Monday Night Raw has been WWE’s crown jewel (no pun intended) since its debut on TVs across the country, and eventually the world.
Through the Hulk Hogan/Bret Hart-led 80s, to the Monday Night Wars of the 90s; the “Ruthless Aggression” era to this current “PG Era,” Raw has been at the forefront of it all.
Although Smackdown came only nine years later and has had its own successes and big moments in wrestling history, the WWE’s bread and butter has always been the red brand. So why is it that the show is beginning to struggle so much in the ratings department?
Could it be the WWE Universe has just gotten over watching it? Maybe Mondays just aren’t for wrestling anymore and its now strictly football & the Bachelor(ette)?
If you’re an overly critical & obsessive fan like me, you’ve known the reason for a long time now: you’re tired of watching the same 2-3 wrestlers “get over” without really working for it. While the real workhorses (aka the former former Indies stars) are left with subpar booking and storylines.
The reason why Raw is slowly beginning to decline, and why outside promotions are as close as they’ve ever been to competing with the multi-million dollar king, is due to an ironic concept: too much kayfabe.
For the newbies who aren’t sure what kayfabe is, it’s essentially the storylines and characters that make up the once entertaining programming you watch.
Unless you’re a ten year old, you’ve probably noticed by now that ole Vince McMahon is trying to make Roman Reigns this generation’s Stone Cold or John Cena, trying to “sell” Brock Lesnar back to UFC and cash in, & make The Shield the new NWO.
All of the above is great when brought along gracefully. But when it’s constantly shoved down your throat every Monday night, it gets frustrating. Especially when there’s way more quality top talent today than there’s ever been before.
Smackdown Live, on the other hand, is nicknamed “the land of opportunity.” This is very accurate because anything can happen at any time on that show. The way that show is booked and ran is much more entertaining than Raw. But, since it’s not the “A-show”, it doesn’t have the talent stockpiled like its counterpart.
Jinder Mahal was WWE Champion for goodness sake!
That’s not a knock on him either because he showed that he’s a hell of a performer, but he’s not a consistent main event attraction.
AJ Styles, is the main attraction the show deserves. Smackdown is doing everything right, even down to Paige running the show as GM instead of a terrible excuse of “Corporate Kane,” aka Baron Corbin.
I’m hoping that with the next superstar shake-up, there can be a few more talented and underused stars like Finn Balor, The Revival, & Elias moving to Tuesday night.
To sum up what I’m saying nicely, Raw is not the “flagship” show it once was anymore. There’s too much force-feeding us The Shield, Braun Strowman, & Brock Lesnar & not enough airtime given to Bobby Roode, Bobbie Lashley, etc.
The one constant bright spot on Raw is the Women’s storylines and matches. Heel Becky Lynch is my new favorite person right now, and Ronda Rousey is consistently improving on her in ring & promo skills.
Minus a few near death experiences and botches by an unnamed Belle Twin, the entire women’s division has been spotless.