Another week, another subpar episode of WWE Raw. It’s almost impressive how consistently bad this show is. Every edition of the company’s flagship brand delivers on the same silly stories and underwhelming finishes that are standard operating procedure on WWE programming.
Now, if non-finishes, 50/50 booking, distractions, and surprise rollups (among other follies) are your jam, then by all means, enjoy. For everyone else, though, these plot devices tend to make watching Raw a struggle. After a while, too many missteps can turn what should be a fun, sigh, three hours into a chore.
But what specifically made watching this Raw a chore? Well, let’s look at these three moments to figure out the answer.
These are the three things WWE got wrong on the Aug. 10 episode of Raw
(Sigh) Doudrop loses after Lilly (sigh) winks at her.
Listen, given that this is the same company that booked a match where a wrestler had to poke their opponent’s eye out to win, nothing should surprise people when it comes to this company. Still, that fact didn’t make the finish to Alexa Bliss vs. (sigh) Doudrop any less frustrating.
During the closing moments of what was a brief match, (sigh) Doudrop took some time to trash talk Bliss and Bliss’ doll, Lilly. Simple heel stuff, right? Unfortunately, WWE followed up with a conclusion that seemed more apt for a Nick Jr. show than a nationally televised professional wrestling match.
As (sigh) Doudrop finished jawing with Bliss, she turned to see Lilly staring back at her. The doll would then WINK at (sigh) Doudrop (or, it winked at someone, as that clip was obviously taped beforehand), which spooked Eva Marie’s (sigh) protégé long enough for Bliss to roll her up for the 1-2-3.
Again, to be clear: The well-trained, world-traveled, highly skilled professional wrestler lost a match because a sentient doll WINKED at her.
WWE likely believes that the rollup finish “protects” (sigh) Doudrop in defeat, but it’s far too early in her run to test how much damage her already-inhibited character can withstand. As for Bliss and Lilly, this just goes into the pile with the other terrible angles they’ve been part of.
Rhea Ripley vs. Nikki A.S.H. ends in a disqualification.
You know, most wrestling promoters would build to a triple threat championship match but giving the participants as many wins as possible heading into the big pay-per-view. But not WWE! No sir, they have decided that having the wrestlers trade wins and take part in matches that ultimately mean nothing is the way to go.
Because Raw Women’s Champion Nikki A.S.H took on Charlotte Flair over the last two weeks, that meant it was time for the somewhat superhero to face her other SummerSlam challenger, Rhea Ripley. All WWE had to do here was follow up on A.S.H. (fluke) win over Flair last week.
Instead — because they didn’t want Ripley or the champion to lose — they booked Flair to push A.S.H off the top turnbuckle for the disqualification. As has been said elsewhere, if WWE didn’t want either wrestler to lose, then they shouldn’t have booked the match in the first place.
It was clear that WWE only cared about getting Flair’s heat back, even if it rendered this bout pointless.
Damian Priest vs. John Morrison….again
Okay, let’s get a couple of things out of the way. First, it’s great to see WWE give a wrestler clean wins heading into a championship match like Damian Priest is. Second, it was fun watching The Miz get exposed for milking his knee injury (which likely means he’s facing Priest next week).
That said, could WWE not find a new opponent for Priest to beat. We really had to sit and watch him pin Morrison for the third time in two weeks? To be fair, the match was solid (Morrison and Priest have good chemistry, as two people who have wrestled each other as often as they do should), but like a lot of things that happen on Raw, it felt like a rerun.
When fans tune into a wrestling show, they want to see their favorites take on new challenges, not run through the same opponents like they’re trapped in a Groundhog Day time loop, no matter how good the match in that loop is.