There are bad episodes of Raw,
and then there are episodes like Monday night’s program.
WWE came out the night after a well-received,
highly praised AEW debut PPV and s*** the bed with Monday’s offering. The company
didn’t need to directly respond to Double or Nothing, but the gauntlet had been
thrown down, and they simply sidestepped it and acted as if nothing had
In fact, they almost acted as if
they didn’t care and deliberately put on the worst episode they could given the
Consider that they had a hot
crowd from the get-go, and then killed them off by going 53 minutes before the first match, which ended up being Shane
McMahon versus Lance Anoa’i in a joke match. We also saw WWE promise us a fatal
four-way elimination match, only to renege on the stipulation and instead give
us Baron Corbin, WWE Universal Championship #1 contender.
We also got a new talking segment
that bombed. Most of the Raw roster was preoccupied with a Memorial Day block
party, so SmackDown wrestlers just invaded the red brand with reckless abandon,
while other Raw wrestlers have seemingly vanished from sight.
Put it this way: This column is
usually written as the episode unfolds, and edited, with items reordered
accordingly afterward. Three or four times, it looked like the #1 Down was
locked in, only to be upended.
Scott is a former journalist and longtime wrestling fan who was smart enough to abandon WCW during the Monday Night Wars the same time as the Radicalz. He fortunately became a fan in time for WrestleMania III and came back as a fan after a long high school hiatus before WM XIV. Monday nights in the Carlson household are reserved for viewing Raw -- for better or worse.