Tuesday, July 20, 2021

RAW (July 19th, 2021): Undefeated NXT Champion Becomes Another Job Guy

So here's the deal... I wasn't going to comment on this show because I don't watch RAW. However, I had to bring up a couple quick points regarding this show, which I have seen some of. I'm going to largely bounce ideas around, so don't expect anything elaborate.

So Keith Lee returns from some semblance of purgatory after having debuted on the main roster months ago as the big hometown hero... to lose to WWE World Champion Bobby Lashley in a non-title effort. You know, I seem to recall some other show where they had the hometown guy not only win, but also look like a million bucks. Probably wasn't a WWE show because that sort of logical booking doesn't apply here.

And then what comes afterwards? Bill Goldberg, fresh off losing to Drew McIntyre in his prior WWE title shot at the Rumble, decides to cash in his second match of the year by challenging Lashley to a title match. I've said this before on the audio program and so I'll re-iterate here; what's the point of Goldberg at this point? Is he that desperate for cash that he's willing to tarnish his aura? You know, the aura that he had been wanting to protect for years before? The last time the guy won the match, it was against Bray The Fiend in Saudi Arabia and has always been in a losing effort against significantly bigger stars. What does Lashley gain by beating an old guy who couldn't even beat Braun Strowman?

The same deal with bringing John Cena to face Roman Reigns... what's the point of bringing Cena in so he could be another victim because we're trying to get the Rock for later down the road? I'm sure the numbers will do fine for the short term, but after that? What incentive do I have to care about any of this stuff knowing it's just one and done? This has been WWE's problem for the longest time I could think; they have plans for these big times matches down the line, but they lack the ability to produce compelling storylines that makes me want to see these matches or even stick around for the in-between stuff.

And please leave the "What About ????" crap at the door; this has been an issue for over a DECADE.

Meanwhile, we see Jeff Hardy beat the debut Karrion Kross, reigning and - up until this point - undefeated NXT champion. Well, so much for that chestnut. Not only that, but Hardy - who came out to his old theme music that isn't the stock Hardy music - beat Kross in less than a couple minutes. You'd think it was like GoldBerg killing Brock in roughly the same amount of time, except Goldberg was a guy with name value and a mystique, while Jeff Hardy was playing jobber to the stars and not feeling like some distinguished veteran of the sport. And now Kross has to go back to NXT and try to be this big, tough monster when he just got killed by a fly on RAW. And then people wonder why NXT has yet to break that million viewer barrier. What's the point of caring about anything that happens on that show if the champion is treated like a jabroni?

Drew McIntyre hitting one of Jinder's lackey with a chair a billion times... yeah, it's a crowd pleaser, but for fuck's sake, that was needlessly excessive. Even MJF wasn't crazy with the lashes.

So there's a match between Sheamus and Humberto Carillo that apparently is the 1,873,784,098,284th match they've had in a series of them over the past several weeks. That was the last count I heard.

But hey, at least Nikki Cross cashed in and beat Charlotte for her first Women's title in WWE. A happy ending for once... but don't worry. Baby Flair will get it back soon enough. Like I said before, we've got to bump that title count up to live up to her reputation as a poor woman's Ric Flair.

Yeah, that's about it for this show. Maybe I'll give Smackdown another shot... or maybe even Impact since that's starting to become really good these days.

Wanted to touch on one other thing that just occured to me. It was recently brought to my attention that WWE considers Charlotte Flair to be an eleven-time Women's Champion.  This includes five stints as both RAW and Smackdown Women's Champions for a total of ten reigns, plus her one reign as Divas champion that ended when the title was retired in favor of what would become the RAW title. So I ask, "Why is this a problem?" 

Because apparently, WWE did not deem it necessarily to include Baby Flair's two stints as NXT Women's Champion, which further cements the belief that WWE doesn't care about NXT. Okay, fine. We're trying to distance ourselves from NXT. What's the big deal?

Well, I want to take you back the 2020 Royal Rumble where Baby Flair won the Women's Rumble, allowing her to challenge for any of the Women's titles. Did she challenge RAW Champion Becky Lynch? Or did she challenge Smackdown champion [insert name here]? No, she challenged NXT Women's Champion Rhea Ripley. And so it came to pass that at Wrestlemania 36, Charlotte Flair defeated NXT Women's Champion Rhea Ripley to win said title. Yes, it was in an empty Performance Center, but she still won it in the Showcase of the Immortals, the most important PPV event on the WWE calendar.

And now they're telling you that doesn't count.

Actually, I really don't care. But it adds a little sadness to that falling stock that is NXT.

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