One thing you can always count on from WWE is consistency. Sure, they might not have the best wrestling… sorry, sports entertainment. And yeah, their writing may leave something to be desired. And sure, they're seemingly not capable of creating any new stars. And… wait, was there a point to all this? Oh yeah. Consistency. WWE is like the McDonalds of sports entertainment. You're never gonna get a great meal there, but you know you're always going to get the same thing every time you tune into WWE Raw, no matter when it is.
That creates a problem when things deviate from the formula. For example, thanks to Roman Reigns getting COVID in December, WWE had to rearrange all their plans. Instead of Reigns feuding with Brock Lesnar at the Royal Rumble, Lesnar won the WWE Championship from Big E at Day 1 and Seth Rollins got slotted into a match with Reigns at the PPV next week.
But how does WWE advance a feud when the wrestlers are not on the same show and therefore cannot face each other week after week in long promos and various tag team matches? This requires creativity, so on WWE Raw this week, Rollins joined Kevin Owens on the KO Show to read his scripted promo on Roman Reigns there. One interesting thing did come out of the promo: Rollins said that, if he wins, rather than join Smackdown, Rollins will bring the Universal Championship back to Raw. Of course, that doesn't matter because there's no way in hell Rollins wins at the Royal Rumble.
Afterward, Kevin Owens, who declared himself for the Royal Rumble, by the way, faced United States Champion Damian Preist, who now has a split personality gimmick the less said about the better, in a meaningless non-title match in place of Rollins vs. Reigns. Owens picked up the victory after faking a knee injury to lull Priest into a Lukewarm Stunner.
All in all, it was a suitable substitute for the usual storyline development in the Rollins/Reigns feud. Later in the night, Rollins would go head-to-head with Bobby Lashley, who is challenging Lesnar at the Rumble for the WWE Championship. That match ended in a non-finish when the ex-Hurt-Business interfered, which was the only way to end the match without making one of the title contenders look bad.
Also on WWE Raw last night, Alpha Academy held a graduation ceremony for Otis, the best part of which is that they came out to Pomp and Circumstance, so if you closed your eyes, you could almost imagine The Macho Man was heading to the ring. The second best thing was Matt Riddle coming out in his own graduation uniform to read a commencement speech.
Shorty G challenged Riddle to an "academic challenge." However, Riddle lured Otis out of the ring so Randy Orton could attack Gable from behind. Riddle then took out Otis and the former champs took over the graduation party as Orton accepted Gable's challenge, so look forward to more non-wrestling content on WWE Raw next week.