Vince McMahon is appearing on RAW this Monday? That can mean only one thing: ratings are down, down, down. Vince has tried to cut down on his presence on TV in recent years. It is a smart move on his part. There is not a lot left to do with his character, so his appearance should be limited and sporadic. But almost all of Vince McMahon’s appearance in recent years has been in response to a low rating on RAW the week before. So essentially, you could call Vince McMahon “Mr. Panic.”
Once again, Vince McMahon will be around to deliver a “State of the WWE” Address. I’m sure Vince will brag about certain things like Twitter or Tout and some other non-sense that is good in the WWE. I’m sure there will be some attempt to start a major angle as well. But the problem is, you know the angle was hastily put together in the last week. That more than likely means the angle has very little, if any, direction and the WWE won’t know where they are going with it.
But while Vince will try to tell you that everything is okay in the WWE, what he won’t tell you about is the numerous problems the WWE is facing right now. Number 1 is the continual drop in ratings for RAW. Last week, RAW received a 2.5 rating, the lowest non-holiday rating in a very long time. The ratings haven’t gone up on RAW in quite some time. And the third hour of the show, the 10-11 time slot, has at times been the lowest rated hour on the show. By starting the show at 8, the WWE is now wearing out a lot of their viewers by 10 p.m. And can you blame them? How many good TV shows can keep viewers for 3 hours? Wrestling is not programmed to go three hours on a weekly basis, especially if you have been booking it the way the WWE has. But Vince won’t let you know that moving to 3 hours was a bad idea, no matter how much he and the executives at USA think it is a good idea.
Vince also won’t tell you how thin and poorly booked the WWE roster is. Look at RAW right now. John Cena is injured. Who is the guy stepping up to take his place if he can’t go? Ryback, a guy that I would not feel comfortable putting in the main event of a PPV at this point in his career. And then over on Smackdown, Sheamus is the World Champion. Randy Orton is away filming a movie. He is still around, but who is helping out Smackdown with Orton gone? Yeah, your guess is as good as mine. You would think with all of this time of programming that the WWE would have found a better way to get their mid card performers over.
And I wonder, Vince, why have you not given more time to get some of your roster over? Stupid, pointless, 3 minute squash matches do not help those guys get over. Especially when there are multiple ones on the same show. Look at RAW in recent weeks. Wade Barrett and Ryback have a squash every week. How were Brodus Clay and Tensai introduced? That’s right, squash matches. It can maybe work for one guy, like Ryback, but having multiple squash matches is just bad. Instead of getting people over, it just ends up feeling like filler in the end.
When you have 5 hours of main wrestling programming to fill, you don’t go out there and 3 minute squash matches. If you want people to care about the mid-card, you give them time to develop actual programs and feuds. You give them time to work a 10 minute wrestling match in the ring. What mid-carders actually have a program right now? Miz is the Intercontinental Champion, who is going after his Title? How about Antonio Cesaro and the United States Championship? Anyone? Yes it was nice to see him beat Brodus Clay, but what does that lead to in the end? The WWE apparently has high hopes for Wade Barrett, but you wouldn’t know it by watching RAW and Smackdown. Its just one squash match after another. It works once or twice, but not every show over the span of a month or two.
Another problem with 3 hour RAWs? They’ve over-exposed a lot of characters. The prime example of that is Sheamus. Sheamus has not gotten over well since becoming World Champion. He’s almost getting into unbearable John Cena territory, at least for me. Just like Cena, Sheamus is throwing out corny catch phrases and just not looking like the bad ass he once was when he was a heel. Sheamus and John Cena are a large part of the WWE’s continuing problem of how to properly book a face, but that is a different discussion all together. There have been 3 people/things that have benefited from the move to 3 hours: C.M. Punk, Daniel Bryan and the Tag Team Division. I can’t thing of anything else. I wanted to see more good wrestling but we only get one, if we are lucky two, good matches a show.
So while Vince McMahon will parade out on RAW and try to make you think everything is okay, remember that it is not. Vince knows that he has a problem on his hands and he needs to pull a rabbit out of his hat to get viewers back. But will some stupid Vince McMahon stunt really be enough for the product this time around? Instead of a one time trick to get viewers back, Vince needs to worry about the long term future of the company. Start focusing on the future with the talent you have. And find some way to get out of the 3 hour RAW format.
Until Next Time,
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