Since the brand split back in July of last year, Monday Night Raw has been, in my opinion, worse than it has ever been. While there are currently good things about Raw like Finn Balor being back and the matches revolving around the Intercontinental Championship, the red brand is still slacking big time. The Superstar Shakeup (bringing top Smackdown guys and gals to Raw and putting the crappy people on Smackdown) couldn’t even save Monday nights. Smackdown, despite being ripped of some of their top talents, is still the better show, and Raw continues to be a lackluster.
Here are FOUR reasons why Raw isn’t doing well.
#1: The Storylines
Where do I even begin with the storylines? They’re boring!
If they aren’t boring, then they’re just way too long. Example: Roman Reigns and Braun Strowman, although Braun is amazing, have been feuding since January and will likely continue their feud when Braun returns from his injury. The story isn’t bad, but it has just been going on for way too long. People want to see these two do something else (even though we love Braun Strowman destroying Roman Reigns).
Raw’s storylines are also cliché. Bayley storylines are perfect examples. It always goes like this: Bayley had a dream as a kid to be a WWE Superstar, and she is finally living her dream, but Insert Name is the evil witch that wants to crush her dreams. It was cool at first, but bread becomes stale over time, and so do story builds.
Then you have some storylines that are just pointless. Sasha Banks and Alicia Fox are in a rivalry right now. Why? Your guess is as good as mine.
#2: The Cruiserweight Division
I love the wrestlers in the Cruiserweight Division. Neville has reinvented himself for the better, TJP is phenomenal in the ring, Jack Gallagher is entertaining in matches and promos, and Austin Aries is just…..great! My issue with the current Cruiserweight Division is their exposure on Raw.
Out of the three hour airtime, the Cruiserweights get 30 minutes at most. With that amount of time and usually two cruiserweight division matches per Raw, the cruiserweights are unable to showcase their full potential. Yes, there is 205 Live on the WWE Network, but that show doesn’t get half the views that Monday Night Raw gets.
I understand that you don’t want to give too much away for free, because you want people to see the cruiserweights on Raw and want to watch 205 Live because of it. If you really want more people to watch 205 Live, then give the Cruiserweights more time to showcase what they are capable of
#3: The Universal Championship
The Universal Championship was created as a World Title for Raw after Dean Ambrose, the WWE World Champion at the time, was drafted to Smackdown in the brand split. The title looks like Twizzlers, but that is not my problem.
Remember late 2014? That is when Brock Lesnar was WWE World Champion. He didn’t defend the belt like most champions do; because he is not contracted as a full-time WWE Superstar, he would only defend it at Night of Champions ‘14, Royal Rumble ‘15, and WrestleMania 31. This is the current situation with the Universal Championship, which Brock Lesnar holds.
I didn’t mind Triple H or the Rock holding the WWE Title, because they showed up at the PPV before WrestleMania to defend it (Triple H defended against Dean Ambrose at the first Roadblock). Brock Lesnar, on the other hand, won the title at WrestleMania and has not defended it once (as of today, he has been champion for 45 days). WWE requires other champions to have a minimum of one title defense per 30 days. I don’t care how special Brock Lesnar is; if you are going to make him the champion, you need to pay him to defend his title like a normal champion.
The Intercontinental Championship has been Raw’s main title since WrestleMania, and we love that title and the matches that come with it. Still, a brand needs to have a World Title, because the World Title is the top prize. Raw needs its top prize back.
#4: Raw is THREE HOURS
I may sound like a real idiot, because I said, “Give the cruiserweights more time” a few minutes ago, and I’m getting ready to say, “Make Raw two hours long again.” Let’s just imagine that the cruiserweights aren’t given more time on the show and Raw stays the way it currently is.
Remember when three hour Raws were special? The show would usually be two hours long with it being three hours long on certain occasions (like that good ole Trump buys Raw). Now, the three hour Raws are not special, and that sucks.
I don’t mind sitting through a three hour PPV, but I don’t want to consistently sit through three hours of wrestling every week (especially when the show is boring). I start to doze off or just play on my phone after two hours (unless something exciting happens). Sometimes, I don’t even bother watching it; I DVR it and skip through it the next day.
When I’m watching Smackdown, which runs for two hours, I can enjoy and interpret every part of the show, not just because it is good television, but because I’m not tired from sitting there for over two hours. If Raw was two hours, fans would be able to enjoy and understand it better.
There was an argument made on an episode of Bring It to the Table on the WWE Network that Raw being three hours long it best for business, because it creates more opportunities for sponsorship (which makes WWE more money). I don’t have an argument for that point. I just wish that it wasn’t always about money. The WWE Network has 1.95 Million subscribers (1), and floor seats for Great Balls of Fire (Raw’s new PPV in July) cost from $500-800 (2), so I don’t think that money is an issue for WWE.
These are FOUR reasons why Monday Night Raw isn’t doing so well. Do you agree with these? Do you have other reasons? Let us know.