Tuesday, May 19, 2015

I'm Over The Authority

In order for RAW to evolve, she and her husband need to step aside
Photo Credit: WWE.com
Stephanie McMahon came out of her office to accost the Bella Twins last night on RAW in the corridor as Nikki was headed to defend her Divas Championship against Naomi. She informed the twins that Brie would not be allowed at ringside for the match, despite no bans against Naomi's muscle Tamina Snuka, and additionally, they were scheduled for counseling, which felt unnecessarily cruel and way out of the blue for people who hadn't had much of an interaction with The Authority in months. McMahon had scant reason to put her tentacles into that situation, especially since when they last were entangled, she was buddies with Nikki. It wasn't the most egregious segment, but it fit into an show-wide theme, buried by the euphoria over Kevin Owens snatching John Cena's lunch and pissing on it, that the Authority was back and ready to take a hot dump over all the rest of the action.

Whether it McMahon was cutting a promo on a wrestler who may never be able to get into the ring again, or framing the final segment of the show where the folk hero Dean Ambrose was wholly in the wrong asking for what he was after, last night's episode of RAW was right out of the "Triple H always has to be the coolest, smartest, and toughest in the room" playbook, only extrapolated to cover McMahon and to a lesser extent, Seth Rollins. The group is bulletproof in its heeldom, because no one is going to cheer the people who have spent the better part of three years putting every screw possible to Daniel Bryan, but their actions certainly personify the dysfunctional storytelling within the WWE's main roster.

The problems don't happen in a vacuum either. Time and time again, the cards have fallen to show that whenever someone feuds with The Authority, no stakes end up sticking. The worst example was totally when their ouster was undone six weeks after Sting and Dolph Ziggler made it happen at Survivor Series, and then Trips beat Sting at WrestleMania because Monday Night Wars or something. However, every good thing that has happened to a WWE fan favorite has been undone or undercut since the group was formed at SummerSlam '13. Granted, some of it was dumb injury luck, but when the fates conspire to allow the group to claim a victory, the machinations should have been redoubled in order to make sure some hero was able to rise up and give the group its just desserts.

Not only does the current landscape feel bleak, no one has any reason to believe that the group will ever lose anything meaningful without being back on top within a matter of weeks. Does the group have to go away? I would sure like it to vamoose so that the next stage in WWE's life cycle can happen. Preferably, it'll be one where the wrestlers are allowed to be the heels without backing of the megalith, but I totally understand if that toothpaste is never going back into the tube again. But something has to change. RAW cannot continue to be a place where the show opens with the same 10-20 minute spiel about how The Authority always wins and has cinnamon bun-smelling farts to boot and then be proven right time and time again by the storytelling.

The most correct talk in the room is that WWE or any company is not going to cause the wrestling industry to boom going off on old ideas. Maybe wrestling has stabilized and will remain at this level of consciousness without having a cyclical-type explosion in viewership. Still, even if this is it for wrestling, staleness is never a good look, and bad storytelling for a company whose leadership claims it wants to put "smiles on faces" is antithetical to the mission statement. It all starts and ends with the main heels, and if those prime baddies refuse wholeheartedly to act like bad guys, the narrative cycle will continue to fail. For that reason, I'm way over The Authority. The group has to go. But hey, don't let me tell you what you're all going to figure out when everyone has to sit through Brie Bella going through painfully melodramatic counseling that will help no one.