The WWE was obligated to fill three hours of television Monday night. It just so happen that it was its flagship show.
At least that’s the way it felt watching this week’s episode, which emanated from Austin, Texas.
SummerSlam is less than two weeks away, but the WWE faced a problem Monday night, as the main for that show was not in attendance.
Neither John Cena nor Brock Lesnar was at the Frank Erwin Center Monday, which showcased the severe lack of depth the WWE has on its main roster right now.
Despite having a lot of people at its disposal, the WWE hasn’t properly made stars out of half of them. The absence of two people brought about the show we had this week, where the WWE seemed to be merely filling time more than anything else.
Before we go any further, let’s take a look at the full match results.
- Last Man Standing match – Roman Reigns def. Kane
- Mark Henry def. Damien Sandow
- Beat the Clock Challenge – Dean Ambrose def. Alberto Del Rio (15:42)
- Rusev def. Sin Cara
- Dolph Ziggler def. Cesaro
- Stardust & Goldust def. RybAxel
- Chris Jericho def. Luke Harper via disqualification
- Diego def. Fandango
- Bo Dallas def. R-Truth
- Beat the Clock Challenge – Heath Slater def. Seth Rollins
The WWE Network is indeed $9.99
Did you know that the WWE Network is $9.99? No, really. Did you know?
If you didn’t know the WWE made damn sure of it Monday, as Triple H and the commentary team mentioned that fact no less than 50 million times during the three-hour program.
It was kind of funny when Triple H repeated it over and over again during the opening segment, but by the time John Bradshaw Layfield literally held up a sign that said “$9.99,” I was about ready to puke.
When you have something shoved down your throat, your body naturally attempts to reject it. The WWE rode that line for weeks leading up to this point, but with the disappointing news of the network having about 700,000 subscribers, the WWE blew right past that line Monday.
The WWE did do some good with some cool commercials for the network, which need to air on other things besides WWE programming, but at the end of the day Monday night came off as desperate.
I understand you have to do whatever it takes to bring those subscriber numbers up, but the problem with the low numbers isn’t the fact that people don’t know that it costs $9.99. By now everyone knows that. More than likely if they’re watching your flagship show they know that.
The problem is that there isn’t enough there at this point to pique people’s interest besides getting the pay-per-views for dirt cheap. That’s all fine and dandy, but what about the other 29 or 30 days in a given month?
If the WWE really wants to bring those subscribers numbers up it needs to provide more original programming.
In the meantime, I don’t think I want to hear $9.99 ever again.
John Cena-Brock Lesnar promo was good … twice
Since John Cena and Brock Lesnar could not attend Raw live and in person, the WWE ran a very good video package hyping their WWE World Heavyweight Championship match at SummerSlam.
Lesnar shouldn’t talk often, but when the rare moment comes that he does, it’s usually fantastic. The last time I remember hearing him speak was when he told Paul Heyman to say something stupid last year.
Monday night, he cursed and swore his way through a sit-down interview about destroying Cena at SummerSlam.
The package was pretty cool. It was so cool, the WWE decided to show it twice. That’s right, the same video package twice in one night.
As I mentioned earlier, the WWE was obligated to fill three hours of television, as they are each and every Monday, and showing this package twice was a prime example of that.
In WWE’s mind, the package was long enough to fill essentially an entire segment, so why not have it fill up two?
Shows like Monday are prime example as to why having three hours every week hurts your product. It may help increase your ad revenue, which is probably the most important thing at the end of the day, but it hurts the pace of the show.
Stephanie McMahon owns the Bella Twins
Stephanie McMahon owned the Bella Twins Monday night, both on the microphone and then with not one, but two great-looking pedigrees.
I mean she did them to perfection. It probably helped that the Bella Twins probably aren’t used to taking the pedigree, but who cares they looked awesome.
McMahon hit the pedigrees after she and Brie Bella signed the contract to make their match at SummerSlam official. After some verbal sparring between the two, to which McMahon won, Triple H used the table to corner Brie Bella while McMahon hit her sister Nikki with the pedigree.
McMahon was then able to Brie Bella with it as well to close the show.
I said it last week and I can’t believe I’m saying it again, but McMahon versus Brie Bella is the hottest angle going right now in the WWE.
The match at SummerSlam will not be a mat classic by any means, but it has been quite fun getting to that point. What they lack in ability in the ring I believe they will make up for in entertainment quality come SummerSlam.
Most importantly, the WWE has actually given people a reason to care about a match involving the women.
Cesaro’s downfall continues
It’s hard to believe that just four months ago, Cesaro bodyslammed Big Show over the top rope to win the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal at WrestleMania and looked poised to have a big babyface run in his future.
Now he looks like he’s going to be left off the SummerSlam card completely. He may get an unadvertised match or something, but that’s a big step down from here was that night in New Orleans.
The crazy thing is that his downfall essentially started the very next night, when he was inexplicably paired with Paul Heyman, which killed any babyface momentum he had going for him.
The problem is that the WWE apparently doesn’t believe in his microphone skills and felt he still needed a mouthpiece, so they gave him Heyman despite the fact it would halt his babyface turn.
They also didn’t realize that Heyman doesn’t elevate stars. He enhances stars that are already good on their own. He didn’t elevate Curtis Axel, but he enhances Brock Lesnar.
He didn’t elevate Ryback, but he enhanced CM Punk. Heyman is fantastic, but he is used to his full potential when paired with someone whom he can enhance and compliment, not pull up.
So now we’re stuck with an incredible talent, who does has microphone skills, seemingly on his way to mid-card purgatory.
It took Dolph Ziggler more than a year to finally come up for just a little bit of air. Let’s hope Cesaro doesn’t stay for nearly as long.
Dean Ambrose ruins Seth Rollins’ Money in the Bank contract
I’m not sure if this was clearly explained Monday, but Dean Ambrose ripped up Seth Rollins’ Money in the Bank contract and poured soda in the briefcase that was carrying it.
I’m guessing that the WWE could always draft up another contract for Rollins, but I kind of felt bad for the guy.
Anyway, this all happened in the middle of a match between Rollins and Heath Slater. If Rollins defeated Slater in less than 15 minutes and 42 seconds, then he would get to choose the stipulation for his match against Ambrose at SummerSlam.
Ambrose set that pace during a match against Alberto Del Rio earlier in the night.
Rollins lost via the dreaded roll up, which granted Ambrose the opportunity to choose the stipulation. He will announce his decision on Smackdown. I’m expecting it to be a ladder match for the Money in the Bank contract.
Heath Slater won a singles match
I kind of glossed over that fact during my last observation, but yeah, Heath Slater won a match on live television.
Slater has rarely been seen since the WWE released his former running mates Drew McIntyre and Jinder Mahal, but it was nice to see him get the underdog victory Monday.
Given the WWE’s recent history, more than likely absolutely nothing.
Slater is talented and has sort of a cult following among fans, but I don’t see the WWE doing much with him besides having him lose.
Kane unmasks yet again
I’m guessing this was supposed to have some kind of impact or something, but Kane handed his mask over to Stephanie McMahon for the second time in less than a year.
The last time he did it he eventually went corporate and donned a suit. Hopefully, that doesn’t happen again.
This time, it happened after he lost a last man standing match to Roman Reigns. I guess the loss took away his desire of being the demon anymore.
Whatever it means, it probably should end up with Kane going away for a while, at least for a couple of months.
Bo Dallas back on track with a win
Bo Dallas beginning a new winning streak isn’t really the entire story here. It’s how he won that intrigued me the most.
He actually cheated to win. What a novel concept, a heel that actually cheated to win a match. It’s something you don’t see often, but it works like a charm for Dallas.
That’s because after he won by pulling R-Truth’s jeans to gain leverage, he jogged around the ring for his victory lap, as if he won fair and square.
It all plays into his delusional character so well. I like Dallas, but if he begins to cheat more to gain victories, I may like him even more.
Adam Rose mirror skit was stupid
I don’t know what that was, but boy was it stupid.
If you didn’t know any better, you would have thought that Adam Rose and his rosebuds were using some type hallucinogen like LSD because they were talking about how they were seeing stuff in the mirror that was way deeper than just their reflection.
Sounded pretty trippy to me.
Then Rose looked at himself in the mirror as a suited up dork with a suitcase. I guess that killed his high because he then ran away from the mirror. And that was it.
The WWE needs to find something meaningful for Rose to do and need to do so fast because he’s losing steam at a rapid clip.
WWE coming to Philly in October
The WWE ran a commercial during the promoting a Smackdown taping here in Philadelphia at the Wells Fargo Center on Tuesday, Oct. 7. The last time the WWE was here was back in June.
The last time the company was here during a television taping was all the way back in January.