There's going too far. There's overkill. And then there was last night's Raw, in which decisions in the double figures had to be registered to end the damn match. Not that the 16-man, Team USA vs Team Loosely Defined Other People From Elsewhere main event wasn't a fun and feelgood - if entirely forgettable - romp.

But with two weeks to go until the brand split across WWE's flagship Raw and Smackdown programming, this triumph for Big Show and Zack Ryder will hopefully prove as inconsequential as that result could possibly be in 2016.

Tearing through so many pinfalls over so many talents for the sake of one match is ludicrously wasteful at the best of times. Really, the only circumstances in which such a presentation could ever be deemed appropriate is in the run-up to Survivor Series when it comes to building the concept of an elimination match.

Survivor Series, however, is many months away. And in keeping with the July 4th holiday spirit, this was a wasteful, bloated episode of Raw that gorged so much there wasn't even room for the long-established food fight motif on the show proper.

The live Twitter reaction may have been dismissive towards the party grub-hurling shenanigans, but from Kevin Owens simultaneously pulling off being the smartest cookie in the room as well as cake patsy, Heath Slater's always excellent theatrics and the arm-wrestling likes of Cesaro and Apollo Crews demonstrating how to steal a scene without upstaging anyone else, there was plenty to get stuck into.

Kevin Owens
Missed a bit... Kevin Owens takes a cake to the face in the pre-Raw food fight WWE/YouTube

Despite such daftness, no characters were tarnished or humiliated or lost any edge in the eyes of viewers - but less because they were 'protected' and more because viewers have become conditioned not to invest in wins, losses or decisions. And while it could certainly be argued the vast majority of eliminations in the main event were tempered by the person taking the fall often picking up a decision themselves beforehand - attempting to offer a little protection to the perception of performers' characters in a similar fashion - doing so over and over again only serves to do the opposite in signposting that very aspect.

Many more performers' characters could have been protected with the match formatted as a 'regular' eight versus eight contest where only one wrestler has to absorb the stain of a loss ... but that might open up the question as to why such a rammed match was pencilled in in the first place. Is the loss of headline player Roman Reigns so considerable that it takes a legion of WWE's finest to be stuffed into that position in an attempt replicate the brightness of his shining stardom?

Cesaro's character will get over being cradled by Zack Ryder. Chris Jericho is Teflon enough to bounce back being punched out by Big Show. Jack Swagger probably mostly appreciates managing to get his mug on TV. Why burn through so many decisions then?

Ryder and Show are not the key beneficiaries here. Or rather, they are unlikely to be the focus of their own victory. There's no reason why either character couldn't enjoy a little upswing in their fortunes - an extra oomph to their match momentum. Seems more likely, however, that this win will be in keeping with the rest of Ryder's more prominent positioning on TV during his WWE career: a lovely thing to happen, but entirely transitory.

As hangovers from July 4th exuberance fade, so - most likely - will this OTT jumpstart for Ryder and Show. It seemed like such a good idea at the time, too.

Happy 4th of July #WWE style!! 😩🙈😂

A photo posted by Summer Rae (@daniellemoinet) on

And as the entirely unnecessary decisions piled up in the entirely unnecessary 16-man main event, it felt more like Raw was getting its money's worth from a raft of soon-to-be SmackDown headliners rather than laying the foundations for fresh developments ahead of the anticipated TV demands WWE will face.

WWE is packed full of excellent wrestlers - but it needs stars with mainstream recognition more than ever, and viewers don't tend to view excellent performers who go down to flash decisions as stars.

Owens' pop-up powerbomb on Mark Henry was ace, though. Not that big Kev needs any protection - he could've worn the cake he took to the face in the ring and made it work.