Seeing as this week’s episode of WWE Raw broadcasted from the home arena of the Sacramento Kings, a franchise that hasn’t given its fans much to cheer for over the last 15 years, it’s appropriate that WWE would follow the same blueprint for audience appreciation on this show.
There were certainly some positives to take away from Monday’s telecast — as was discussed in an earlier piece — but the show also suffered from the usual missteps that fans have griped about for years.
While reliving these terrible moments is never fun, it is worth going back to discuss why they didn’t work.
These are three of the things that went wrong on the Oct. 18 episode of Raw.
TWO DQ finishes
Add this week’s episode of Raw to the mounting list of evidence that WWE needs to implement time limits. Sure, having a bunch of matches go to a time-limit draw can become just as troubling of a trend if they are overused, but they’re preferable to the non-finishes that WWE relies on when it books two wrestlers in matches where neither can afford a loss.
A tie would’ve worked far better than having Raw Women’s Champion Charlotte Flair hit Bianca Belair with a chair to get herself disqualified and keep the championship on a technicality. Fans definitely would’ve taken it over AJ Styles and Omos interfering in the RK-Bro/Street Profits match and attacking Orton to, you guessed it, draw the DQ.
As usual, WWE made these decisions to keep all parties from taking a pinfall loss, but all the promotion accomplished here was eroding the fans’ interest in seeing these matches again (particularly Flair vs. Belair, which was very good before the DQ).
The counter pin to the Kirifuda Clutch is back, unfortunately
At this point, Shayna Bazler should have an answer for when someone counters the Kirifuda Clutch into a pinning combination. Yet, here we are in October of 2021 and Baszler has once again succumbed to this simple reversal, this time to (sigh) Doudrop in the semifinals of the Queen’s Crown Tournament.
WWE pulls out this finish when it tries to protect Baszler in defeat, but these finishes do more harm than good for her. Going to this once or twice is fine, but when Baazler gets beaten by the same reversal over and over, it undercuts her credibility as a dangerous grappler. It also makes (sigh) Doudrop’s win feel like a fluke, which doesn’t do much to get her over.
Also, this was another short Queen’s Crown match, which is particularly disappointing on a three-hour television show.
Goldberg’s death threats
You know, there is this idea (if I remember correctly, it was a point that Scott Hall made) that it’s never a good idea for one wrestler to vow to kill another wrestler, as there’s no way to live up to that promise. That hasn’t stopped Goldberg from making these threats to Bobby Lashley ahead of their No Holds Barred match at the blood money propaganda show (which makes the threats even more queasy).
Look, it’s a wrestling match with no disqualifications and no countouts. No one is killing anyone here. At best, Goldberg may get the pin on Lashley as revenge for Lashley ragdolling his son at SummerSlam. Adding those lines of dialogue added zero heat to a match that fans aren’t particularly interested in seeing, so why even bother?
Have Goldberg say that he’ll hurt Lashley the way he tried to hurt him and his son. Have him say he’ll pulverize or destroy Lashley. Anything other than “kill”.