1. Charlotte’s Half of the Promo
If anyone has suffered from being outside the warm embrace of Full Sail and is still positioned to be a big deal, it is Charlotte. Some people may try to revoke my smark card (which I earned by being a certifed geek and bonafide nerd) but I’d rank Charlotte as fourth on the main roster in-ring, below Sasha, Becky, and Nikki. I don’t know what you can do about her delivery right now because the sample size is too small, but it might have to do with WWE’s tendency to book their important faces as super underdogs that are super unbeatable and there’s some sort of cognitive dissonance. Cena of course, rises above that. There were some good moments, as mentioned on the previous page, but overall, Charlotte just doesn’t have the speaking experience to pull off this sort of promo.
2.The Laziest Rebound
Sweet Sassafrass, what the heck was up with that second attempt at the Rebound Lariat? I’m all in on Dean “Master Grappler” and getting ready to say “see, see, he can wrestling well” and he goes and pulls the most “well, gotta fit this in somewhere I guess” rebound he’s ever done. Did you see that monstrosity? It felt like he took a seat to think about why he was doing it then did it. I don’t get it. The crowd would pop just as hard as he just leveled dudes with Stan Hansen style lariats. Heck, pull a Misterio and bounce off the middle rope. This getting tangled in the ropes stuff needs to go.
3.Big Moves Failing To Win The Match
I get that the crowd expects certain finishing sequences (even if they look like something that would keep my kid down only because he’s giggling too hard) and many of us bemoan roll ups as legitimate match enders, but man it hurts my suspension of disbelief when I see Kevin Owen’s get spiked on his head with a Poison Rana or Dean get face smashed from the top rope and they kick out but I’m expected to believe that Ziggler would have won if he had just hit the Zig Zag. Familiarity is what you want at your live show, but you (or me at least) want something unexpected. Yes, I want to see a Red Arrow in person, but I’d be okay if he won with a move that stood a dude on his head. Nothing against any of the competitors, it’s just WWE Style is full of these flat back bump finishers and dudes are kicking out of top rope Fisherman Busters and Falcoln Arrows like this is a wrestling game on the hardest difficultly level and they can beat you with a big boot.
4.No Promo Time for Half the Bracket
Where was Ziggler’s impassioned “I will be the champion” proclamation. I know ADR bores people silly, but where was his “I will be a dual champion.” Dean got one post match, so that’s cool. Roman’s the only one that got an actual in ring, in front of the people promo spot that was about him and not whether or not HHH wants to take him out for steaks later.
5.Wrestling For Wrestling’s Sake
I love wrestling moves. You’re not going to see many DDTs and Exploder Suplexes in the next Marvel Film (but how dope would it be for Hulk to hit Chaos Theory on Thanos? The dopest right?) so yeah, I can enjoy a couple of dudes beating the brakes off each other and trying to twist each other in ways that make chiropractor’s eyes turn into dollar signs. But WWE has a way of just sending guys out there to run through the motions. Some people’s motions are better than others, but a guy like R-Truth is only quasi-exciting the very first time you see him. The Usos are high energy but without a story, it’s a bunch of “barely clearing the ropes” dives to the outside and “death by a dozen superkicks.” Again, cool in person, not so cool three episodes in a row. I don’t even need a story or an angle so much as some sort of stakes. Six man tags rarely have them because there’s no six man belt and they rarely run with the “trio has all the gold” story that would neccessitate Six Man Tags as anything other than (admittedly sometimes fun) filler. Tyler needed a win is a talking point at least.
6. The Beauty Shot
Since I just brought up believablity in finishing sequences, I cannot overlook the fact that in a company where Super Kicks and DDTs are transition moves, the ultimate WCW midcarder transition move is someone’s finisher. On one hand, it’s R-Truth and on most nights I expect him to get pinned after missing an Axe Kick, but on the other hand Alex Wright never one a match with this move and he was wrestling part time Black Jack dealers.
7. Ryback dismantling the New Day By Himself
Nothing against Ryback personally as I sometimes dig his “more articulate Goldberg in RVDs singlet” aesthetic, but he’s symptomatic of WWE’s need to send the crowd home happy sometimes. The Usos helped a little, but mainly to keep Xavier from running away. My primary criticism is this match began as it ended: without a true purpose. I will never complain about New Day on my television, but I will complain if you don’t give them something to do that builds to something to gets people to want to know what’s next. New Day should have took their dirty victory and scampered away. Ryback and the Usos should have had to wait to get their hands on them. It’s storytelling 101. They didn’t stop Ultron the first time they saw him. John Rambo doesn’t take down the police force in the first act. If you must give the live crowd instant gratification, use your dark segments. I’m not saying I know more about anything that anyone in WWE, but I feel like the whole purpose of dark segments is to do fun stuff for the crowd without messing with the supposed serial (though mostly episodic) narrative that you should be maintaing to keep eyeballs on the television show.
8. Should Have Done This Last Week
I did not weigh on this last week because enough was said to fill several fanposts, columns, comment sections, and forums, but suffice to say, I believe the Wyatts vs Brothers of Destruction story has been mishandled from a fundemental storytelling perspective. Like the above case with Ryback, you don’t have the face utterly destroy the heels before you establish the idea that these heels need to be beat beyond the fact that they’re heels. Regardless of any other factor, if you’re building to a confrontation that depended on the heels having the advantage, you don’t immediately negate that advantage and have them look like they don’t stand a chance before the next confrontation.
I was not particuarly fond of Wyatt sending a couple of scrubs in evening gowns to fight a zombie cowboy and his demonic half brother, but it made mroe sense than all four Wyatts getting dispatched in a similar fashion.
Now, I will be the first one to request we send a fruit basket to Connecticut if UT and Kane bow before Wyatt at Survivor Series or we get some other swerve along the way that doesn’t make Wyatt even more ineffectual.
9. No Tribute To Bockwinkle
I can go on youtube and find like ten tributes right now. WWE could throw together one over the weekend? Not saying they are obligated of course, just you know, it would be nice to see a few highlights of a wrestler’s career on my wrestling show instead R-Truth.
10. Back Stage Fall Out Still Does Better Character Development Than the Show
This may very well be a running criticism, but man, Dean and Roman laying down the law that even brothers have to fight if it’s for the big one, is definitely something that should be featured on the show. I will never understand how so much good content is relegated to youtube where a few thousand, maybe a hundred thousand people over the course of a week or two, instead of the weekly televised audience that might get to see why those “obsessive internet types” think this guy can be a star.