WWE Raw Fallout: Overexposed Shane McMahon Drags Down Drew McIntyre and More
With its sights set on the Stomping Ground pay-per-view on June 23, WWE Raw hit the USA Network airwaves determined to set up matches, tell stories and announce pay-per-view bouts for that extravaganza.
It succeeded but in the process, continued the completely unabashed overexposure of Shane McMahon, to the detriment of Superstars who could benefit from the amount of television time devoted to the wholly uninteresting character.
McMahon's domination of television time, for no obvious or beneficial reason, is just one of the takeaways from a show that was all too mediocre but at least featured one or two things fans could appreciate and be positive about.
What were those things and why did they join McMahon's screen-time dilemma as the biggest takeaways from the broadcast?
Find out now with this recap of Monday's show.
Shane McMahon Is Overexposed and It Is Hurting the Show, Stars
At what point did Vince McMahon and his crack writing staff look at the current state of the WWE program and decide, "you know what these shows need: more Shane McMahon?"
History tells us that, when ratings sag, Vinnie Mac and the creative team turn to the royal family to help turn things around. We saw it in 2003 on SmackDown, in 2006 on Raw and again in 2007. The explode on to the show, overstay their welcome and usually participate in some of the most absurd storylines in WWE history.
While absurdity has not been on the agenda to this point, an overwhelming amount of the least interesting McMahon this side of Linda has been.
Since winning the Best in the World trophy last fall, Shane-O-Mac has been overexposed by WWE Creative, to the point that its reliance on him has come at the expense of actual wrestlers around whom the show should be built.
The Miz suffered, looking like a fool as he lost two straight PPV matches he should have won clean. The latest to find himself in an unenviable position? Drew McIntyre, who looks like nondescript muscle for the 49-year-old McMahon, who cannot hit the ring without blowing up.
The Scottish Psychopath should be well on his way to the main event, dominating the competition and developing a character that compels audiences. Instead, he ushers in the arrival of the guy management sees as a bigger star and therein lies the problem.
McMahon is receiving so much television time, competing in such high-profile matches that guys like McIntyre and The Revival, who could benefit from a fraction of the time allotted to the prodigal son, are left to wallow in their status as glorified sidekicks.
There are some who will suggest McIntyre, Dash Wilder and Scott Dawson will benefit from this; like they will somehow get the rub and be better off for having been associated with McMahon. That is not the case now, nor has it really ever been.
The Spirit Squad. Umaga. Big Boss Man. Sable.
All were hot heels at the time they were paired with McMahon and Co.
None were by the time their usefulness in the storyline ended. WWE Creative cannot really afford to do away with McIntyre and The Revival after they no longer serve a purpose in McMahon's narrative, but none of the three will benefit from being the heel flavor of the month, either.
This is not a vehicle to get them over, nor is it meant to assemble some massive, awesome faction. This is an attempt to put more heat on McMahon by surrounding him with heels for someone like Roman Reigns to pick off before the inevitable rematch with Shane, something management clearly sees as the big payoff to this ongoing, never-ending, overexposed and underwhelming story that all begins and ends with entirely too much Shane-O-Mac on our television screens.
Thank Goodness for the 24/7 Championship
The introduction of the 24/7 Championship may have been met with apathy by fans unimpressed by the company's latest attempt to spike ratings, but in the weeks since, R-Truth and the merry band of WWE undercarders have done a magnificent job of creating fun, interesting and creative angles for fans to invest in.
The result? Some extraordinarily entertaining television.
Early in the title's existence, it feels like a way to get Truth on TV as much as possible without having to push him as a serious threat of any kind. That is absolutely the right call. Even at 47 years old, he is one of the most entertaining performers on the roster thanks to the absurdity he allows himself to participate in and his comedic time.
The scenarios he finds himself in, including being stuck in an elevator with prospective challengers like Heath Slater, EC3, Cedric Alexander and the immensely great Drake Maverick Monday night, are among the best parts of a show that has not been synonymous with the concept of fun in a long time.
The chemistry Truth has with guys that are very likely his buddies off-screen shows in every segment he is part of and makes the show so much more enjoyable, even if only for a brief moment.
The 24/7 Championship will likely undergo many changes, alterations, evolutions and developments over the next couple of years, but as long as it retains its creativity and fun, it will be a welcome part of the show.
The Revival Returns to Rightful Place Atop the Tag Team Division
The Usos, The New Day and The Bar are all tandems that have helped the tag team division in WWE deliver some of the best matches of the last three years. The chemistry they have/had with each other is undeniable and the results were staggering.
Make no mistake about it, though: The Revival is the best team in wrestling and has been since they were winning tag titles in NXT. A series of injuries and management's unwillingness to push them as the premier team in the company led to professional frustration and led them to publicly seek opportunity elsewhere.
Their win over the aforementioned Usos and Zack Ryder and Curt Hawkins to regain the Raw Tag Team Championships may not curb their desire to join The Young Bucks, Cody and Kenny Omega in All Elite Wrestling, but it did signal their return to the top of a tag division they should have been dominating since arriving two years ago.
Wilder and Dawson are often referred to as a throwback to a bygone era of tag team wrestling, but in reality, they are revolutionary. They brought tag wrestling full circle, returning it to a psychology-based artform. Yes, they are like Arn Anderson and Tully Blanchard, but they are also unlike anything the industry had seen in nearly two-and-a-half decades.
They became revolutionary by going backwards, an entirely different spin on the sport.
That Dawson and Wilder are deceptively charismatic only helps their overall package.
A package WWE Creative has been hesitant to push to the masses.
Yes, this latest victory and title reign may well be a transparent attempt to keep the team happy and prevent what appears to be a surefire exit when their contracts are up. If so, good. Any chance that team gets to showcase its abilities on television, the better.
Now if only it could break away from Shane McMahon and his heat-sucking character before it's too late.