Every year, it’s the same thing.
WWE will air its annual Survivor Series pay-per-view in a few weeks, and “the battle for brand supremacy” will again be a thing, where Team RAW will take on Team SmackDown in an elimination match.
And once again, the story WWE is telling with this match continues to be the same thing year after year.
You won’t believe it! But, RAW members are bickering over who is going to be the team captain! Crazy, huh?
Not to mention, four of the five wrestlers on the RAW team were on SmackDown until three weeks ago, when WWE ran its draft and shook up the rosters. That’s right. Four of the RAW wrestlers, who supposedly feel this deep passion to defend their brand, were on the other brand until only recently.
On last night’s episode of RAW AJ Styles was trying to take control of the team. He bickered with Keith Lee (not Matt) Riddle, Sheamus and Braun Strowman about how they were going to function.
Side note: WWE removing “Matt” from Matt Riddle and insisting on calling him just “Riddle” – like they did with Mustafa Ali and Buddy Murphy – continues to be one of the dumbest things the company continues to do.
Anyway, this segment was completely off the rails quickly, with Riddle trying to give all of his teammates nicknames, calling Sheamus “fire face” and Sheamus fired back that Riddle’s should be “dopey.”
I can’t believe this aired.
After the goofball showcase was over, they spiraled into a pretty good tag-team math, where Keith Lee and Riddle beat Braun Strowman and Sheamus.
It’s hard to gauge who they are trying to appeal at this point. WWE seems to know the problem. They even added Barstool Sports CEO Erika Nardini to their governing board last month. Barstool is a polarizing and controversial brand, no doubt, but Nardini (and creator Dave Portnoy) have shown an ability to capture the male 18-34 demographic. That’s something I’m sure WWE is coveting.
But segments like last night’s aren’t getting old men interested, let alone testosterone-filled younger men. I’m not even sure children are interested at this point.
I’ll use a personal example … my 11-year-old was a huge wrestling fan a few years ago, and slowly but surely, his interest has faded. He keeps up with the product on Instagram, of all places, but last night wanted to watch Monday Night Football over RAW. Why? Well, he said the show is too long and he thinks too much of it is boring.
Yeah, I agree.