The soft launch was strange—when was this even happening, when did it count, when we were meant to pay attention?—and it all seemed pointless from the jump. Analysing WWE’s predetermined sports entertainment product ‘“objectively” on a legit sports network—as if Baron Corbin using a graphic of a dog is akin to an effective NFL play—was hard to take seriously in premise, much less execution.
Booker T’s inanity ramped up the entertainment value, and it was fun, cathartic, and juicy enough seeing Paige banter off Seth Rollins’ ‘Burn It Down’ catchphrase.
But this entire programme depends on real, independent authenticity to work under its own premise, and it since it has already been used as a platform to build an angle, it decidedly is not that already.
Last week’s astonishingly poor rating—just 49,000 viewers watched this much-hyped event—reflected all of this. It felt like a WWE show in FOX’s clothing. It was an easy watch—Renee Young is such a warm and engaging presence in this role—but it defeated itself.