There’s a time and a place for the use of the divas in the final segment of your flagship show. There’s a time and a place to have a contract signing. There’s a time and a place to make rivalries personal. There’s a time and a place for the use of personal tragedies in wrestling storylines. This week with the Paige and Charlotte contract signing for Survivor Series… was not one of them.
Everyone is talking about the mention of the deceased brother of Charlotte, Reid Flair, which lead to Charlotte attacking Paige to end the show. Here’s the thing about this segment… that was not even close to the biggest reason about why this segment was so bad.
Keep this in mind. Look at all the segments that WWE had to choose from to be the go-home segment going into Survivor Series. They could have had the Brothers of Destruction confronting the Wyatt Family, with Bray revealing who would face Undertaker and Kane at Survivor Series and it would have worked. They could have had one of the Quarter Final matches of the WWE World title tournament be the main event of the show, which would lead us nicely into Survivor Series. Instead, WWE decided to end the show with Paige and Charlotte promoting their match at Survivor Series for the Divas Championship.
It’s not like this match is such an important match that it required the main-event spotlight. In fact, out of all the matches that have been announced for Survivor Series, this would be the match that required the least amount of attention. The WWE World Tournament and the Undertaker and Kane vs Wyatts program have both been BY FAR more important and more promoted that Charlotte vs Paige. The idea that those two storylines were bumped from the main event to make way for Charlotte, Paige and Michael Cole is just absurd.
What did they do with this main event? Charlotte and Paige got into an “intense” argument which saw Charlotte get completely lost for words early on into the segment. WWE could have given Charlotte any other time to do this segment with Paige and give her a chance to work on her mic skills. They could have even done this on SmackDown! and they could have easily edited it so Charlotte didn’t come off as bad as she did. No, what they did was put her out there live on RAW and as soon as she mentioned Reid it just went off the rail.
You could tell just by watching it that Charlotte did not want to mention Reid at all. She obviously must have agreed to it in some way beforehand and I don’t believe that she was pressured into doing it or anything. When she was out there though, I just got the feeling that she was thinking afterwards “this was a lot harder than I thought” and that was kind of the turning point which saw Charlotte really mess up.
To me, it didn’t seem that it was a line that was relevant to the plot of the story. Michael Cole explained at the start of the segment that Paige and Charlotte have been friends since NXT and that they’ve suddenly got their issues when it comes to the Divas title. Making things personal shouldn’t be needed. Scott Christ at Tape Machines Are Rolling summed it up nicely when he said:
“My problem is they basically just sprung this whole “we were best friends IRL for serious” on us at 11:02. So we went from “they have wrestling type problems” to “they have serious personal issues” to “this is a blood feud” in about 8 minutes. I also don’t think it “helps” that the crowd can barely react to this anyway. What percentage of the audience knows about what happened to Reid Fliehr? 5% at most?”
What I find to be interesting about the Reid thing is that those putting the show together didn’t seem to have no problem in Reid being used despite not many of the audience actually knowing what happened to him. There was a bit of a reaction but not nearly enough to justify it or gain Paige the proper “heel heat.” What’s interesting about it is that WWE had such a problem when Ric Flair actually mentioned his son Reid during the WWE 2K14 panel a few years ago which lead to Jim Ross actually parting ways with the company because they didn’t want that. I know when Ric mentioned Reid, it was a lot closer to when Reid actually died. However, it’s just strange that WWE are all of sudden OK with mentioning him in order to make the storyline a bit more personal.
There’s something about the fact that they used the line about Reid in the week after the ten year anniversary of Eddie Guerrero. If you’ll recall, WWE used Eddie’s death as the catalyst for Rey Mysterio’s push in 2006. At least then, you could sort of argue that it was to push new talent to the main event. Here, it was just used to “intensify” the storyline. The only thing was that this one seemed so obscure and unnecessary that it really didn’t add a whole lot to the storyline. It’s like when Eric Bischoff made the reference on Nitro to Sid stabbing someone in a backstage incident. Nobody at the time got it except the talent. I know a lot more people would have known about Reid Flair but it’s not like Charlotte ever mentioned him before on WWE television or NXT.
I think I’ve actually went into the Reid stuff a bit more than I intended because I mentioned earlier, this was not the biggest reason about why this segment failed. The reason this segment failed is because these two women shouldn’t have been in the main event of the show. Simple. Charlotte doesn’t have the mic skills and this storyline doesn’t have enough importance for it be even considered for a main event segment of RAW. People have begging for the women to get better treatment and I understand all of that. However, main event segments don’t result in better story-telling and better programming. If you put a tiara on a small rock, it’s still a rock. It doesn’t make things any greater.
It also failed as Paige and Charlotte were just put in a very tough position. I actually have a problem with Paige’s delivery and it has nothing to do with her controversial comments. Paige is trying to portray this rebellious “CM Punk” like character that just talks trash about the roster. The problem with that is that she’s not got the personality to pull it off. It just doesn’t suit her style and her character to spend her time bashing the other divas in a similar way to how AJ used to do it.
There’s also the issue with how Paige claimed that she had been using Charlotte which I thought didn’t make a lot of sense. Charlotte talked about how Paige inspiring her in NXT and how she wanted to be like Paige but then Paige claimed that she had been using Charlotte. Why would Paige need to use Charlotte in the first place? A lot of people could point out that it was Paige fooling Charlotte and Becky Lynch into thinking she was a team player but how did she “use” Charlotte in any of that? All she did was pretend to be a team mate before turning on the team. Paige then just won the number one contendership match on RAW to earn a shot for the title. I don’t see how she used Charlotte at all in those few months. All she did was mess with Team PCB.
There was no mention of Becky Lynch who was attacked by Paige after their match on RAW last week. She was not mentioned by either girl. This is funny because a lot of fans on Twitter have started to believe that Becky will turn on Charlotte. That really shouldn’t happen but if it does, it’s not like it was teased or anything like that. Also keep in mind, Paige beat up Becky last week so it’s not like it’d make a lot of sense either.
One last thing before I get to the finish of the show with Paige and Charlotte brawling. There’s one line I have to address from Charlotte. Charlotte said that she would not be champion forever and that she would eventually lose the title but not to the likes of Paige.
The reason I was so infuriated about this line because YOU SHOULD BE CONFIDENT THAT YOU WILL BE CHAMPION FOR THE REST OF YOUR CAREER! What champion wins a championship thinking “I’m eventually going to lose it”? I’m sure Ronda Rousey wanted to be champion and unbeaten for the rest of her life. I’m sure Floyd Mayweather wants to finish his career undefeated. What’s the point of even fighting for the title if you don’t think you’ll hold onto to it?
What’s funny is that I distinctly remember AJ Lee on commentary one time on SmackDown! mentioning that she wanted to hold onto the divas title for 28 years! When you’re a champion you want to be champion for the rest of your career. You shouldn’t be saying things like “I will eventually lose this title.” When AJ mentioned she wanted to be champion for 28 years at least her character’s goal at the time was to be champion for the rest of her career. Charlotte’s character suggests that she doesn’t care if she drops the belt as long as Paige doesn’t win it. That’s not good.
So finally, Paige and Charlotte get to this brawl. The brawl was actually not that bad with the exception of the 30 seconds where Charlotte just decided to literally lay on Paige it seems. The show ended with Charlotte not even signing her contract. Now WWE.com did post a video with Charlotte actually signing the contract and she signed this contract with the biggest smile on her face after she just beat up Paige for speaking ill about her little brother that died a few years before.
It was not like this was a sinister smile as she knows she’ll get her hands on Paige once she signed the contract. It just seemed like Charlotte was just her normal self. She wasn’t angry and it wasn’t like the officials and referees were trying to restrain her. She was just normal. If you don’t have access to the internet, you wouldn’t have even known that Charlotte signed the contract afterwards. This is an important aspect of the contract signing which WWE decided to leave after the show went off the air.
There it is. Here was my extensive review about this contract signing to end the go-home show before Survivor Series. This was not like a contract signing that was ruined by the mention of Reid Flair. This contract signing was dreadful anyway and it featured an unnecessary attempt at making things personal between Paige and Charlotte. I really don’t think I’ve seen a worse ending to a go-home show than this. I remember the go-home show where Mark Henry tried to rally USA ahead of his match with Rusev at Night Of Champions 2014. I remember that but I don’t think I remember any other go-home show as bad as this one.
I feel kind of bad for kicking this segment around this much because RAW was actually a decent show with good quarter final matches for the tournament. However, this segment was a total disaster from start to finish.