Awful booking on Raw

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Awful booking on Raw

Post by crippledtart on Tue 18 Nov 2014, 12:53 pm

This may go against the grain, but I thought the booking of last night's Raw was a new creative low for WWE. In attempting to add intrigue and anticipation to the Survivor Series main event, logic has been entirely thrown out of the window, and serious damage has been done.
 
First of all, a comment on the most egregious booking flaw of the show: the presentation of Grumpy Cat. Obviously the point of those skits was that they were deliberately designed to bomb. The problem is, they weren't any different to the skits you see every week that aren't deliberately designed to bomb. Also, it didn't play into the whole point of an unnaturally grumpy cat, which is that they remain grumpy even when the situation calls for a different reaction. it's like having a cat called Sad Cat and then telling it that it's got AIDS and its mother has died. The cat's grumpiness was in no way extraordinary because grumpiness was the natural reaction in those circumstances.
 
Secondly, the booking of the main event for Survivor Series. It's clear that when they announced this match a month ago, they had no idea what the two teams would be. The elephant in the room is that Triple H is an elite wrestler whose achievements are legendary, who has wrestled on multiple occasions this calendar year, and who claimed that this is the most important match of his life, yet he hasn't picked himself for his own team. Luke Harper and Mark Henry may be good at playing their roles, but their win/loss records are not impressive in the slightest. Why haven't The Authority asked Paul Heyman to name his price for Brock Lesnar to join their team?
 
Thirdly, why would The Big Show and Sheamus fight each other six days before such a high stakes match, because someone representing the opposition team told them to?! How incredibly stupid does that make them? There was the caveat of it being for a WWE title shot, but no context to that was offered, it exposed the two supposed heroes as gullible, selfish and opportunistic (all heel traits). And isn't John Cena the number one contender? It's another example of WWE booking its wrestlers to look like stupid compliant children driven by self-interest, especially babyfaces.
 
Finally, I get that they are adding intrigue to the teams, and I thought up until this week they were doing a decent job, but it totally fell apart this week when it became obvious there was never any kind of booking masterplan to it. It's like Vince Russo was booking the whole thing all along. There has been no coherence or consistency to the booking of Ryback, who was happy to represent the tyrannical Authority only last week before his ego got bruised.
 
As for Erick Rowan, there is no logic whatsoever to him being on John Cena's team. What makes Cena think he can trust someone who a few months ago was opposing him? Why has Rowan joined Cena's team, knowing how dire the consequences could be for him? Rowan's character hasn't developed or evolved at all to a point where this makes any sense. On one hand it's good to see fresh faces in the main event scene, but this isn't the way to do it. Clearly Rowan was not in the original plans, and I'm not convinced he was even in the plans two weeks ago; that is not the way to elevate wrestlers.
 
The booking issues facing WWE right now are scary, and so reminiscent of WCW at that critical stage when they laid the seeds for their own demise. More worryingly, the booking of the Survivor Series in general has strong comparisons to TNA in the last couple of years, when every surprise reveal was a disappointment, and wrestlers' placing on the card seemed random from one month to the next. The mistakes WWE is making at the moment matter. Unfortunately, it may be a long time before their effect is realised, and it might be too late by that point.

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Re: Awful booking on Raw

Post by jai.roberts on Tue 18 Nov 2014, 1:29 pm

Firstly I don't even know who Grumpy Cat is I was genuinely expecting some sort of muppet cat.

As for the main event of Survivor Series, on Raw Big Show passed out to the Accolade yet looked fine when he waddled down the aisle at the end, yet Sheamus was taken to hospital because he was put through a table, something that happens quite often and the guys are fine.  

I am all for the angle, but surely something more dramatic than a table bump should have taken Sheamus out.

I would have preferred it if Cena was the only one on the team and then they all come out to aide at Survivor Series.  At least Ziggler sold his injury.

Cesaro was another bizarre spot in the closing segment, is he on team Authority? I thought they had their team? 

Erick Rowan? the only logic I can see is that he is pi$$ed at Harper for joining the Authority and thus for selling out so to speak, but the booking defies all logic really, it would have made more sense for Ambrose to be on team Cena, I know he is booked with Wyatt, but it would have made more sense for say Wyatt instead of an aging Kane and Ambrose instead of Rowan.

I did like putting the IC title on Harper though, let's see what they do with him.

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Re: Awful booking on Raw

Post by Guest on Tue 18 Nov 2014, 1:39 pm

I do share your frustration. I was more than bemused when Rowan strolled out at the end there.

The Grumpy Cat segment was horrid. Complete waste of TV. What must the NXT talent or other roster talent think that they can't even get past a cat?

I don't understand why HHH isn't in the match either. Certainly put him ahead of Rusev or Harper.

Ziggler has probably taken more of a beating than any of the other members of Team Cena put together and he is still standing ahead of Sheamus or Swagger? Totally random. Ryback's involvement has been awful from the get go. Team Cena is really lacking some star power. Could've done with Ambrose.

As for Survivor Series, I would love to see a match winning RKO to Rollins that costs them the match. However, I think it will be a screwy finish with a member of Team Cena screwing them over and The Authority lives on.


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Re: Awful booking on Raw

Post by Prometheus on Tue 18 Nov 2014, 2:15 pm

Raw has begun to feel as if an entirely different booking and creative team is used each week. One that may have glanced at the work of the previous team, but certainly doesn't feel a pressing need to continue their work.

Whilst this is annoying and has caused me to become less and less interested in Raw, I'm actually willing to let it ride if the in-ring show at Survivor Series proves worthwhile.

So, Rowan and Harper might not have got there in the best way, but they've given some of the best performances in the ring this year. So it may just be that for me the ends will justify the means.

In fact even if Survivor Series isn't great, but the Authority lose that will be a result for me. I think that Raw needs a fresh coat of paint and a new start in many ways and losing the Authority who have stopped to me being heels and just started to be annoying and in the way would be a great start.
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Re: Awful booking on Raw

Post by Adam D on Tue 18 Nov 2014, 2:25 pm

If they wanted an internet star (grumpy cat apparently), they should have gone for Chocolate Rain instead.

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Re: Awful booking on Raw

Post by Hero on Tue 18 Nov 2014, 2:38 pm

Or the 'Gingers have no souls' kid, pair him up with Sheamus and Erick Rowan.

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Re: Awful booking on Raw

Post by Adam D on Tue 18 Nov 2014, 2:42 pm

Chocolate Rain could have been paired with Low-Ki to make the lowest sounding pair in wrestling history.

Afro Ninja could be paired up with Xavier woods group.

I have heard that TNA are signing:


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Re: Awful booking on Raw

Post by Hero on Tue 18 Nov 2014, 2:51 pm

Naah Vince will be wanting to put on the mother of all matches, Grumpycat v Dramatic Chipmunk headlining WM31.

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Re: Awful booking on Raw

Post by Prometheus on Tue 18 Nov 2014, 3:18 pm

See, Grumpy Cat has got you talking about the product. And I think WWE see that as a victory.

Personally I'd rather people were talking about how good the in-ring product were vs. people laughing at what a shambles the other stuff is. But I think WWE really live in the bubble that as long as you are being talked about it's all good. So, mission achieved.
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Re: Awful booking on Raw

Post by Prometheus on Tue 18 Nov 2014, 3:55 pm

The OP makes a number of very good points wrt booking flaws or holes in this Survivor Series.

Personally, I think another is (unless I've missed it) there is no stipulation on Cena or his team. It doesn't work in my head that if one team loses, bad things happen (though arguably not directly to any of the wrestlers involved at least people who were able to give them shots at championships have gone). Whereas the other team loses, so what? They come back to Raw the next night and pick up where they left off.

Again, this seems to be a problem the WWE writers have created (particularly in thinking its all about the Authority). And its not easy to think of a reverse stipulation. They all go from WWE for 6 months. Well no one is going to think there is a risk of that. They can't wrestle for a title for 6 months, again same problem. As leader, Cena can't wrestle for a title, well some of his team might actually see that as an advantage.

Just feels like if WWE wants to get me fully emotionally involved, they shouldn't he half-assed about their own tournament. Hell, at this stage, I'd even settle for an Authority vs Hair match.
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Re: Awful booking on Raw

Post by Samo on Tue 18 Nov 2014, 4:12 pm

This feels like this should have been last weeks RAW, with the teams coming together, and this week could have been the explanation and blow off before the big event. Im not sure why Rowan joined team Cena, but that doesnt really bother me, the crowd seemed to like it and the bit didnt bomb. Harper did a good job selling confusion then anger just using his eyes - thats a real talent.

I called the fatal four way tag match last week, and the fact it was just thrown together is lazy booking.

Im not interested in Ambrose vs Wyatt. Im just not. I've no doubt they'll put a good match on but theres no reason to care at this point. They've got gold with Wyatt but they cant use him worth a damn. Its a damning indictment on the WWE when Bella vs Lee is a more interesting story than one with both Ambrose and Wyatt.

I think the four matches (!) announced for Survivor Series will be good matches, they should be on paper. But the overall feeling going into the PPV is despondency and boredom. The year wont end well.

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Re: Awful booking on Raw

Post by Kay Fabe on Tue 18 Nov 2014, 4:49 pm

HHH had to lead the Authority, I guess he's in a lose/lose situation, if he led the team and its the only posiiton he could actually take then many would say he's hogging the limelight, if he doesn't then the same people will likely say its not realistic, Triple H was an absolute must though, it make no sense what so ever that he isn't in this match.

I quite liked the concept, it takes the focus off the WWE Title not being involved so I can get that, the booking has been woeful though, Team Authority is just awful though with the exception of Seth Rollins, I quite like the idea of including Luke Harper but with Rusev, Kane and Henry it's all too similar, I can understand Kane being involved given his role in the Authority so while I'm not a fan at least it has a modicum of consistency too it. Henry is treading water and although I quite like his badass heel mode, he's just came off the back of a regret filled tear jerking program thatbsaw him fail at evwry turn with Rusev, his confidence should be at an all time low, that in itself should rule him out off this kind of program and why the Authority think its a good idea to trust him to team with Rusev (the man who caused his public embarassment) beats me.

I kinda like what they did with Ryback, they've hit the rewind button 2 years but its by far the bestbway to use him, I'm not a big fan of him but he's pretty simple to book.

I think Dean Ambrose was a must to be involved in this and with that then Bray Wyatt should have been with the Authority, Now, I know they need this one on one match to beef up the PPV but if this Cena/Authority match is so vital to the future of the WWE then they simply need to be included in this match,  their one on one match can wait, Ambrose should have a massive interest in how this pans out anyway, he's had major problems with the Authority,  he more than most should be interested in how this pans out.

Cesaro was another that was a no-brainer to be involved in this, he has it all and I think also has that credability factor from the fans, they buy into him which is exactly what you need.

I can understand why the Authority would ask Rusev but I don't get it, I don't think it'd be in his or Lana's nature to help but saying No to the Authority would be a face-like move so I'd either steer clear from asking altogether and juat let him get on with it or strike a deal with him, allow him to re-name the US Title the Russian Title if he helps the Authority win the match, at least that way it'd allow Rusev amd Lana to help the Authority while also staying true to their characters


Kane, like Henry (and the Big Show) have had their day, he should be on the outside supporting HHH and Co. alongside Stephanie, he's the director of operations so he should be with Noble and Mercury on the outside

I'd like to have seen Christian be the 5th man on Cena's team, he's not everyones cup of tea but I thinj he'd get a big pop from the crowd, I think he's ideal for this type of match too and he has that history of success that makes his inclusion one that can actually be based on sense, I'm not the greatest of Sheamus fans and while he could heel turn to help the Authority win im still not overly convinced that'd have much long term advantage, Christian for me would be the 5th guy, he's pretty simple to build up then you can feed him to Rusev, Cesaro or whoever in a short run after Survivor Series.

Here's how I'd have lined the teams up

Team Authority - HHH,  Seth Rollins,  Bray Wyatt,  Cesaro,  Rusev
Team Cena -  John Cena,  Dean Ambrose,  Dolph Ziggler,  Ryback,  Christian

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Re: Awful booking on Raw

Post by Hero on Tue 18 Nov 2014, 5:00 pm

Pretty much the teams I'd have picked but I'd have swapped out Christian for Jericho, similar role but with a little more 'name' and obvious past history with HHH.

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Re: Awful booking on Raw

Post by Samo on Tue 18 Nov 2014, 5:05 pm

Christian 10 years ago maybe. He's made of breadsticks, chalk and wet spaghetti these days.

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Re: Awful booking on Raw

Post by Kay Fabe on Tue 18 Nov 2014, 5:31 pm

I was actually thinking of Jericho but I've got no idea if he's actually available for this so left him out, as for beong made of bread sticks, I wasn't championing him being given a starring role or even a big role but I'm sure he could do a 4-6 week run if needed

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Re: Awful booking on Raw

Post by Dolphin Ziggler on Tue 18 Nov 2014, 5:49 pm

I cant accept any of your points about Kane, Big Show or Henry if youre gonna put forward Christian.

I actually don't think the booking was "awful". I think Rowan joined due to his former ally joining the other side. It makes sense that he wouldnt have done it earlier when buddying up to Cena, and it makes sense that Cena wouldnt have approached him.

Ryback to me also makes sense. He is a selfish guy, but that selfishness comes with some pride too. After showing the selfish side, he didnt like the fact his teammates were so cowardly and didnt let him fight properly. So he goes off alone with much resentment to them. Cena then goads him into it a bit, and it combines and makes sense.

HHH I can clearly see doesnt wrestle but he doesnt see himself as a wrestler. He has a man now who bettered him in his last attempt, he has Rollins running the show, the man they had to join forces with because The Shield was too strong.

Equally, I do agree Ambrose should be involved, but his character is such that he is meant to be a livewire and meant to go off to chase a foe he hates. Personally, I'd have done it a bit different and had Ambrose consistently showing his desire to join and Wyatt getting in the way till it was clear Ambrose had to deal with Wyatt before he could go after The Authority.

Wyatt being on Team Authority would be awful. Rusev is at least someone who buys into the philosophy of others ("now residing in Russia") and does what gets him ahead, has shown he will cheap shot etc. He also has Lana to lead him, and Lana seems more likely to be business driven so would accept the deal.

I'd have had:

Authority: Rollins, Kane, Harper, Rusev, Cesaro
Cena: Cena, Ziggler, Ryback, Rowan, Swagger

However, I can see the reason for Big Show as injuries have left WWE short on babyfaces. Once you've got Big Show then I think you have to throw in Henry because, well, they were going with that program clearly and its better done here, both as fodder, than an actual match on this card. Essentially, with a 5 on 5 I think you need people who can lose early but not look like absolute losers before the match. I think Big Show, Henry, Kane and Rowan wont be missed if they are the first four out. I think Ziggler needs to stay in because his underdog babyface stuff only works if he valiantly holds on.

As for the Wyatt/Ambrose feud...that's Bray Wyatt for ya

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Re: Awful booking on Raw

Post by Kay Fabe on Tue 18 Nov 2014, 6:04 pm

The thing nwith Christian is that he isn't on TV every week so that in itself will generate a pop and something different yet someone fans can identify with and trust, my original choice was Jericho but I don't know if he's available for Survivor Series so I'd be more inclined to go with someone similar to him and like him or not Christian fits that bill, similarly, I wouldn't be too concerned about making this choice a really big deal as the "Surpirise" would always have been Ryback joining Cena's team

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Re: Awful booking on Raw

Post by Dolphin Ziggler on Tue 18 Nov 2014, 6:59 pm

I suppose, I think with Big Show as it is its no loss, he still has some status. Jericho would have been my choice when I heard he was on TV in November, but I think the Smackdown appearance was it.

I'm happy they've not used anyone from NXT. I think they'd have to get pinned too early for it to be good for them.

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Re: Awful booking on Raw

Post by liverbnz on Tue 18 Nov 2014, 8:14 pm

Where was John Cena when Ziggler was getting beat on? And Sheamus and Big Show? Was he tied to that TV?

And where was Steph's wardrobe guy when she picked her outfit? And she's a bit plump for someone who's releasing/released a fitness DVD (I can do cheap shots to).

The Ryback booking was a mess I agree, not so much with Sheamus and Big Show fighting. HHH/Steph are still their bosses so surely they must do as they're told?

Anyway, it's hardly new with the WWE these days - they book ad lib its clear. They look set to get nothing out of Lesnar taking the streak due to it. The WWE title is in flux due to it (I was all for a part-time champ, but they've couldn't have handled it any worse). They have no one ready to take over from Punk/Bryan due to it. And they have no full time main event quality heels due to it.

I don't like watching Cena but unfortunately he draws. If he gets injured I really fear for WWE.

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Re: Awful booking on Raw

Post by Dolphin Ziggler on Tue 18 Nov 2014, 10:08 pm

Funnily enough, for the first time in a while, when Cena missed that Raw the ratings were not affected (and in fact they went up)

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Re: Awful booking on Raw

Post by liverbnz on Tue 18 Nov 2014, 11:09 pm

No Monday Night Football that night no?

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Re: Awful booking on Raw

Post by Samo on Wed 19 Nov 2014, 5:38 am

The problem I have with Christian is I think he'd get the same 'surprise pop' Rowan got then the crowd would go back to complete indifference, much like Rowan. I'd rather see a newer talent get that spot in team Cena than Christian.

He might be able to do another good 4-6 week run like you suggested, but the WWE cant keep new talent out of the main event picture forever. I think Rowan and Haroer being in this match is a great move for both guys.

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Re: Awful booking on Raw

Post by Kay Fabe on Wed 19 Nov 2014, 7:43 am

In Kayfabe who makes more sense in a match of that magnitude, given that being away from the ring doesn't seem to hurt you, who does Cena choose? A loose cannon like Rowan who he's had zero positive interactions with, who has just been released by Bray Wyatt and his former Brother is on the opposing side, OR does he go with a guy henhas fought side by side with in the past, a guy hes also fought 1 on 1, a former World Champion and a Tag Team specialist.

I've got nothing against Rowan, I don't particularly care  about him but I've not been given a reason to yet, but for a match that is supposed to be the biggest WWE match ever then you have to ask yourself what has he actually done to merit a place? In order to sell the magnitude of the match I believe you need to fill it with guys whose inclusion can be easily explained and justified - like I say, Jericho would have been my first choice but given that I don't think he's available then I'd have went for someone who offers that similarity


I also wouldn't be focusing to much on Christian getting a surprise pop, while I've jo doubt he would as hes still onenof the more popular faces, I'd be more interested in using him because he isn't overdone, tlhe can work, he can yalk and he can put people over but the big surprise would always have been Ryback joining Cena

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Re: Awful booking on Raw

Post by Prometheus on Wed 19 Nov 2014, 9:38 am

Smackdown spoiler:
I see my bug bear with there being no stipulation on the Cena team was addressed. Seems one that is too big to believe unless there is some kind of brand split
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