Diamonds are forever, and so is the Flair Family in professional wrestling.
The final episode of Raw before the TLC pay-per-view this Sunday in Boston proved to be an odd mix of excitement and stale air. The fans in North Charleston, SC were silent for most of the night – when “major changes” were promoted on the Internet to entice viewers to watch what should have been a dynamic night of television leading to the final PPV of the year.
It was about as odd as Kevin Sullivan and Raven going out for a beer after work.
Charlotte’s confrontation with Paige in the Miz TV segment of the show may finally gave us some insight as to how the company is moving forward with her character and the potential for the younger Flair to follow in her footsteps as the “Dirtiest Player in the Game.”
Finally, another Flair who will cheat to get a victory no matter what the circumstances. Instead of the Ric Flair and Miz being on the same side of the fence, the host lured the Flair’s into a confrontation with Paige, who is still all the more a heel character, but has the potential to make the turn toward being a babyface without having to break character.
The Carolinas have always been known as Flair and Four Horsemen country, but you wouldn’t have known it by the crowd reaction Monday night.
The feud between the two women who will face off Sunday night is good for the Divas Division but unless there is more drama from the other performers (please step up Sasha Banks and Becky Lynch) this is a two-woman show, with stale written all over it.
Just like the WWE World Title match scheduled for this weekend, this segment got little pop from the crowd.
Is it possible professional wrestling won’t find its footing until 2017, that the coming year will be more of a rebuild in hopes for a flare for the dramatic in 13 months from now? Seth Rollins potentially won’t return until after SummerSlam, Cesaro is on the mend. We don’t know when Daniel Bryant will or if he will get back in a ring. Sting is still mending. Randy Orton could be out all year. And the rumors of Jeff hardy returning to WWE may be white hot right now, but he is 10 months away from a return to action after an injury in TNA.
Mark it down on your calendars. The coming year could be just as dreadful as this one – which means a greater dip in ratings, the Internet clamoring over poor storylines, a full-court press of Roman Reigns on television and the possibility of professional wrestling moving away from a weekly format on basic cable television and more programming on the WWE Network where the diehard fan will have to pay $9.99 to see this kind of mild action.
I am sure I just raised everyone’s blood pressure with that kind of exciting insight. Not even John Cena could have woken the masses from last night’s show. Someone hand me the smelling salts, please.
If fans cannot get charged about seeing Ric Flair in a ring and excited about a 16-man elimination tag team match, then maybe we have lost hope on this business and this product. The League of Nations does nothing to get my heart pumping. Lana is a side show. Jack Swagger is not a viable challenger for the United States Championship and a Dolph Ziggler-Kevin Owens match should have had more meaning.
Essentially we got a dud of a program on what should have been the most important Monday night of the year. We got nothing, nothing but dead air.
Nice try, WWE. Now, onto TLC and a prayer it can deliver something that does not make us hit the snooze button more than once in the three-hour event on Sunday night.