The NXT trio of Ruby Riott, Liv Morgan and Sarah Logan made their main roster debut on the November 21 episode of Smackdown Live, and as talented as these three women are, The Riott Squad has struggled to find their feet on the Blue Brand.
The biggest problem facing The Riott Squad has nothing to do with the faction themselves nor anything happening on Smackdown Live, it’s simply how good Absolution has been on Monday Night Raw. Debuting in almost the exact same fashion as the trio of Paige, Mandy Rose & Sonya Deville, The Riott Squad have immediately been put in the shadows of Absolution who have the returning and ever-popular Paige as their leader and mouthpiece. Immediately WWE failed to distinguish The Riott Squad making them nothing more than the B-Grade faction on the B-Show to Absolution on Raw.
Let me make clear, individually all three women are fantastic, but together as a heel faction they struggle to produce the presence and sense of danger that their Raw counterparts carry. Ruby Riott is clearly the star of the faction and the rightful leader, but she lacks the established presence and aura around her that Paige carries; and with a theme song like hers its hard to take the trio seriously as a legitimate threat, instead of her theme conveying a sense of danger, her theme just carries a sense of fun and excitement.
It is very easy to forget just how young Liv Morgan is, and for a 23-year-old woman who is still relatively very new to professional wrestling she does a wonderful job; Morgan is the ultimate babyface who is impossible not to love, and absolutely nothing about her says heel.
Sarah Logan is wonderful and her southern gimmick has potential on its own, but does a Southern really fit with a Punk Rocker in Riott and a fun-loving Morgan in what is meant to be a devastating heel stable? Logan’s limited exposure to the main WWE audience also works to her disadvantage doing little in NXT and suffering a first-round loss in the Mae Young Classic.
Take nearly all The Riott Squad’s promos, particularly the most recent one on the December 5th Smackdown Live with Daniel Bryan. Their promo work is cringeworthy at best, and absolutely awful at worst, their attacks and beatdowns lack the intensity and viciousness necessary, and most importantly they just don’t feel like a big deal. Why after weeks of assaults is Ruby Riott not challenging Charlotte Flair for the Smackdown Women’s Title at Clash of Champions, instead WWE has opted for another match with Natalya.
Merely 24 hours after their shocking promo with Daniel Bryan backstage, Sonya Deville, arguably the weakest member of Absolution defeated the leader of The Riott Squad Ruby Riott on NXT! How on earth can the leader of a new stable lose in such a fashion to the weakest member of another stable of which they have essentially copied and pasted anyway! I understand it is ‘only’ NXT and in that sense not everyone would have seen it, but some consistency please; how can we possible take The Riott Squad seriously?
The Riott Squad are only in their infancy and while they are certainly failing in their opening weeks, not all of this is their fault and there is nothing to say they cannot put it all together and become the dominant stable WWE wants them to be. Perhaps Paige is ultimately behind The Riott Squad as well with a full women’s NXT revolution explaining the similarities between the two. Perhaps Sarah Logan can break out as a monster heel or Liv Morgan as the ultimate sympathetic babyface she can be; either way, something needs to change for The Riott Squad.