Becky Lynch, the most over WWE superstar, gets saddled with boring, recycled storyline.
1. I'm about to do full analysis of a WWE storyline, so if you don't like wrestling, skip to item No. 2 and, more importantly, please don't be that idiot who tweets me to say that wrestling "isn't real."
Now that I have that out of the way, I need to complain about what I saw on Monday Night Raw because it was soooooo bad and really sums up the state of the company, which is facing record-low ratings for its flagship show.
The WWE has the hottest act in wrestling since Daniel Bryan and his "YES movement" in 2014 in Becky Lynch a.k.a, "The Man." The crowd cannot get enough of her, she's more over (wrestling term) than any wrestler in the company and she's in a storyline with Ronda Rousey, who the WWE paid millions to bring in despite zero wrestling experience.
So what does the WWE do with Lynch? They give her the same old, tired storyline that we've seen over and over in the company. You know the one where they make the most popular superstar an underdog who has to battle "The Authority" a.k.a. the McMahon family. It started with Stone Cold Steve Austin, it continued with Daniel Bryan and now it's Becky Lynch's turn and it's awful because it's been done so many times. Yes, it was effective with Austin and Bryan, but now it just feels like the ultimate crutch. It's lazy and uninteresting because of the "been there, done that" feel.
This week's Monday Night Raw centered around whether Lynch would apologize to Stephanie McMahon and Triple H after getting physical with each of them last week. That was the storyline teased for three hours. They even ran multiple chyrons with the question, "Will Becky Lynch apologize?" As if that wasn't bad enough, the show culminated with Lynch apologizing and then Vince McMahon coming out to announce that Lynch was suspended for 60 days and Charlotte Flair would replace her in the Lynch-Rousey WrestleMania match.
Every single person who follows wrestling knows that Lynch will be in the 'Mania match, so this storyline is not only weird (it makes zero sense that Vince would just randomly insert Charlotte into the match), it's also a complete dead end because we know how it ends. Lynch will be in the 'Mania match and most likely win it.
Of course, Lynch is playing her role in this convuluted storyline perfectly on social media.
Complete and utter bullshit.— The Man (@BeckyLynchWWE) February 12, 2019
Yes, this is professional wrestling and it's scripted and it's not something to get worked up over. But in analyzing the business of wrestling, it's amazing that 1) the WWE creative team is so uncreative; 2) the WWE has its biggest crowd favorite in five years and has no idea what to do with her; 3) they'd take a big Lynch-Rousey WrestleMania match and muck it up by adding a third person.
Please free Becky Lynch from this madness.
2. This was such a bad tweet by Justin Verlander. Sure, let's just give everyone 10-year contracts because they work out so well. I mean, how on earth could a team NOT bring in Manny Machado for 10 seasons after he said hustling really isn't his thing.
100 or so free agents left unsigned. System is broken. They blame “rebuilding” but that’s BS. You’re telling me you couldn’t sign Bryce or Manny for 10 years and go from there? Seems like a good place to start a rebuild to me. 26-36 is a great performance window too.— Justin Verlander (@JustinVerlander) February 11, 2019
3. I'm not sure I've ever seen a more cringeworthy minute of footage in my life.
4. Out of this bunch, the 49ers would be the most entertaining team for Hard Knocks with Jimmy G's comeback story, Richard Sherman and the very entertaining Greg Kittle. The Raiders would be terrible because it would just be the Jon Gruden show. Obviously, if HBO goes with the Giants, you'd see a lot of Odell Beckham. The Lions are somewhat interesting because Matt Patricia seems, let's just say, strange. The Redskins would be totally boring.
Raiders, 49ers, Giants, Lions and Redskins are the 5 teams that cannot say no if the NFL tells them, it's your turn to star on Hard Knocks in 2019.— Steve Levy (@espnSteveLevy) February 12, 2019
5. Capitals forward Tom Wilson has done some big reporting on where Bryce Harper will NOT sign. According to Wilson, Harper has unfollowed several Capitals players on social media, so a return to Washington for the outfielder seems to be out.
6. The man who broke the story about ESPN firing Baseball Tonight host Adnan Virk, New York Post sports media reporter Andrew Marchand joined the latest SI Media Podcast to give all the details on the wild story. Marchand explains how ESPN found out about Virk reportedly leaking information to Awful Announcing and why the network decided to fire him instead of suspend him.
You can listen to the podcast below or download it on iTunes.
7. DUET VIDEO OF THE DAY: Here's Alicia Keys and John Mayer teaming up for tremendous versions of If I Ain't Got You and Gravity.
IN CLOSING: The Knicks have lost 17 games in a row and sit at 10-45. But when they host the 76ers on Wednesday night, 19,000 people will be in MSG for the game. And that's the problem.