The Jan. 11 episode of Raw was reportedly written almost on the fly. There were signs of this approach on the broadcast, including numerous wrestlers working multiple segments and even matches.
It was assumed this was due to the COVID outbreak we first heard about yesterday afternoon, which included WWE champion Drew McIntyre testing positive – who would go on to become the first Superstar to to discuss their diagnosis on television. Missing the show wouldn’t mean a wrestler had tested positive, of course. But it’s expected that some might be held out as a precaution if they’d interacted with people who might have contracted the coronavirus, as was said to be the case with Nia Jax & Shayna Baszler back in September.
Doesn’t sound like that explains why several people with ongoing storylines weren’t on the show, however. PWInsider says Raw Women’s champion Asuka, Raw Tag champs Cedric Alexander & Shelton Benjamin, Angel Garza, Ricochet, Nikki Cross & Humberto Carrillo were all backstage at Tropicana Field on Monday night.
Garza was a guest on Raw Talk, and he & Carrillo taped matches for Main Event (the former against Akira Tozawa; the latter against SLAPJACK). The rest seem to have gotten lost in the shuffle with the script changes, or creative had nothing for them at all.
While yesterday’s circumstances were somewhat understandable, the lack of storylines for several champions, and the lack of follow-through for midcarders like Ricochet & Garza who have angles going, speaks to why Raw can be such a frustrating viewing experience.
Imagine how frustrating it must be to sit around backstage all day for nothing.