The following editorial was written by Geoffrey Rowland and does not reflect the opinions of WrestleZone as a whole. We encourage you all to discuss Geoff’s thoughts in the comments section at the bottom of this post or by tweeting him @Geoff_Rowland
Just one week after putting on two very solid editions of RAW and SmackDown Live, the WWE seemed to lose some of its coherency and pace heading into Fastlane.
Having Ronda Rousey come out and whine about the fans and talk about the fact that she has done “real” fighting was one of the most illogical moves made on RAW in a long time. Her coming back and demanding the title back made sense, because she laid it down over Becky Lynch being treated unfairly. So, when Becky can all of a sudden be allowed in the ring again, The Baddest Woman on the Planet has a right to ask, “What?!”
But, coming out and portraying herself as better than everyone because she used to do “real” fights is a ridiculous move for the entire company. Everyone knows that this is scripted. Everyone knows that this is not the UFC, but this is a product based on the illusion that these athletes are competing, and even if it is tongue in cheek, it is ridiculous to openly mock that illusion.
It seems that the company is willing to let Ronda Rousey moved toward a tweener and heel role, which is a good move, because as long as Lynch is involved, nobody else can be the babyface in a feud. But the path to get to the triple threat has been full of inconsistent storylines, ridiculous promos and too much McMahon. The beat down of Lynch was a solid move if they are in fact pushing Rousey down a darker path and it gives Lynch a rally factor that she thrives in.
All of that is a problem, but it does not change the fact that Charlotte Flair v. Ronda Rousey v. Becky Lynch is going to be a huge match and one that will likely close WrestleMania.
As the women’s intrigue closed both SmackDown and RAW, the red brand saw The Shield reunite and rode the wave of enthusiasm following Roman Reigns’s return from battling Leukemia.
Reigns has always been charismatic and drawn eyes, whether the fans loved him or hated him, and having him back in the fold is fun, but it is also distracting from the roll that Seth Rollins has been on.
Rollins needs to be seen as a threat to Brock Lesnar for The Showcase of the Immortals, not just seen as Reigns’s buddy. It is unclear how he can be painted in that light now that he appears stuck in the background, but unless there is a feud with Reigns coming, or one of the two moves to SmackDown, it appears like The Beast might walk out of WrestleMania with the championship still around his waist.
The rest of RAW seemed a little disjointed as they attempt to have Aleister Black and Ricochet, two superstars who work great on an individual level, be forced into a tag team. Will be interested to see if The Revival walk out of Fastlane with the belts. It has been made a triple threat with Bobby Roode and Chad Gable so that Roode or Gable can take the pin and Black and Ricochet come away clean.
Triple H cut a pretty good promo to address Batista’s attack on Ric Flair. But it was oddly placed and felt a little long and forced at times trying to go back and forth between Flair’s character and his real life. It falls in line with the Rousey move of referring to “real” life and overall, it just hurts the product.
Of course, The Animal and The Game face-to-face next week will still be must see.