Welcome to The Nerd Hub and our ongoing autopsy of the slow death of WWE Monday Night RAW ratings. Many fans thought WWE would answer the challenge posed by AEW’s Double Or Nothing show this weekend. It did. However, the answer came in the form of a completely unmemorable Memorial Day show in Kansas City. Let’s look at the body together. The “Brock Party” episode pooped out quickly for loyal WWE viewers.
HEADLINE NEWS: THE BEAST CAN READ
WWE spent a good quarter of its show teasing a decision from Brock Lesnar that never came. I guess that counts for must-see TV on Memorial Day from WWE creative. Lesnar would hold a “Brock Party” to announce the champion he would challenge, presumably as soon as Super Showdown.
WWE Champion Kofi Kingston and Universal Champion Seth Rollins spent the opening segment begging Lesnar for a match. The Brock Party came out with Paul Heyman, but essentially blew them off. The only memorable part of this overly-long promo came with Lesnar embracing the memes, gifs and videos he inspired. Brock Party rocked out to a Money in the Bank briefcase with speakers. This came after the WWE Universe spent all week on social media creating music videos with Lesnar bopping to the case last Monday.
The Memorial Day show opening shenanigans continued when Dolph Ziggler attacked Kingston again. He beat up Kingston to the point of getting medical treatment. Xavier Woods tried to make the save, but The Showoff beat him throughout the crowd. He trapped Woods’ head in a chair and tried to finish him. However, Kofi broke free from medical staff and made the save.
WWE teased a “Brock Party” later in the show to announce his decision. Lesnar even hammed it up with some dance moves. However, he blew off Rollins who came out to confront him. WWE creative wants us to believe Lesnar gained the ability to read on Memorial Day and just then discovered he can wait a year to cash in his briefcase. Apparently, the Brock Party celebrated newfound literacy as well.
Therefore, the decision WWE teased for a week resulted in a non-decision. Brock did not choose an opponent. I thought Seinfeld earned the motto of being the show about nothing. The Memorial Day Monday Night RAW came for that mantle.
BEST OF THE REST: BRAY WYATT BY DEFAULT
Apparently, the one guy left who can write for Monday Night RAW works on Firefly Fun House. Bray Wyatt explained that his fear mask persona, “The Fiend,” comes out to protect us. He said that when he’s alone or afraid he puts the mask on and he can “be anything he wants to be.” Abby the Witch attempted to bully Wyatt, but he called her out on it. Then, he responded to her use of the word “limbo” by spider-walking under a stick held up by two children. Yet again, Wyatt found a way to keep us entertained on an otherwise uneventful Memorial Day episode.
BIG WINNER: AEW?
AEW caused a big stir over the weekend. They concluded a fiery first show in which Cody Rhodes smashed a Triple H-inspired throne with a sledgehammer by debuting former WWE champion Dean Ambrose as Jon Moxley. Futhermore, Moxley’s cameo came after former WWE main eventer Chris Jericho defeated Kenny Omega in the main event. AEW displayed creative angles, lots of fresh, young talent and a competitive spirit.
WWE responded on Memorial Day with Cesaro and Ricochet putting on the best and only entertaining match of Monday Night RAW. As you’d expect, WWE’s notorious 50-50 booking rules applied. So, Cesaro gained no momentum from his victory last week against The One and Only. Both guys continued to tread water as Ricochet rolled up the Swiss Cyborg for the victory.
These two showcased incredible in-ring chemistry again. However, they both lack a build toward anything meaningful because they are trading wins. Therefore, we learned nothing new. We already knew both these guys exhibit some of the best in-ring athleticism and innovation in the company. Unfortunately, WWE fails to see how to use it.
BIGGEST LOSER: SHANE MCMAHON SEGMENT
WWE continues to give us an all-you-can-eat buffet of Shane McMahon content. They attempted to build heel heat for Shane ahead of his Super Showdown match with Roman Reigns.
They had Shane drop a long-winded, gas-baggish promo about The McMahons and their history with the Samoan dynasty. Then, he commenced to beat up Reigns’ cousin, Lance Anoi’a, like a tribal drum. He also needed his new lackey Drew McIntyre to accomplish this tremendous feat for some reason.
So, WWE opened the unmemorable
Memorial Day show with an incredibly long promo that accomplished nothing with a squash-match chaser for the first in-ring action. Eventually, Roman came out to drop McIntyre with a Superman Punch and chase the heels off.
There’s nothing like cooling off the company’s biggest babyface and one of its biggest Monday heels with a pointless feud against a McMahon.
I wonder why those ratings continue to plummet.
Nikki Cross – You know we’re reaching when we include someone who couldn’t crack TV a few weeks ago. However, Cross teamed with RAW Women’s Champ Becky Lynch to defeat the women’s tag team champion IIconics. Yet, Lynch continued to work all the in-ring magic, obliterating Peyton Royce after the hot tag. Lynch hit her new finisher, The Manhandle Slam, a move she’s actually used previously but not as a finisher. Cross gets a bump in attention from working with Lynch, but like everything with WWE lately it’s hard to see where this is going.
Baron Corbin – Much to the fans’ angst, The Lone Wolf continues to howl at their online hate. WWE had the former RAW General Manager win a Fatal 4-Way match against Braun Strowman, Bobby Lashley and The Miz on the Memorial Day show. In addition, the victory gives Corbin a shot at Rollins for the Universal Championship at Super Showdown. At least if they are going to go to Saudi Arabia again against the wishes of both fans and Superstars alike, WWE will punish the Saudis with that crap. As a side note, WWE kept up the theme of ripping off the fans in attendance by announcing the biggest name in the match – AJ Styles – wouldn’t compete due to health reasons.
Dolph Ziggler – The Showoff only got thrown into a feud because Kingston’s recent opponents – Daniel Bryan and Kevin Owens – both refused to go to Saudi Arabia. However, Ziggler continues to make the most of his time on camera. Yet, this likely heads toward a one-off loss against Kofi that we can all see coming from a mile away.
Lacey Evans – The Lady of WWE came out after Lynch and Cross won their match. Though she didn’t appear for long, she kept her heat with Lynch going with a mocking wave. Sure, it brought back terrible flashbacks to the runway-only treatment of Evans we got for four months. However, it worked in this case to remind us that she lurks as a threat to the RAW Women’s Champ.
Brock Lesnar – The boombox-toting Beast actually entertained us with a little comedy. Don’t blame him for the lame writing. He and Heyman gave people a reason to show up and WWE got a lot of mileage out of nothing. One of the least memorable Monday Night RAW shows in recent memory got a few moments of dancing from Lesnar. Unfortunately for us, Brock’s dancing provided one of the few watchable segments of the Memorial Day show.
Vince McMahon – We know the main roster creative buck stops with The Chairman. The show he put on for Memorial Day smacks of the conceited egomaniac he portrays on TV. McMahon made a statement by not addressing AEW or Double Or Nothing on Monday. He’s basically saying they are no threat. We’ll see, Vince.
Sami Zayn – The entirely unmemorable Memorial Day show closed with Zayn answering fan questions from “The Electric Chair.” This awkward and inane segment led to fan-favorite Rollins coming out for a match. The logic made no sense. Meanwhile, Zayn served to put over a champion for the second consecutive show after getting destroyed twice Money in the Bank week. Furthermore, WWE turned to Rollins’ perpetually-injured knee to prolong his fight with Zayn. Tired tropes aside, the main event lacked any buzz from the crowd because the show flat-out sucked.
Rey Mysterio – We received news we expected that the controversial new United States Champ would vacate his title. In continuing with the show theme, nothing happened this week, though. Mysterio will lay it down next week. Samoa Joe cut a promo that he’d happily accept the belt again. Given his shoulders never touched the mat at Money in the Bank, it seems like the right thing to do. So, expect WWE to come up with some convoluted mess to resolve the belt fiasco.
R-Truth – We got another stampede of mid-carders and catering veterans chasing our 24-7 Champion this week. The chase spilled into the ring before Truth put Carmella over his shoulder and ran for cover. Later in the show, Truth kicked out of rollups from Karl Anderson and Kalisto during The Usos’ Memorial Day celebration. This concept sucked from the start and continues to stink like Lashley.
The IIconics – Billie Kay and Peyton Royce continue their reign as champs, mainly because they’ve not defended their belt in a meaningful match since WrestleMania. Furthermore, these two get booked to serve as clowns who get beat like a drum every show. Sure, Bayley currently reigns as SmackDown Women’s Champion. However, it’s fair for everyone to wonder at this point why WWE took the belts off Bayley and Sasha Banks. The only thing that’s happened since is they’ve ticked off one of their biggest women’s division draws in the company. That worked so well with Dean Ambrose, right?
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