WWE cannot afford to drop the ball with Big E’s cash in


While WWE may not acknowledge AEW as competition, the success of the latter is driving what many see as changes across the promotion. News came out on Monday that WWE Money in the Bank holder, Big E is set to be on Monday Night Raw, creating a buzz about a potential appearance and cash-in. Big E is one of the most beloved members of the WWE roster and elevating him to a position of a champion is an opportunity that the WWE can’t afford to fumble, both for his perception as a star and the promotion’s relevance with a wide swath of fans.

On Monday, Fightful Select reported that there were “a lot” of changes outside of the original plans for both WWE NXT and Raw. On the NXT side, Samoa Joe’s injury forced his relinquishing of the title – creating a vacancy at the top of the card that needs to be filled by someone that can carry and create interest in the brand. But for WWE Raw, those changes are a bit harder to discern.

Then, Big E took to Twitter to reveal that he intends (keyword “intends”) to cash in the briefcase for a shot at the WWE title currently held by Bobby Lashley. Lashley is scheduled to face Randy Orton in a singles match on tonight’s edition of the show. This match was originally scheduled for WWE Extreme Rules, but as mentioned, things have changed.

The buzz about Big E’s potential cash-in was met with both excitement and fear from those across “wrestling Twitter.” Many recognize that the WWE tends to tease moments like these, just to swerve fans with someone undesired. Take Becky Lynch’s return at SummerSlam as a recent example. This is even more of an issue with it comes to minority groups on the roster, as women and people of color aren’t frequently elevated to the same status as their white counterparts. WWE has shown some improvement in that area, but there’s still a lot of opportunities to be better in that space. Giving Big E this moment on Monday would be a step in that direction.

Wrestling fans have long identified Big E as a star. Even before his time in The New Day, WWE had someone that could be a pillar for the promotion for years to come. His July victory at Money in the Bank was long overdue, and the response from fans made it clear that they are ready to see him as the face of the promotion. Big E has all the pieces of the puzzle. His look jumps off the screen, he can work from bell to bell, and his microphone skills are among the best in the promotion today. All the boxes are not only checked but they are checked with flying colors.

Still, the apprehension is palpable when it comes to WWE booking. There are too many examples to point where WWE seemingly enjoys letting fans down, just to bring them back up with the moment they’ve requested. KofiMania in 2019 was filled with them.

WWE isn’t in a place to let fans down once again and expect them to return as usual. Especially the Black and Brown fans that Big E resonates so well with. If WWE fails at booking him with the same zest that fans feel when they see him on screen, they can expect a drop-off in engaged viewers from within that demographic. The same could be said about the women’s division and its lack of consistent booking on main roster television. Female wrestling fans are making their voices heard and it’s a matter of time before this impacts the bottom line as alternatives continue to develop.

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Tonight’s Monday Night Raw has the potential to be a big moment for Big E. WWE must treat it and him accordingly or face blowback that may drive away more fans than they’ve seen in recent years.