WWE RAW 12.17.18: So How Much Did Vince McMahon Shake Things Up?
On Friday night, the WWE sent out a tweet saying Vince McMahon was going to return to RAW to shake things up. Of course this was in response to the declining ratings of RAW and the obviously bad product that the show has produced over the last couple months. I’m not including Smackdown in this because that show has been good for the most part.
Whenever ratings get low, Vince reappears. It’s a sad fact but people tune in whenever Vince makes an appearance. No one really knew what to expect with Vince’s announcement. Some people speculated there might be a superstar shakeup again. Crazy people talked about the Elite coming in (which they couldn’t yet even if they wanted to).
So the show started with Vince McMahon coming out, followed by Stephanie McMahon, Triple H and Shane McMahon. In what was essentially a shoot, Vince pretty much admitted that the product wasn’t living up to the standards of the WWE and the fans. So they were going to change things. And it meant that the McMahons were now in charge of both shows. So the WWE’s first answer to shaking things up was to bring back the McMahons in the role of Authority figures. That should have been our first sign that this was all a load of crap. Sure Vince said that the fans are going to have more power. How long is that going to last? Probably not long. I give it six weeks until the show becomes a McMahon focused storyline week in and week out over who has power. And we will be back to where we all started.
What else did we have on this show? Oh yeah. There is going to be new NXT talent brought up. Who are they you ask?
That’s right. EC3 is going to be the one to turn ratings around. Nikki Cross and Lacey Evans are good hands in the women’s division but they aren’t going to turn things around. Same with Heavy Machinery. Good hands in the tag team division but they aren’t going to set the division on fire. Lars Sullivan? They are going to try and turn him into the next Braun Strowman but the problem is Braun got over with his growing charisma. I don’t see any of that in Lars Sullivan. And I have never been a fan of EC3. He is not a good. They basically took people who had no story going in NXT and put them on the main show. When you aren’t going to be missed on NXT then you can pretty much guarantee that you aren’t going to make an impact (no pun intended) on RAW.
Baron Corbin came out to try and get his job back. And what did they do? The same segment they did at TLC. But this time it was Kurt Angle getting to face Corbin instead of Braun Strowman. It was pretty much a shot for shot remake of that match. I thought we were suppose to get new? Another sign that things probably weren’t going to change. Corbin should be gone from TV for weeks but instead it looks like he is going to get inserted into the Seth Rollins/Dean Ambrose program. Why don’t you know that less Corbin is better?
How about the rest of the show? Well Dolph Ziggler and Finn Balor had a good match. But it ended with Drew McIntyre laying both guys out. So really nothing was accomplished. It was pretty much the WWE’s version of 50/50 booking: Balor won at TLC so Drew got his revenge on RAW. Same with Elias taking out Lashley with a guitar. Then they had a Fatal 4 Way tag match to determine who would face Bobby Roode and Chad Gable. It showed yet again just how awful the RAW Tag Team Division is. Sure it was good that the Revival won but what does it accomplish in the end? The match wasn’t any good.
Ronda Rousey came out to start the third hour of RAW. She gave some weird speech about what a Champion is suppose to be and gave an open challenge. So what happened? Steph came out and said there would be an eight woman gauntlet match and the winner would face Ronda. Next week. What the hell happened to Ronda wanting a match tonight? She’s just okay about that not happening after giving that speech that a Champion should fight after every PPV. It was an hour long gauntlet match. It was fine. Natty deserves to get a Title shot after everything she’s done. But again, it wasn’t a shakeup at all.
So what exactly did this show shake up? The answer is quite simple: Absolutely Nothing. No major news came out of this show whatsoever. It was the same RAW we have seen the last two months but the McMahons started the show. It seemed really dumb to do this shakeup right now. The next two RAWs take place on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve. They will probably be the lowest rated RAWs in quite some time. Even if they did something huge tonight I doubt that many people would be tuning in during those shows. I probably won’t even have a review up for these shows until later in the week, if at all. They basically booked the announcement for one show and that’s it.
What should the WWE have done? Ride out the rest of December with what you had. You knew the ratings were going to be low the next two weeks. There’s nothing you can do about it. Get to January and start things over from there. You might get more people to tune in with football over and the build to the Royal Rumble starting. Start to have things get shaken up there if you want.
Plus new superstars and matchups aren’t going to magically make things better. You have to completely revamp your writing style to keep people’s attention today. Vince should admit that he is out of touch with today’s product. That should have been what he said at the top of the show. But instead we got the same old RAW we have seen in recent weeks. Nothing changed at all. And nothing is going to change next week. And nothing will change the week after that. Maybe something changes in January but I don’t have any faith.
RAW is going to be the same show it has been all of December. The McMahons fooled us all tonight. They said they were going to shake things up but did absolutely nothing in the end. No one wants to see MORE of the McMahons on TV. What we want to see are new stars built up and given the chance to showcase their abilities in the ring. We want to see them get over when given the opportunity. We don’t want to see their pushes pulled out from underneath them after two weeks. We want to see consistent, strong booking. Nothing from tonight’s show gave me hope for the weeks ahead. We can only hope Wrestlemania season really does shake things up.
Vince McMahon might have helped RAW get a temporary ratings pop tonight. But he is going to need to show that he can adopt and change with the times in order to keep people interested in his product. He tried pulling the wool over everyone’s eyes tonight to hide that there was no shakeup on RAW tonight. It may work this week, but fans will see that nothing has changed sooner rather than later. We can only hope All Elite Wrestling is real and takes off, because the WWE needs competition now more than ever.
Until Next Time,
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