Pruett's Pause: WWE Raw - The sad saga of Brie, Bryan, and Stephanie, Aaron Rodgers wishes The Hulkster a happy birthday, John Cena, Paul Heyman, and Brock Lesnar are all excellent, and more!
By Will Pruett
Once again, I must approach Raw with a heavy heart. My mind at this moment is apparently quicker than it should be. I am spoiled by logical television shows like Breaking Bad, Game of Thrones, and Total Divas. Something on Raw made absolutely no sense and it's hard for me to cope with it. Shall we explore this moment with as much overdramatized melodrama as possible?
It began with a birthday celebration. I have nothing against The Hulkster or his 61st birthday. It is quite the occasion to celebrate. To be morbidly honest, when a wrestler from the 1980's lives past the age of 50, it is a cause for celebration. Hulk Hogan's birthday included many videos from various celebrities that seemed to be shot on cell phones. Once again, I cannot complain about this. The celebrity exposure was fantastic and seeing Aaron Rodgers on Raw is something I will never turn down. The videos, clearly shot on cell phones, didn't bother me at all.
Later in the show, Stephanie McMahon marched a random woman claiming to be Daniel Bryan's physical therapist to the ring and she confessed to doing dirty dirty bearded things with Bryan. As you all know, I am never okay with questioning the sanctity of the holy union between "Daniel" Bryan Danielson and Brie Bella. It's one of the few sacred things in all of wrestling. As a story, I understand what WWE was trying to do, but it didn't impress me.
Now, while WWE is showing off all of their fancy abilities featuring cell phone technologies, we have an accusation being made about a superstar who, I am sure, owns a cell phone. When an assault is made on someone's character, I would assume they would defend it quickly.
While videos were being sent in from all over the world to wish Hogan a happy birthday, there were no videos from Bryan about the accusations. There was no response from Bryan while his character was assassinated. This is a major problem.
If WWE is going to display this wonderful use of technology in one place, they should be willing to deal with and explain the logical fallacies it creates. They could easily have Brie deliver a speech later in the show saying she knows Bryan would never do this and she has spoken with him. Sadly, she responded as if the accusations were true. She didn't take a moment to question the authenticity of this claim, she just attacked. It was weird.
This was a strange presentation of every character involved and an even stranger way to enhance this story. WWE overthought this one and really risked their second most compelling angle going into SummerSlam on a story far too close to the disastrous Claire Lynch debacle TNA delivered in 2012.
This story and WWE as a whole should be better than this. This was bad and was made worse by the gaping gaps in logic prevalent in WWE's storytelling.
And now for some random thoughts:
- WWE's best hype was delivered for the Brock Lesnar vs. John Cena match at SummerSlam. All three parties knocked their roles out of the park with Paul Heyman delivering an engaging pitch that bordered on brilliant. John Cena's attempt at a worked shoot-style promo about not laying down for anyone (Shawn Michaels in 1997, anyone?) was fun to watch and it ended with Cena putting his best foot forward. Brock Lesnar was an intimidating beast, just like he should be. It worked.
- One interesting part of the SummerSlam hype is the basic 30 second TV commercial WWE put together. Without words they have managed to engage the audience as far as Cena and Lesnar are concerned. My wife, who usually zones out wrestling in an act of mental self-preservation, actually looked up from her iPad and paid attention. She even complimented the spot. It was pretty neat.
- How did Seth Rollins know Dean Ambrose was in the giant gift? What if Ambrose had been in there when Hogan went to open them? What was the giant gift intended to be? What were the rest of the gifts? We know Hogan got a WWE Network subscription, but what else did he get?
- Did WWE hire Dr. Seuss to write poems for wrestlers? Why not have Mark Henry deliver a birthday poem for Hogan and get the trifecta?
- Who knew that Paul Orndorf's true career goal was to out mustache Hulk Hogan? He's finally achieved it.
- Paige and A.J. Lee built their SummerSlam encounter up nicely, aside from the weirdness with Eva Marie being expected to wrestle. Eva would be a compelling valet for an up and coming heel if she was given the chance. She's easy to dislike.
- I was kind of hoping Brock Lesnar would go full-on BORK LASER and break some hips as Raw concluded. Bummer.
This was a solid final effort going into SummerSlam, aside from WWE taking their most likable babyface and accusing him of having an affair. That is kind if a big issue, especially when it looks like his own wife believes it. Alas, Aaron Rodgers got to wish The Hulkster a happy birthday. Birthdays are important.
So, what did you think of the show? Agree? Disagree? Either way, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or to follow me and interact on twitter @itswilltime.
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