There’s been a lot to like about WWE RAW since the Draft happened earlier this month, and it appears that Paul Heyman’s influence is getting deeper engrained into the product.
First, younger stars are being pushed on television, even if it’s in losing efforts. Last night’s show featured Kairi Sane losing a highly-competitive match against Becky Lynch, arguably the top woman’s star in the company.
Buddy Murphy picked up an easy win over R-Truth. Ricochet and Drew McIntyre wrestled a fun 17-minute match that ended in a DQ (to help preserve both men). The Viking Raiders and Andrade both picked up victories and Erick Rowan, of all people, looked believable in a falls count anywhere match against WWE Universal Champion Seth Rollins that went over 15 minutes. The main-event match on the show was newcomer Humberto Carrillo falling in a competitive match against AJ Styles.
There’s a lot to like.
However, there’s also one thing to hate.
The love triangle storyline between Rusev, Lana and Bobby Lashley has been gag-inducing, to say the least. If you haven’t tuned in for a while, Lana (Rusev’s real-life wife) is cheating on him with Bobby Lashley. The last few weeks have been spent humiliating Rusev while Lana and Lashley usually make out either in the arena, or in hotel rooms in during hokey skits.
Last night was a new, sad low.
During a King’s Court segment — that closed the show! — Lana said that Rusev was a sex addict. To which Rusev replied, “well, can you blame me?”
Lana said — on WWE television — that Rusev wanted to fornicate “in the morning, in the afternoon and evening. In the kitchen, the arena, the doctor’s office and the locker room at WrestleMania.”
If you can actually believe it, things got worse from there.
Lana said Rusev knew more “about her monthly cycle” than she did and only wanted to have a baby, which Rusev denied. Lana complained that she’s a model and can’t be a mom (yes, this is real life, this was actually on WWE television). Lana then said that Lashley told her that Rusev cheated on her, which is why she is now cheating on him with Lashley.
After that, Rusev and Lashley fought a little. Lana hit Rusev with a kendo stick, Lashley kicked him where the sun don’t shine, and the show ended with — guess what?! — Lana and Lashley making out in the ring, standing about a fallen Rusev.
This is hot garbage. Steaming hot garbage. The live crowd, surprisingly, didn’t reject it totally, but there is nothing to like about this storyline. Lashley isn’t really getting any heat — neither is Lana — and Rusev looks like a putz. This is a lower-mid-card angle at best (it shouldn’t even be on the show), and WWE is featuring it as the main hook on RAW every week.
Thank goodness Heyman is able to do what he wants elsewhere on the show — my guess is that this storyline is less to do with him, and more to do with the 74-year-old CEO of the company who still looks like he’s taking testosterone injections.
For my money, this whole angle is the worst thing in pro wrestling right now. The worst. And there’s not even a close second.