Oh, man. Just when I think this story can’t get any weirder, Lana is there to prove me wrong. To recap — a recap I’m sure we all need at this point — Lana and Rusev were off television for a bit before Rusev returned suddenly. He wrestled a match or two with Lana conspicuously absent, only for the big reveal a few weeks later: She’d dumped her husband for Bobby Lashley.
The excuses for her behavior were weird as well. She accused Rusev on cheating on her, being obsessed with sex, of forcing his want for children onto her, of sending too much money home to Bulgaria...and now? Now she’s out here claiming that Rusev got her pregnant.
If anything, I’ve got to give WWE credit for this alone; they’ve created a massive train wreck of a storyline. WWE has their own trashy television show with this storyline, for better or worse.
But man, it’s just not for me at all.
I’m starting to lose sympathy for Rusev at this point. Dude, this woman is doing everything in her power to string you along and manipulate you. Just walk away. If you can’t, well that’s on you. She’s doing everything she possibly can to make you suffer, and enough is enough. If you don’t have the common sense to leave a toxic relationship behind you, it’s hard to truly feel bad for you.
As for Lana...what is even the payoff here? Is Rusev going to go find a new significant other and Lana gets jealous? Is Lashley going to ditch Lana when he gets bored of trolling Rusev? These aren’t even questions that I want answers to – on the contrary, I want to just forget this is even happening!
Like the opening of SmackDown last week, something that’s this trashy just colors the whole show. I want to give credit to Lana, Rusev, and Lashley for trying their hardest with these segments but like...what else can I say? Defendants of this storyline will point to social engagement or YouTube views like they tell the whole picture, but the reality is that this storyline is gross to a hefty segment of the audience.
Bayley strikes back
After Shayna Baszler and Becky Lynch talked over Bayley’s head on the previous episode of Raw, Bayley found a way to remind the duo that she is in the Survivor Series match too, thank you very much.
I just wish it had been an even more forceful response.
Lynch and Charlotte were given a match against the Kabuki Warriors for the Women’s Tag Team Championships. Really solid match. Baszler showed up at ringside fairly early into this one and was a constant presence as we led up to a Lynch hot tag. Charlotte was in trouble for the most part before making the tag to Lynch, and it seemed like the Warriors were in trouble before Baszler jumped on the apron to mess up Lynch’s flow. That’s when Bayley ran out to attack Baszler, and Asuka took advantage of the chaos to roll up Lynch for the win.
Bayley wasn’t done after taking out Baszler, however. She decked Lynch as well. The unfortunate thing about it, though, is that that’s not really too big of a statement, is it? Perhaps I’m being too critical here, but Bayley was talking about making the SmackDown Women’s Championship THE championship before her heel turn. Well, we’ve got a heel turn and the status quo has remained the same.
At some point, the onus is on her to make a splash that people cannot deny. And obviously that requires management to book her that way, so I guess that’s what I’m getting at. She needs a dedicated moment to force the narrative to change. Until then, she’s an extra in this Baszler vs. Lynch showdown.
Raw’s men’s Survior Series team is a mess
Seth Rollins. Kevin Owens. Ricochet. (Neat!)
Drew McIntyre. (Wait what? Who on earth would pick him? He’s going to turn on somebody!)
...Randy Orton. (Okay you’re freaking trolling.)
That’s the team, folks. And whoever picked that team is an idiot. I say “whoever” because it was never clear to me during the show if the team was picked by the captain or not. What I will say, however, is that one only needs to look at history to tell you that picking guys like McIntyre or Orton will only cause problems.
“But it’s a race for brand surpremacy and we need the biggest, strongest - “
No. Stop. It’s like the Rusev thing again: If you’re that stupid, I won’t even be sympathetic when Orton smashes your face into the canvas.
This show had a big Orton/Ricochet dynamic. They were backstage when The OC started picking on Humberto Carrillo and got themselves booked in a 6-man tag match. Ricochet was understandably hung up on the fact that Orton RKO’d him a week or so ago, and had no real interest in having that happen again.
Fun match, but the story really came down to Ricochet staggering to his feet and Orton looming over his shoulder as if he’d turn Ricochet. Instead, he turned at the last moment to hit AJ Styles with the RKO and tagged in Carrillo to hit the most majestic Moonsault of all time for the dub.
Orton then feigned another RKO to Ricochet before telling him that he does what he wants when he wants.
(That means he’s turning on you at Survivor Series unless you get him first, Ricochet.)
Seth Rollins, Kevin Owens, and the Street Profits def. Imperium – I don’t want to pin this on Rollins because a lot of factors go into it, but it’s discouraging to see an open challenge be so underwhelming. Walter was the man who answered Rollins’ challenge, and the two fought briefly until Imperium interfered. That brought out the babyface cavalry to help Rollins.
(Pretty wild how much bigger Owens’ ovation was, isn’t it?)
Good match. Montez Ford almost killed himself on a dive to the outside. He also tugged on the top rope after the match for like 20 seconds, which was great.
Drew McIntyre def. Sin Cara – Quick work for the other dude who’s totally going to cause problems on Team Raw.
Erick Rowan def. Local Talent, has a burlap sack over a cage – Uhhhh I need an adult. Rowan has some sort of thing with him that he’s baby talking to and it can’t be a good thing.
R-Truth vs. The Singh Brothers is still happening, apparently – 24/7 Championship + no finish = this is still happening, right? The Singhs ran backstage to escape and ran into Rowan who threw a couch at them. That was actually pretty great.
Andrade def. Cedric Alexander – Another Zelina Vega-aided win for Andrade. At some point, this is just a holding pattern for him. We need to get him involved in some sort of story – not the Rusev one, please.
Aleister Black wants someone to fight him – Here’s another guy who I’m losing empathy for. Dude, just go fight someone. Go stand in the ring. It’s literally worked for you before.
The Viking Raiders def. South Wales Subculture – I’m about to start wandering the world in search of the AOP like that dude in Red Dead Redemption looking for Gavin. “AOP? Where are you?”
The show was fine, I guess. Nothing really exciting happened, unless you like women falsely claiming that they’re pregnant to get their husbands beaten up.