After tonight's RAW aired, I came to the sad conclusion that the professional wrestling business as we knew it is dead. The "New Era" is officially here, and the genre that many of us enjoyed and supported for decades upon decades is never coming back. Gone forever are the days of unique characters, compelling story lines and fights that actually looked real, and here to stay are the days of a middle-weight (at best) beating not one, but two heavyweights in the same night, in matches that told no stories and looked more like Swan Lake than fights.
When Finn Balor was booked to defeat the likes of Rusev and Roman Reigns in the same night -- on his first night -- this was the nail in the coffin for me. I never believed that I would ever see a powerhouse like the WWE cater to the smallest audience, with the loudest voice -- the IWC. Tonight . . . they won the war. It is over and done with. The "casuals" can now officially give up any and all hope.
* In a night that was written to shame and embarrass Roman Reigns for failing a drug test, Stephanie kicked off the festivities by calling him a "loser" at the top of the show, claiming that he cost RAW the WWE Championship the night before. So what does Stephanie do to the said "loser"? Why, she books him in a fatal four-way match, in turn giving the said "loser" yet another opportunity to gain a shot at the WWE Title. Makes sense, right?
* The best part of Finn Balor is his "Special" entrance that comes only at the "Big Shows". I guess his DEBUT on RAW wasn't a "Big Enough Show" and didn't warrant his "Special" entrance, so he came out looking like just a regular guy to the casual fans that had never seen him before.
* Super kicks are the new craze. There's at least 5 in every match now, none of which are devastating enough to put an opponent away. Ask your buddy to kick you square in the face tomorrow, and let's see how quickly you get back up.
* They put Balor over Rusev, and I swear Balor looked half his size. This is where you could have officially put a fork in the wrestling you once knew.
* Nia Jax over in a squash match. Outside of the Internet Wrestling Community, why is anybody going to watch a fake fight when they know who's going over before the bell even rings? Good luck with this come football season.
* Reigns went over in his fatal four-way. I swear, Sami Zayn is made of rubber because nothing hurts this guy.
* New Day "sketch" was B-R-U-T-A-L. There was nothing funny about it. At least the Club put us out of our misery by getting some heat.
* At this point they should just put Curtis Axel on the ring crew.
* Girls stole the show. Worked their [email protected]#$% off! I would have kept the belt on Charlotte and really built her as the heel that nobody could beat, but the IWC wins once again, as their darling Sasha Banks is now the new Champ. Actually, I'm a fan of Sasha, she's believable. Liked the "Johnny-on-the-Spot" interview after the match. Some real emotion there.
* Braun Strowman in another jobber match. I guess this is how the slim roster will be filled each week. Oh, boy--can't wait for more squash matches.
* Enzo and Cass are the hottest things on the show. Why would you keep it a secret that they're booked, instead of promoting it throughout the show?
* Balor beat Reigns in an unbelievable match that would have never happened if the fight were a shoot. Reigns would be flossing his teeth with Balor. But, we had to cater to the IWC, while making Reigns pay his penance. Here's an idea. Rather than give Reigns that lame promo at the end when he put Balor over, why not just castrate the guy in front of a live audience? Even better.
* Rollins vs. Balor at SummerSlam---OH, BOY!!!
By Vince Russo
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