Austin Theory's Bizarre Push, Becky Lynch Hits Out at Fans, More WWE Raw Fallout
In the wake of Survivor Series, WWE Raw should have been celebrating, but most of the focus during the November 22 edition was on an expensive golden egg.
Thanks to Sami Zayn, Austin Theory was revealed as the culprit in the egg heist. Vince McMahon decided to reward Theory with an opportunity at the WWE Championship. While he didn't win, he did give Big E a run for his money.
Becky Lynch cut a scathing promo on a lukewarm Brooklyn audience that left the women hanging late on Sunday with a tepid response. While her words rang true, it is unlikely this will spark any change in crowd reactions.
Queen Zelina and Carmella captured the WWE Women's Tag Team Championship by defeating Rhea Ripley and Nikki A.S.H. For those few who remember the titles were still around, this just further displayed WWE's lackluster approach to booking.
Rey and Dominik Mysterio fought and fell in their valiant attempt to defeat Bobby Lashley. It was a sad night of booking for the legend and his son, who should be on the rise.
Monday's Raw was a mixed bag, but certain moments did make an impact.
WWE Books Austin Theory into Main Event in Weirdest Way Possible
Austin Theory is undoubtedly a rising star in WWE. He has talent to spare alongside an infectious personality, and he is easy hate and love depending on what stories he wants to tell.
In time, the 24-year-old will be one of the company's biggest talents, but he is still learning and growing at the moment. His selfie game is a fun angle that cannot last forever.
It was far from the right time to put him in a main event title match with Big E. That was especially true because WWE booked him into it on the back of the awful "golden egg" story that began at Survivor Series.
Throwing Vince McMahon on television with a movie prop was antithetical to what WWE should be trying to do. Booking Theory in a title match after stealing the egg and being forced to bring it back makes little sense.
The idea should be to highlight names who can tell stories of their own. WWE is scratching and clawing for every last bit of relevancy at the moment. Theory could have been used so much better here and come out looking great.
At least he got to challenge the WWE champion for a short while, showing off a talent that will be all the more defined in the coming years.
Becky Lynch Speaks Truth to Crowd That Likely Won't Change
The fans in Brooklyn, New York, did not show up for Survivor Series. Other than Becky Lynch vs. Charlotte Flair and the final five minutes of Roman Reigns vs. Big E, the Barclays Center crowd was lifeless.
WWE certainly did itself no favors by giving a lackluster build to the card, but the talent worked hard to sell to the fans. The most glaring example was the 5-on-5 women's elimination match. Everyone brought their all to that contest, but there was little reaction from the stands.
Big Time Becks went off on the crowd Monday night for their indifference, even though her match against The Queen got the loudest reactions of the night at the pay-per-view. As heels often do in WWE, she presented a harsh truth.
A live show represents the crowd's opportunity each night to tell WWE who and what they care about, and nothing changes a story faster than a raucous reaction for someone who was not expected to get one.
It was an important moment for Lynch to speak for the women in the locker room, but it likely won't matter. The company continues to fail them with sloppy booking and limited in-ring time, and only a colossal fan response can change anything.
Queen Zelina and Carmella Win in Latest Example of Bad Women's Tag Title Booking
After weeks of beating Rhea Ripley and Nikki A.S.H., Carmella and Zelina Vega got a title match and captured the WWE Women's Tag Team Championships.
This should have been an easy angle to book, but WWE has instead done little to promote this rivalry at all. The feud was an afterthought for Survivor Series, and Nikki was more or less invisible for weeks. It was just about getting the gold to the next women in line.
There has been no strong story in the women's tag team division since Sasha Banks and Bayley lost the gold. Even when they were champions, it was more about them going after the Raw and SmackDown Women's Championships.
While the women deserve more recognition and gold can help build investment, WWE has done nothing to make the titles feel like they matter. The gold is rarely defended on a major show.
Carmella and Zelina can make this work. They are talented wrestlers with team chemistry built over several months. It is just going to require WWE to sit back and let the women tell some actual stories again.
The Mysterios Deserve Better Than This Fall from Grace
Rey Mysterio is a legend and one of the greatest performers of all time. He is a multiple time world champion who can still compete at the highest level. He alone should be able to compete with Bobby Lashley.
Paired with his son, Dominik, a blue-chip talent who has outperformed expectations at 24 years of age, The All Mighty should have been the underdog in this fight, but he wasn't. Such is the odd nature of handicap matches.
There was never a doubt Lashley would defeat The Mysterios on his own. However, booking like this does not benefit him or his opponents. The father-and-son pairing were tag team champions earlier this year. Even with their recent struggles, this booking was sloppy.
That has been with The Mysterios' booking for months. Dominik cannot pull a win out of his hat, while Rey is stuck babysitting his son after a series of losses.
It is a laughable angle, setting up a predictable turn by Dominik. While the resulting matches should be good, it will be hard to get invested once the two are closer to 24/7 Championship contention than the WWE title.