Written by Jordan Stynes (@prostynes)
I have been down on WWE’s main roster programming since Wrestlemania. I haven’t watched an episode of Raw or Smackdown in about five weeks now. I have been listening to podcasts and watching highlights on Youtube to keep up with the storylines. Raw is either terrible or half-decent most weeks and Smackdown has only just resurfaced again after months of bad booking and boring shows. The problem has recently become apparent to me though. The WWE has become a TV show about wrestling rather than a wrestling TV show. I first heard it explained like this on the “Alleged Wrestling Podcast”.
I know Lucha Underground is more of a TV show about wrestling rather than a wrestling TV show, but they do it correctly. They have their own outlandish lore and storylines, WWE comes off like a bad sitcom. Just look at the whole Bobby Lashley/Sami Zayn feud. They had an obstacle course race on the final show before Money in the Bank for god’s sake! I know that they always do stupid shit like that, but when your “developmental” show can produce great weekly action in an hour each week, why can’t they? Do people who aren’t “smarks” or children enjoy that every week?
WWE doesn’t interest me in a time where you can get great action from NXT or NJPW. There was a great period for wrestling on Raw around the time of the Gauntlet match that took up the first hour of the show. For a few weeks there was good booking and wrestling. I saw a tweet that said something like “Imagine going from Omega/Okada and Jericho/Naito to Ricochet/Dream and Gargano/Ciampa and then finally ending with Reigns/Mahal” That is like eating quality steak for a week and then eating plain white bread the next.
Anyway let me get onto the reason I’m writing this piece. The ONLY thing I find the slightest bit interesting about the Main Roster is Ronda Rousey. I didn’t watch Money in the Bank last night but I went out of my way today to watch Rousey vs Nia Jax and was glad I did.
Ronda Rousey is a natural in the ring. She is lightning quick, she looks like a Panther attacking her prey. She can sell too, her facial expressions were perfect. There was a moment just before the end where you could see her face turn from “ what do I have to do” to pure rage. This was also Nia Jax’s best match to date and that is because of Rousey.
Ronda sold every move from Nia. She is not scared to ragdoll around. I loved the moment where she fell through the middle ropes after taking the powerbomb from Nia. She really does understand pro wrestling. Ronda really gets it and that was something people doubted about her before her debut. The moment when she took to the top rope was excellent. The little stagger that she made as she stood up was a nice touch. You could see her say “Woah!”. You often hear “Stone Cold” Steve Austin say that Kurt Angle was like a natural to the business. I think Ronda is this generation’s Kurt Angle. She had taken to wrestling like a duck to water. I know her mic work isn’t that good but that will come with time.
I didn’t like the finish to the match at first, but looking back it made the most sense. So from here I guess we get Alexa vs Nia vs Ronda at Summerslam. But looking forward, I am all for Ronda main eventing Wrestlemania next year. Ronda vs Charlotte would be incredible. Vince should pull the trigger on it. Why not? It would be great for business and great for the women’s division.
I do hope the main roster improves soon. Maybe in the lead up to Summerslam it might get better. I really hope that NXT is our taster for what the Main Roster will become one day. I hope that in the years to come that Velveteen Dream has a World Title run and that NXT’s current top stars are big stars on the main roster and not jobbers.
I would love to see Balor and Nakamura go back to Japan. Balor and the Good Brothers would be great back there. I don’t want to see Kenny Omega in this version of WWE. Who the hell wants to see him have a “this is your life” segment? I like good storylines and I like good action and currently NXT and NJPW are doing that. WWE are not. NXT Takeover Chicago was not the most stacked NXT card but was a hell of a lot better than most WWE PPVs in recent times. NJPW Dominion was just god tier. A solid action packed Wrestling show, what more do you want?