrestleMania Backlash card.
This week on Monday Night Raw, a match between Damian Priest and Miz was announced for WrestleMania Backlash. The twist this time is that it will be a lumberjack match, as Priest is tired of John Morrison and/or Miz interfering in the matches and wants to have a fair fight, one on one. I heard the match announcement and immediately wondered what he was talking about.
It didn’t make sense to have Priest wanting a fair fight, because Priest has already beaten Miz (twice), Priest has already beaten Morrison (twice), Priest has beaten Miz in a six man (at least being on the same team) and Priest has beaten Miz and Morrison in a tag team match (with Bad Bunny getting the pin). The only time Priest has lost to these two was in a handicap match where Maryse interfered, and he has beaten them both in singles matches since.
But yeah, after all of those matches with Priest going a total of 6-1 against them (as this feud started all the way back at the Royal Rumble, about three and a half months ago), it is time for one more gimmick match between Priest and one of the two of them. In the immortal words of Steve Urkel (who absolutely qualifies for this discussion as he once wrestled the Bushwhackers): “Allow me to quote the twenty fifth letter of the alphabet: WHY?”.
What sense does it make to have this match again? Just adding in a gimmick to a match doesn’t make it more interesting, because we have already established that Priest has won the feud. Priest adding in the stipulation makes enough sense after the various interferences in recent weeks, but those matches didn’t really need to happen in the first place either.
Priest has fought Miz and/or Morrison on all five episodes of Monday Night Raw since WrestleMania, which should have been the big blow off to the entire story to begin with, as the whole thing was supposed to be about Bad Bunny. Yet here we are, getting ready for the eights combination of these guys in about five weeks (with one more as a teaser trailer back in February).
This is not good storytelling, nor is it a good way to make the fans interested. It might be logical storytelling (assuming you stretch and twist the definition of logical a bit) but it is not the kind of way to make fans want to see the match. It’s like watching a TV show where you know how it is going to end, because the show always follows the same formula. In this case, Miz and Morrison are going to have some issue and continue the split that they have been teasing until Priest Hits The Lights (not a great name for a finisher) for the win, allowing him to put his vest back on, which must feel weird when he’s all sweaty.
So why should I want to see this match on pay per view? Why does this match need to take place? Miz and Morrison could continue their problems in the same way against just about anyone else while Priest moves on to face just about anyone else. There is another way to tell the same story, but for some reason this is what we’re getting, and unfortunately I think I know what the reason is.
When you look at the other two major WrestleMania matches, you have two WrestleMania rematches with one more person being added to make it a triple threat. Throwing in the fact that we saw the same two WrestleMania matches during this week on Monday Night Raw, and it can be rather hard to believe that this is anything more than the people putting together Monday Night not having the most interest in making the show that much more exciting.
WWE is coming off of WrestleMania just over a month ago. The fact that two of the matches have been done again about a month later and are being redone with Charlotte and Braun Strowman being added is not exactly suggesting that creative is exactly on fire at the moment.
That is where things get even worse. It isn’t even like the new ideas that they have for WrestleMania Backlash are that much better. What are they doing? Adding in two of the same people who have been put into more title matches and programs than almost anyone else could have realistically wanted. It feels like they just put in the weakest amount of effort and then threw their feet up for the month. Granted a lot of that might be due to Vince McMahon shaking everything up, but there is one major problem with that idea.
That problem is SmackDown, which has Cesaro as the new #1 contender to Roman Reigns’ Universal Title, Bianca Belair defending against Bayley in a fresh match and the Mysterios getting their shots at the SmackDown Tag Team Titles. These matches might not light the world on fire or come even close to it, but they suggest that there is a new idea on SmackDown and someone around setting things up for the future instead of doing the exact same things that they have done for months now.
I know it has been said before, but it is almost hard to fathom that Monday Night Raw and SmackDown/NXT are put together by the same company. How do you have Priest beating up the same guys literally for weeks if not months on end to having a fresh slate of matches after the biggest pay per view of the year (like you should have, at least to an extent) on the other show from the same company? It feels like they are on different planets, let alone being under the same umbrella.
This isn’t a new problem, but it certainly is an old one. There is something so annoying about having the same matches over and over and it is probably part of the reason why Monday Night Raw is so lifeless. You could have seen something similar for weeks now, so why should I watch it again on pay per view? WWE has so many people sitting around with nothing to do and yet they have time for these same people to fight over and over again. There is a better way of doing that, and it involves being a wrestling show for a change.
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.
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