THE CASUAL SHEEP – 02.21.2020: Booking 101 for Dummies

By Goose Mahler, Associate Editor

Mark MahlerAs we sit a little over 40 days from Wrestlemania, we see the card starting to take shape.

There will be over six hours or wrestling and banter. More feuds building for NXT, Raw, and Smackdown. Sure, there will also be some surprises. Yet here I sit wondering, “Will the WWE screw up another potentially big women’s match on the grandest stage for the second year in a row?” 

Let’s go back to last year when The Man started to take off and won the Royal Rumble. People were excited and couldn’t wait to see Ronda Rousey and Becky Lynch after months of their Twitter wars, they’re getting it on in the ring. Would this be the match that finally let the women headline Wrestlemania? No. 

Vince – in his ultimate wisdom – added Charlotte to the match. I’ve heard several people speculate why this happened. Charlotte was promised the match before Lynch got hurt. They wanted her in there to help hide the lack of chemistry the other two might have. The list of excuses is long, but in my personal opinion? It’s nothing but hot air and bullshit. 

Becky-Lynch-squares-off-with-Ronda-Rousey-RawThe Man was white hot at the time. I don’t think anyone was expecting to see Rousey and Lynch put on a classic 5 star-match. Their feud was the stuff out of the old “Stone Cold” Steve Austin play book. Not the best wrestler, just the best brawler and most popular wrestler in the company. Yet for some reason it was like the WWE didn’t trust what they had with the emergence of the Man and Rousey being the bad ass.  

No this is not a castration of Charlotte. Far from it. I’ve said it before, if she was promised a spot in that main event then Vince sticking by his word is refreshing to a degree. It is also very hypocritical for a guy that always believes in doing “What’s Best for Business”. Charlotte being added made things look choppy and unorganized, again that is not her fault.

Then word comes out Vince is unhappy with the main event.

Well DUH! Triple Threat matches are not exactly fun to watch for the fans, and after nine hours of listening to Cole, Roberts, Graves, and all the other BS that was thrown at us that day. What could have and should have been a defining moment, the WWE threw the momentum out the window.  If the match was Rousey and Lynch, one on one, Vince still might not have liked it, but it would have kept the audience attention better. 

Now let’s fast forward to today. I know Charlotte fans are going to hate me yet again, but Charlotte winning the Rumble and being matched up with Rhea Ripley? And we have another big ole botch by WWE creative before the match even takes place again. Here’s why. 

Wouldn’t it have made more sense to NOT have Ripley come out on Raw and challenge Charlotte until after she had her NXT Takeover Portland match with Bianca Belair? Common sense here. Booking 101 for Dummies people. 

Bianca Belair had an outstanding Royal Rumble run. One that many fans immediately believed put her in the hunt for either a title or a promotion to Raw or Smackdown. Well, here’s the problem: Vince and he merry band of blow job artists backstage either didn’t bother to take that into account. Or, obliviously ignored it all together. 

Bianca had a title shot coming up at NXT Takeover Portland against Rhea Ripley. Essentially by introducing the thought of Ripley vs Flair on Raw , it put Belair on the outside looking in without the bell even ringing in Portland.  Bianca came out of the Rumble looking like the white hot wrestler the WWE has been looking for with their ratings slumping. Instead, we have the fans second guessing a women’s Wrestlemania match before it even occurs for the second straight year. 

Here’s what should have happened… 

Bianca BelairCharlotte goes to Smackdown and teases challenging Bayley. She comes back to Raw and throws some hints at The Man. She goes to NXT and just acknowledges she is checking out the field. You make Charlotte the Queen of Mind Games and this can play out until after Ripley and Belair tear each other apart in Portland. 

After the match, then come out and challenge the winner. 

What we got was the overzealous WWE creative team jumping the gun, maybe another bad promise made, or whatever the case, they cut the head off a chicken that was laying golden eggs all over the place with Bianca before tapping into that cash flow. Fans want a triple threat match…you know the same fans that didn’t want one last year. Unfortunately for Charlotte this is going to turn into a massive game of déjà vu. 

Are these three women, Belair, Flair and Ripley good enough to have a Triple Threat match at Wrestlemania? Undoubtedly, but the WWE can’t do the 2 in the ring one out again like last year or the same fans that shit on the Fiend vs Rollins Hell in a Cell will be out in force and louder than ever because they don’t want the same recycled crap. Charlotte was a winner. Yet, she is again in a no-win situation for being winner. 

There is real no logical way out of this debacle either. You won’t be able to make already edgy fans happy. 

Personally, I don’t think the situation is worth saving because Vince is proving he is an idiot and so are his pencil pushing boobs. But the talent doesn’t deserve this garbage feeding booking. So, my suggestion as a fan would be this. 

  1. Do another Triple Threat and give Bianca the spotlight she has deservedly earned with her Survivor Series, Royal Rumble and NXT Takeover performances. 
  2. If you don’t want to go that route, scrap Bayley’s unknown at this point’s plans and give Bianca a shot at Bayley at Wrestlemania.
    1.  The problem with this scenario is now the Smackdown women are as irrelevant as the Raw women because another NXT women stepped up and is going to get the shot at the Man. And Rhea and Charlotte also showcase Raw and NXT
    2. The best thing about this scenario is all the matches are Raw vs NXT, Smackdown vs NXT and NXT vs Raw what better way to show case how deep the women’s roster is across the board for the WWE in general, instead of just another typical Battle Royal. 

Here’s the sad catch. If you are like me, you have no faith that VKM will do this correctly without someone getting their feelings hurt.  However, you want to slice it, the WWE two years in a row took their strongest wrestling and entertainment assets and completely neutered them before we got to the big show.

Maybe next year before changing things that might look good 10 minutes before a match. Stick to your guns because Baszler winning the Royal Rumble match and challenging The Man might have kept this debacle from happening. Then again knowing the WWE creative would have fucked up that one car funeral anyway. 

Until next time, be good to one another.




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