Tucker’s Instant Reaction – 3/21 Raw: WWE zig-zagging on the Road to WrestleMania

By Ben Tucker, PWTorch TV specialist


Instant Reaction – WWE Raw 3/21

Not since WrestleMania 13 has WWE’s Super Bowl come together in such a bizarre fashion, with WWE making some of the most head-scratching decisions I’ve seen in ages. Tonight’s Raw was the most obvious example of poor storytelling, poor planning, and poor foresight that we have seen in a long, long time, and instead of lethargically explaining everything to you, I’m just going to list all of the problems I saw with tonight’s show.

– Kevin Owens vs. A.J. Styles was an entertaining spotfest that overall served no purpose and highlights the reason why so many WWE talents today are injured. Styles and Owens performed five or six major bumps on a random match meant to fill time. Why not throw in two squash matches or a promo segment instead? Individuals like Hulk Hogan, who barely took three bumps a match during his run on top, suffer today from a bevy of bump-related injuries. Why is WWE continuing to increase the bump count when it serves no tangible benefit?

– Ryback and Kalisto, two talented wrestlers who are not connecting well with the crowd, have a one-on-one match at WrestleMania for the U.S. Title. And, they were nowhere to be found to potentially improve on the basic build-up. Then, after several months of building the prestige of the Intercontinental Title with Dean Ambrose, Kevin Owens is defending it in a seven-man ladder match against Sami Zayn and five other people who barely win any matches. Of those individuals is Superstars “main-eventer” Zack Ryder. I love Zack Ryder, but Zack Ryder belongs nowhere near the IC Title. Isn’t the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal the match meant to get everyone on the card? At this point, there’s only about 15 wrestlers left for that match.

– Regarding Brock Lesnar facing Dean Ambrose at WrestleMania, two of the participants (Ambrose and Paul Heyman) are among the best talkers in the company. Yet, WWE opts for a four-minute throwaway match between Ambrose and Braun Strowman… in the main event of Raw.

– Roman Reigns is being promoted as an afterthought as Raw crowds continue to reject him. His stilted attack on Triple H (where he waited 30 seconds for a garage door to open before beginning his assault) provoked humor more than tangible excitement.

– Who do we root for at WrestleMania? The Undertaker, a legendary figure who is fighting to keep the evil boss in power but everyone loves, or Shane McMahon, the individual who is demanding for change in the WWE at the cost of Taker’s career?

If there was one word to classify the build for this year’s WrestleMania, it would be “why?” WWE has avoided taking the common sense route at every point in the weeks leading up to the show. I’ve gone from excitedly anticipating the show to wondering what bizarre stipulations McMahon and Co. are going to add to each match on the program. WWE isn’t spinning its wheels, but it’s not exactly moving forward, either; Monday’s Raw exhibited WWE moving in a zig-zag formation, heading off into some unknown, unwanted land off the map from Dallas, Texas.

Any questions or comments? Message me on Twitter @BTuckerTorch!

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