JC’s Top Rope Report: What’s Wrong With RAW?
I don’t know how Heather does it. I used to watch RAW every week and review it for this site and other sites. At least back when I watched it some good things happened from time to time.
But now it almost seems like a chore to watch every week. I filled in for Heather this past week covering RAW. And if you couldn’t tell from my review, I did not enjoy the show. Boring is one word to describe it. Abysmal would probably be another word to describe it as well. If you ask me there are two good things on RAW right now: BRAUN Strowman and Alexa Bliss. And now we will be without BRAUN for the next 4-8 weeks. Can RAW become a three hour show about Alexa Bliss? Because if it was then I’d probably watch it intently.
The frustrating thing is that RAW doesn’t lack talent. There is plenty of talent on the show. Finn Balor and Seth Rollins are great wrestlers, as is Samoa Joe. The tag team division has talent as does the women’s division. But the RAW side of things can’t seem to get any story going that gains a lot of interest. The BRAUN/Roman Reigns storyline was probably the best thing RAW had going for it. BRAUN was built up as an unstoppable monster who wanted to get his way, and he didn’t care who he had to go through to get it. But they just had to have Roman Reigns run off BRAUN this week. This storyline was pretty much the main event story of RAW, and now that will be on hold for at least a month or two.
And why has the BRAUN/Roman story been the main event storyline of RAW? Well that is because the Universal Champion is missing in action at the moment. Brock Lesnar won the Universal Title at Wrestlemania then vanished into obscurity. He is scheduled to defend the Title at Great Balls of Fire (I still can’t believe I’m typing that) but the opponent is now up in the air with BRAUN Strowman’s injury. Without the Universal Title around, it almost gives storyline’s no meaning whatsoever. There is no end game at all. I mean two weeks ago Finn Balor, Seth Rollins and The Miz all came out asking for a Universal Title shot. It ended with them getting a #1 Contenders Match for the Intercontinental Title.
It is one thing if you want to rehab the Intercontinental Title with Brock Lesnar M.I.A. But just throwing Dean Ambrose out there and making a #1 Contenders Match just doesn’t do it. Of course, it also didn’t help that Dean Ambrose was nowhere to be found at Payback. And now Dean Ambrose and The Miz are feuding again for the IC Title. Over on Smackdown, the United States Title almost feels like it is on par with the WWE Title. Kevin Owens now has a new gimmick because of it. Dean Ambrose seems to be carrying the IC Title around as a prop and nothing more.
Another thing Smackdown has done is give new people in opportunity. I’m no Jinder Mahal fan, but if you want to say one positive thing about him fighting for the WWE Title it is that someone different is challenging for it. Then you have the Fashion Police fighting for the Tag Titles. RAW has the same feud going on for their tag Titles. And Extreme Rules looks like it will simply be rematches from Payback, minus the Universal Title of course. RAW had more people coming out of the initial Draft, but Smackdown seems to have a deeper roster. There are times when I watch Smackdown and think about how guys like Luke Harper, Sami Zayn or MOJO haven’t been used on the show. By the time we are in the third hour of RAW I normally think, “Oh he’s on again?”
Of course RAW’s biggest problem is that the show is three hours long. It didn’t work in WCW and it isn’t working for the WWE. And WCW has twice the size roster that RAW has. You can’t ask fans to watch three hours of RAW, two hours of Smackdown, then an hour of 205 Live and NXT. And then a three hour PPV twice a month. It is complete overkill. Of course the WWE seems to be all about making money at this point. It almost seems like they actively don’t care about the state of their product. And until that changes then we are going to get the same stale product, at least on RAW.
I can remember when RAW was fun to watch. Or at least a time when RAW wasn’t constantly as bad as it is now. The redeeming qualities of the show are few and far in between. If the WWE really doesn’t care about their product as long as they are making money, they better hope it doesn’t come back to bite them. Ratings and viewers are already going down. At what point does the WWE start to panic? And at what point does the WWE decide to give up on the Roman Reigns experiment? Maybe things will get better when the Universal Champion shows up. Without a main title, RAW seems to be stuck in a repeat cycle that isn’t changing in the coming months.
Until Next Time,
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