WWE procession to the 2022 Royal Rumble pay-per-view continued with this week’s episode of WWE Raw from Tulsa, Okla. Unfortunately, though, the three-hour broadcast provided as many head-scratching matches and segments as it did productive ones; another consequence of airing such a long-winded show.
We’ve already discussed the positives from this show, so let’s talk about the things that weren’t so good.
These are the top two things that went wrong on the Jan. 17 episode of WWE Raw.
Finn Balor loses clean to Austin Theory
WWE is still trying to make this Austin Theory thing happen, huh? Thus far, this “endorsed by Vince McMahon” push Theory has received manages to annoy everyone not named Vince McMahon, and now it has reached the point where the youngster is getting clean wins over Finn Balor at a time where the company needs as many name-brand stars as possible.
Listen, the effort to push younger stars is an admirable one (and one that WWE also needs to implement for the sake of its future), but spending so much time on someone who isn’t over with the crowds and not someone a lot of folks want to see on television at all due to his past baggage. And the stuff with Vince isn’t going to get him over.
Balor will probably get his win back at some point, but it’s discouraging to see him take such an unceremonious loss to someone who’s still struggling to connect with the audience.
Alexa Bliss psychiatrist skits: Week 2
The good news is that this week’s segment with Alexa Bliss and her shrink didn’t reach the depths of repulsion that last week’s skit did. Much of the improvement, however, rests with the reduced length, as the doctor’s visit still came across as cheap and poorly acted.
This character Bliss is doing has become something of a sunk cost for WWE, but at some point — unless the Lily dolls are selling like hotcakes — the promotion will need to cut bait with this gimmick if it continues to produce content that is detrimental to the overall quality of the show.
Perhaps that’s where these bits are going, but knowing WWE, it’s doubtful.