WWE Raw Results: The Undertaker's Major Announcement and Top Takeaways

Erik Beaston@@ErikBeastonFeatured ColumnistSeptember 18, 2018

WWE Raw Results: The Undertaker's Major Announcement and Top Takeaways

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    Credit: WWE.com

    The September 17 episode of Raw continued the brand's recent trend of underwhelming broadcasts, "highlighted" by The Undertaker's announcement that Kane will be in his corner when he battles Triple H at Super Show-Down on October 6.

    That creative development, coupled with the lack thereof elsewhere on the show, was responsible for another subpar broadcast that failed to break the flagship show out of its post-SummerSlam rut.

    What other takeaways were there from this week's USA Network presentation?

    Find out now with this recap of Monday's show. 

WWE Creative's Focus on Undertaker vs. HHH Comes at Expense of Current Roster

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    On October 6, Triple H and The Undertaker will battle at WWE Super Show-Down in what is being billed as their final match against each other. WWE Creative, to its credit, has done a masterful job of building a compelling story for The King of Kings and The Deadman ahead of what the company hopes is another huge international success.

    The problem is it comes at the expense of a roster full of immensely talented, full-time competitors who would benefit from that type of storytelling rather than what they have been exposed to of late.

    Imagine if Kevin Owens, Bobby Lashley, Bobby Roode, Elias, Apollo Crews, Bayley, Sasha Banks, Mickie James or Dana Brooke were treated to that sort of layered storytelling. What might the overall quality of Raw look like if the creative was that strong for the Superstars of today and their weekly plights? 

    Too often, WWE looks to the past for a creative spark instead of looking to the future for its next great renaissance.

    That is happening with the Triple H-Undertaker program. Announcing that Kane will join Undertaker at Super Show-Down while Shawn Michaels is in the corner of The Game is hardly going to make things any better.

    It may be a strong bit of storytelling and might lead to an unforgettable match, but it is eating up television time that could be better used on those who will be integral parts of the company's future and stealing the attention from the men and women those two industry icons paved the way for.

    Theirs is a match that needs little more than a few video packages to set the stage—not an entirely new chapter.

Repetition Severely Hurting Overall Quality of WWE's Flagship Show

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    Seth Rollins defended the Intercontinental Championship against Dolph Ziggler again Monday night.

    Chad Gable and Bobby Roode were once again inexplicably linked to The Ascension.

    The Shield feuded with Braun Strowman, Drew McIntyre and Ziggler again to close out the show.

    Those are just three instances of the repetition that has encapsulated the red brand in recent months, making for a lethargic, sometimes laborious viewing experience.

    There is nothing unexpected or particularly exciting about the show once synonymous with keeping fans guessing. What there is, though, is the same formulaic show with the same Superstars involved in the same segments every week.

    There is telling a story, and there is lazily booking the same names and faces in the same segments over and over out of creative bankruptcy.

    Why are Strowman, Ziggler and McIntyre suddenly so invested in dominating a Shield faction that was a non-factor on Raw until their reunion a month ago? Tell that story. Explain that plot development rather than booking the same Rollins-Ziggler match fans have been watching for three months now.

    Advance the Gable-Roode tag team rather than saddling them with the same team they have beaten the last two weeks.

    Stop booking what is, essentially, the same show without any real, major developments whatsoever, and maybe fans will be a bit more enthusiastic about the product.

Baron Corbin Might Be the Worst Authority Figure Ever

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    If Baron Corbin was that interested in getting the WWE Universal Championship off Roman Reigns, why not strip him of the gold and award it to himself?

    Why not ban The Shield from the building, leaving Reigns to fend for himself? 

    Why not book Reigns in some grueling match, then swoop in and beat him down en route to a title win?

    Handle it literally any other way than how he did?

    In a company rich with truly great, evil authority figures who have made life a living hell for the most popular babyfaces, the portrayal of Corbin is problematic.

    He is a goof, a heel working on behalf of Stephanie McMahon who cannot seem to get anything right. Nothing he does sticks; there is no great risk or reward in anything he orders. The fact that he is a current in-ring competitor who does not win any more than he loses does nothing to help his case.

    Mr. McMahon, Stephanie, Vickie Guerrero, Eric Bischoff...those authority figures may have been thwarted in the long run, but they had more than their fair share of triumphs from week to week. That is not the case with Corbin, whose one victory saw him unite the heel roster to attack The Shield.

    Until he is booked more competently, not only will he continue to fail in his current role, he will lose credibility with the fanbase. Given the fact that he will one day be forced back into in-ring competition without the general manager role to lean on, losing credibility is not something he can afford.

Lio Rush Will Elevate His Own Star and Enhance Bobby Lashley's in New Role

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    Lio Rush has had an interesting career thus far in WWE.

    He was originally slated to join NXT but leapfrogged the brand and debuted on 205 Live. Then, unexpectedly, he arrived on Raw as the new mouthpiece for Bobby Lashley. Such inconsistency would be dangerous for most, but for Rush, his journey to Raw will be beneficial both for him and Lashley.

    Rush is an incredibly athletic performer. He can do things in the ring others cannot. Monday, fans watched him evade Kevin Owens and Elias, using his speed and a hellish hurdle before joining Lashley in wiping the heels out at ringside.

    Rush has a personality much larger than himself, and though Superstars of his size typically do not fare well on the main roster, his charisma will fuel his success.

    Most importantly, it will give Lashley someone to play off. Too often throughout his two runs in WWE, Lashley has been presented as a personalityless brute whose strength and athleticism have been left to define him for an audience that demands more.

    Rush will open Lashley up, give him someone to interact with and a spokesman who can connect him with the audience in ways he never has. In that respect, Rush's role on the show will be more significant than it ever would have been on 205 Live.


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