On Monday’s episode of WWE Raw, the flagship show of the promotion turned its attention to starting the hype for the Day 1 pay-per-view scheduled for New Year’s Day. WWE also beefed up this show with a pair of championship matches and a big 10-woman tag team match.
This week’s Raw had its share of bright spots, but it also featured plenty of low points throughout the three-hour telecast. We’ve already discussed the positives, so now it’s time to examine what made those negatives so bad.
These were the top three things that went wrong on the Nov. 30 episode of WWE Raw.
Having babyfaces blame other wrestlers on the roster for former WWE stars getting released.
As if WWE’s obtuseness wasn’t already apparent when Mr. McMahon threatened to fire whoever stole his dumb egg just weeks after the company legitimately released another group of wrestlers wasn’t bad enough, now it’s scripting babyfaces to act as though these releases were some sort of salary cap casualty.
Or, to put it more accurately, wrestler-induced “budget cuts”.
It started with Liv Morgan insinuating that Becky Lynch’s large contract was the reason Ruby Riott (now Ruby Soho in AEW) and Sara Logan got fired. This continued during Edge and The Miz’s long talking segment when Edge hinted that Miz was responsible for John Morrison not being in the company anymore.
Needless to say, Lynch is not responsible for the other two members of the Riott Squad not being in WWE and Miz isn’t to blame for Morrison’s dismissal. All of the finger-pointing should be directed at WWE, the company that has callously and continuously released wrestlers during an ongoing pandemic in the name of “budget cuts” to make its already obscene profit margins look even impressive to shareholders.
It’s disgusting that WWE booked any of this rhetoric on its show, and the fact that it was written for babyfaces makes it worse. For people who know the real reason for the releases, it’s insulting, and for those who don’t, it’s insidious gaslighting.
Edge and Miz’s impending program
Look, The Miz is a gifted orator, and having him back on Raw will benefit the show, but it’s hard to get excited about him having a match with Edge.
Even if Miz had better in-ring skills (to be fair, he’s not as bad as some of his detractors think he is, just not particularly dynamic), WWE has booked him in a way that makes him hard to take seriously as a top act, no matter how hard Edge tries to put him over in a promo (and boy, did he try). Remember, Miz is the same guy who won a grand total of TWO matches in 2020.
Sure, he got another WWE Championship reign in 2021, but even the biggest Miz apologist knows that his win was a means to move the title over to Bobby Lashley as quickly as possible. Once that business was done, it was right back to the midcard for him.
Listen, Miz is what he is at this point, and that’s fine. But for someone who only gets a handful of matches a year, building up Miz as a major opponent for Edge feels like a misstep.
Mr. McMahon/Austin Theory segments
Similar to several other names on WWE’s roster, it will never not feel icky to see Austin Theory on TV at all, let alone receiving a push. Seeing him get the dreaded “endorsed by Vince on television” push would soften the blow given the low success rate of this sort of presentation, but even then, it means you have to watch him in boring segments where he watches Raw with McMahon.
Each skit — there were three in total — progressed up the boring scale before culminating with a patented McMahon slap. Thrilling television, for sure. It’s clear WWE had no plan for this outside of “well, his first name is Austin, so let’s pair him with Vince”.
This was time that could’ve been better spent on something else.