The Raw Problem
It’s crystal clear wrestling isn’t fun on Monday night anymore. Long gone are the days where wrestling was must see TV on Monday nights. The days of switching back and forth between WWE Raw and WCW Nitro are ancient history. In 2018 we’re witnessing the worst episodes of Monday Night Raw in it’s twenty five year history. I’m not saying every episode has to be a five star event by any means, but we’re at the point now where people are unhappy. I’ve personally stopped watching Raw because it’s so bad. I’ve seen people on Twitter constantly complaining to no end and rightfully so. It’s almost amazing the same company is responsible for Smackdown and NXT which are thriving most weeks. So why does Raw all the sudden suck and how can it be fixed? I honestly am just one wrestling fan with an opinion and armed with a keyboard so I’m going to break it down.
The Brock Lesnar Problem
Well here’s captain obvious number one. When Roman Reigns won the Universal Championship it was a great day. Granted there were plenty of Roman haters out there before his unfortunate return of leukemia, but this at least meant we had a full time fighting champion who we seen each and every single week. Storylines were actually able to progress and we had a hierarchy somewhat on Mondays. Vince of course panics and instead of putting the belt on a crowd favorite Braun Strowman at Blood Money (crown jewel), he once again puts the title back on Lesnar. More than likely the Universal Championship will be held hostage until at least Wrestlemania setting back any progression of the main event scene. I don’t understand the appeal of a part time champion? The flagship champion should be appearing on most Raw’s and doing the house show circuit. You also look at the Raw roster and there are plenty of superstars worthy enough to hold the Universal Championship. Seth Rollins is a name that comes to mind, but instead he’s part of the….
The Intercontinental Championship Problem
I can’t believe I’m saying that one of my favorite wrestlers is part of a problem on Raw, but he is. It’s not his fault of course by any means, it’s Vince’s fault. Seth Rollins is a main event player worthy enough and over enough to run with the Universal Championship. Back when there was no brand split at the time if you recall, Rollins was THE WWE champion for the better part of 2015 and he had an amazing run at the top. Rollins instead gets to run with the Intercontinental Championship as a consolation prize because there’s no full time Universal Champion in house. The problem with Rollins holding the Intercontinental Championship is that it’s holding the progression of the mid-card back. Superstars such as Elias, Finn Balor, Lashley, Bobby Roode, etc could all be involved in a feud for this title. However because of the way Raw is, they’re stuck in dead end feuds. Most of the babyfaces of course are stuck feuding with…
The Baron Corbin Problem
Oh Baron Corbin. I’ll never understand what the appeal is with him? It’s bad enough someone put him over to win a Money in the Bank contract, but now this guy is the authority figure of Monday Night Raw? I was a fan of the new direction at first when he was just Stephanie’s lackey, but now I’m done with it. Maybe it’s because the heel authority figure storyline has been played out so many times since the late 90’s. Do we really need a heel authority figure to constantly stack the deck against the faces each and every single week? Baron Corbin is no Attitude Era Vince McMahon and he definitely doesn’t have a Stone Cold Steve Austin feuding with him. Can’t they keep things simple like they do in NXT where William Regal intervenes when only necessary? Speaking of GM’s, we can’t forget…..
The Drake Maverick Problem
This doesn’t have anything to do with his role on 205 Live, it’s more so to do with his manager role of AOP. The fact Maverick is obsessed with urinating is beyond disgusting and awful toilet humor. Who honestly finds this funny at all besides a senile old man in charge of creative? Bodily discharge has no place in wrestling. I don’t want to see a grown man piss himself. I don’t want to see someone puking. I don’t mind comedy in wrestling, but what we’re seeing here is far from comedy. It’s just plain garbage. I can’t believe AOP is linked to this storyline. Of course I shouldn’t be surprised since they’re linked to……..
The Tag Team Division Problem
You look across the night and you see The Bar, New Day, and the Usos making tag team wrestling great again. You look on Monday Night Raw and cry yourself to sleep if you’re a tag team enthusiast. I have no problem with AOP minus their stupid name change, they were fantastic in NXT. Sure it took them a few months to finally get utilized properly, but now they’re the face of a sad tag team division. Sure some star power was added to the weak division when Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose reunited and the team of Drew McIntyre and Dolph Ziggler gave it some punch. Then you look at the B Team or the Deleter of Worlds and shake your head. Or you could go back to Wrestlemania when Braun Strowman won the belts with Nicholas against The Bar. The division has basically been treated as a joke for the most part and a great tag team like The Revival is getting jobbed out to another joke the Lucha House Party. There’s almost no saving this tag team division at this point unless you swap over the Usos from Smackdown Live, which should’ve happened at Superstar Shakeup in April. However what’s done is done and the Raw Tag Team division needs a complete overhaul and while we’re on the subject of failed Raw divisions. Let’s look at……
The Women’s Division Problem
Raw doesn’t have Becky Lynch so that’s already going to knock them a few pegs, but this division has been on the struggle bus all year. They can’t figure out how to utilize Sasha Banks and Bayley while their Four Horsemen friends Becky and Charlotte are in a premier can’t miss rivalry. Hell they can’t figure out how to utilize Ruby Riott or Ember Moon. For some reason they keep pushing the unsafe worker Nia Jax even though she’s injured countless wrestlers including Becky Lynch ruining one of the most hyped matches for Survivor Series. Then you look at the current champion who I refuse to name who’s basically the female equivalent of Brock Lesnar. The women’s division on Monday’s is being held back because of her and her dominant booking. Until she’s gone, the Ruby Riott’s and Ember Moon’s of the world will continue to do the job and never sniff a championship they deserve. Then there’s Alexa Bliss who just got cleared to compete again so who knows where she’s going to factor into things, so at least Raw has her back in the ring potentially. However this doesn’t take away from….
The Injury Problem
Some folks will use the excuse that Raw has a bunch of injuries. Sure we all know Roman Reigns is out indefinitely because of his unfortunate return of leukemia. Braun Strowman is injured as well. Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens are also out of action. That’s really about it though. Four major superstars where the WWE is overloaded with talent. You know damn well Smackdown Live can’t feature every superstar they have because of their two hour window compared to Raw’s three. Maybe Raw deals some lower/midcard superstars to Smackdown Live to acquire a major superstar in a trade. Maybe Raw calls up an NXT talent to fill the gap until one of the top performers returns. You can always send the NXT superstar back down, they do it in baseball all the time between the majors and minors. I feel like this is an excuse. You look at WWE in late 1999/early 2000 when Stone Cold Steve Austin and the Undertaker were out of action. The WWE didn’t step backwards, they progressed by making Triple H, The Rock, Big Show, and countless others important. When those guys were the focus of the main event scene, this allowed superstars such as Chris Jericho and Kurt Angle to thrive in the mid-card. The real question though is even if Roman, Braun, Owens, and Zayn returned. Would it help the struggling Monday Night Raw? Absolutely not! Smackdown Live thrives in just two hours. Could it be that Raw is suffering because of……..
The Three Hour Problem
This has been discussed many times by fans on Twitter. I personally think this would be a good idea. This prevents overexposure of wrestlers, filler such as constant replays and recaps, and everything in between. The majority of folks work Monday’s an eight hour day and this doesn’t include commute. Throw in the other variables and do you really think someone wants to commit three hours to one show, especially when it’s NOT entertaining? Raw was two hours the majority of it’s twenty five years so I think it’s time to go back to what worked. Even WCW Nitro went back to two hours before their catastrophic demise. If they absolutely need that third hour, then maybe stick 205 Live in between the first and third hour of Raw? Though could it be something else? What if there’s……..
Lack of Superstar Shakeup Problem
Right now only once a year we see superstars from Raw and Smackdown switch rosters. Sprinkle in some NXT callups and everything is fresh. Fresh for a few months before things get stale again. The problem with WWE is having a weekly episodic show means we’re seeing the same wrestlers face each other way too many times. Maybe it wouldn’t be a terrible idea to have a shakeup more than once a year. Maybe at Survivor Series have a shakeup occur. Make the big four pay per view matter again. Say the Smackdown Live women’s team defeats the Raw women’s team. The Smackdown Live roster then can acquire one woman from the losing Raw team to add to their roster. Also since every pay per view is co-branded now, maybe it wouldn’t be a terrible idea to have superstars from other brands meet at pay per views. Let Shinsuke Nakamura defend the United States Championship against a Raw superstar and if said Raw superstar wins, they could either join Smackdown Live with the title or take the title to Raw. Then again, what is Raw is suffering from…
A Major Storyline Problem
You look at Smackdown Live and there are great feuds going right now. Some ongoing and some fresh and recent. I don’t see that on Raw. Partially because I’ve stopped watching Raw, but most of them just aren’t clicking. Seth and Dean could be something incredible, but instead Dean Ambrose is walking around impersonating Bane. What Raw needs is a major faction. I’m not talking about some stupid three man trio either, I’m talking massive nWo Bullet Club like faction. Countless superstars involved and having them invade Raw, Smackdown, and NXT giving no cares. Wrestling fans like factions. This is one reason why I enjoy New Japan because of all the factions they have. I grew up watching factions in the 80’s and 90’s. Recent fans obviously like the Shield, Undisputed Era, Bullet Club, Elite, whatever it may be. Best case scenario at this point I guess would be bringing up the Undisputed Era from NXT and in the grand scheme of things they were formed by none other than Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn who were the mastermind behind it all along. That could be fun, but it’ll never happen. At one time I was hoping Triple H was going to form a stable with all former NXT Champions minus Seth Rollins because they were feuding at the time. Yes this would mean Big E would betray New Day. Neville of course is long gone and is out of the picture. Bo Dallas isn’t deserving of this awesomeness. You get the idea though. If this idea were to happen today though and since Triple H and Seth Rollins are cool now since Trips doned the Shield gear awhile back at a show. This could be a badass stable. Seth Rollins, Big E, Sami Zayn, Kevin Owens, Finn Balor, Samoa Joe, Shinsuke Nakamura, Bobby Roode, Drew McIntyre, and Andrade “Cien” Almas. Then of course you bring in Aleister Black and Tommaso Ciampa as well. Sure some of them could refuse the invite because they’re babyface and what not, but you look at it and right now the majority of them are heel alignment. Now sure some of these superstars are on Smackdown, but Triple H of course could have a Raw version and Smackdown version of this cohesive unit. Superstars invading shows at their choice because they don’t care. This would be the edgy story we all need. Of course in the end of the day it doesn’t matter what I think or the people think. Because at the end of the day we all have to deal with….
The Vince McMahon Problem
Vince has done great things for wrestling, but it’s time for him to step aside and let his son in law Triple H take the keys to the kingdom. While he was able to defeat a hot WCW product in the late 1990’s. I don’t know if in this day and age if he would be able to take on a formidable competitor again. He’s fortunate TNA/Impact and Ring of Honor haven’t been able to get the financial backing to become a legitimate threat. New Japan of course is probably the closest threat, but of course they’re miles away. Out of sight, out of mind. However there are some rumors about All Elite Wrestling being a thing. If the popular independent wrestling group known as the Elite actually make this thing a reality. I’d be really curious to see what happens. WWE will still have its diehards no matter what. However, the edgy wrestling fans may very well defect and support what AEW puts out there.
In over 2,000 words I probably just ranted on the Monday Night Raw problem. Whether or not I’m right or wrong we’ll never know. All I know is what’s going on now isn’t putting butts in the seats. Least in the couches. Though if things keep trending the way they are, I can see arena seats being open as well. Right now Monday Night Raw flat out sucks and it’s sad. I really hope things become fun again. However as long as Vince gets blood money from the prince, he doesn’t care.