Proper Goldberg Booking, Karrion Kross Damage Control, More WWE Raw Fallout

Kevin Berge@TheBerge_Featured ColumnistAugust 17, 2021

Proper Goldberg Booking, Karrion Kross Damage Control, More WWE Raw Fallout

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    Ahead ofย SummerSlam this weekend, the August 16 edition of WWE Raw set the stage for a show that could redefine the direction of the red brand.

    Goldberg embarrassed Bobby Lashley, laying him out just before the Summer Vacation Destination. This should only set up for a dominant win by The All Mighty on Saturday night while the WWE Hall of Famer rides off into the sunset.

    Drew McIntyre has set the stage for a match he has long wanted with Jinder Mahal. However, due to poor storytelling at every stage, the entire feud has fallen apart before they can get physical.

    After a poor choice by WWE led to Karrion Kross losing his Raw debut, the company has been in full damage-control mode with The Herald of Doomsday, giving him a dominant victory this week over the man who handed him his first loss on the main roster: Jeff Hardy.

    Reggie is on a rare roll as 24/7 champion, defending the title successfully and avoiding unwanted challenges. His acrobatics have proved perfectly suited for a title that had seemingly run its course.

    Raw is not in the best spot, but it has found certain angles to focus in on with clarity. It will be interesting to see where each of these stories go.

Goldberg's Run in WWE Must End with Domination at Hands of Bobby Lashley

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    Goldberg has remained a constant fixture around major pay-per-views in WWE over the last few years, but his return has led to a series of bad matches and waning crowd anticipation.

    While he has certainly done his job to elevate talent, he has also had his fair share of unnecessary victories. For example, his dominance over Bray Wyatt could directly be linked to The Fiend's eventual departure from WWE.

    He cannot defeat Bobby Lashley at SummerSlam. It might get a temporary headline, but it would drastically affect The All Mighty's future. He must remain a dominant champion. He cannot lose to an aging veteran who cannot go more than a few minutes.

    Moreover, due to his failing stamina, Goldberg should truly consider this a last ride. He and Lashley can have a solid sprint together, which will allow the Hall of Famer to ride off into the sunset without embarrassment.

    That will leave the 54-year-old's legacy intact without him causing any more serious harm to wrestlers. This match was a bad idea to start, and no other potential contest involving Goldberg has any appeal. It is time to say farewell.

Drew McIntyre's Feud with Jinder Mahal Remains Lifeless

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    Few rose up the ranks as clearly as Drew McIntyre during the pandemic era. He was a stalwart of Raw, carrying the WWE Championship while putting on great matches every time. The return of crowds did not initially damper his stardom, but he has faltered since then.

    In particular, his feud with Jinder Mahal has been a series of misses. Whoever is booking this match has struggled to put together a coherent arc for two men with so much history.

    The Scot continues to embarrass The Modern Day Maharaja's barely established lackeys week in and week out. He is making the stable look like a joke, and it seems like that will continue into SummerSlam.

    It was clear for a while that McIntyre and Mahal wanted this match given their history as teammates in 3MB. Now that it's finally happening, they have much to prove.

    Otherwise, this will all come off as a self-indulgent clash of friends taking a spot on the SummerSlam card away from talent that have done the work and told better stories in the ring.

WWE in Damage-Control Mode with Karrion Kross

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    With Karrion Kross' win over Jeff Hardy on Monday, a question needs to be asked: Why did he lose in the first place?

    The only real explanation at first was that the NXT champion was walking into an unfamiliar situation unprepared, but nothing has changed with his presentation since.

    Given he has put Hardy behind him, Kross is unlikely to be waiting on Scarlett to join him. She will likely move on to working on her own or managing a new talent instead.

    Without her, it has led to a story lacking a voice. The Herald of Doomsday is just another wrestler on a bloated roster that still lacks established depth.

    While Kross has the talent to make his own mark, his presentation must improve. WWE can admit to a mistake and give him a series of wins, but that doesn't mask the fact that his character work has been lacking.

    Damage control after a creative error is inevitable, but it is not as simple as booking a series of victories. Kross must be allowed to speak and fully establish himself as a unique presence in WWE.

Reggie Has Found His Spot in WWE as 24/7 Champion

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    The 24/7 Championship looked to be running out of steam until WWE decided to give the title to Reggie. Formerly Reginald, he has come into his own by letting go of the awkward "sommelier" gimmick that originally got him on TV.

    Reggie is more athlete than wrestler. His Cirque du Soleil background allows him to fly around the ring with ease. It is quite the spectacle, but it's not a reliable way for a top performer to compete.

    That is why a stunt gimmick like the 24/7 Championship has suited him so well. He can do everything he is good at without any expectations of more.

    He was a poor fit for the women's division because he was allowed to defeat top performers. He took the spotlight away from the female wrestlers and focused it on a man. That is the worst way to handle a well-established women's division.

    Instead, Reggie can work off R-Truth and Akira Tozawa each week in a series of escalating stunts. The true test is how long he can hold the title competing on Raw and SmackDown. If he can take the record for longest reign, he could establish a unique legacy as a comedy/stunt wrestler in WWE.