It’s Saturday so time for the latest installment of ’This Week in Wrestling’, the 51st of 2018. Today, Craig talks about writing three hours of Raw while Brian asks how long the WWE can ignore its universe’s views and shares all the best wrestling content of the week.
On the back of a record all-time low, Raw bettered (worsened?) those figures this Monday night on Raw.
As per the Wrestling Observer: “Raw dropped another four percent off of last week’s modern-era record low, with just a 2.19 million viewer average last night.”
The Wrestling Observer’s Bryan Alvarez shared the above story with a tweet saying “This is embarrassing.” Responding to this, former WWE writer Jimmy Jacobs said:
This was supported by WWE superstar, and current Intercontinental Champion, Seth Rollins who said:
These are both fair points, I’d imagine it is hard writing three hours of Raw every week and, as Seth Rollins points out, five hours of live WWE TV every week. I wouldn’t know because, as it stands, the WWE have never employed me to do so.
However, the ratings should be a huge worry for the powers at be at the WWE. And they are, after all, the WWE has announced that Vince McMahon will return this week on Raw to “shake things up”.
Now, as hard as writing three hours of Raw undoubtedly is. It’s no picnic in the park watching it either.
Raw is a chore to sit through. There’s no denying that. There’s a hell of a lot of flat and it is fortunate to sometimes watch it with a controller that allows you to fast forward. Otherwise, it’d be impossible.
Furthermore, the sign-off process of Raw must be nigh on impossible. You’ve written, what you think, is a top show but it has to go via Vince McMahon before it sees the light of day. I can only imagine the difference between the initial draft and the final signed off version is significant.
But let’s look at the product. This week on Raw, you had an opening segment where Rollins himself said the show wasn’t great and lambasted Baron Corbin, who is himself woeful in his current role. It’s tough to see what benefit, if any, there was in Rollins saying Raw has been poor or saying something very similar about Corbin before offering him a match – why should we care to watch such a match after such a rundown of his opponent’s credibility.
Raw is a mess. An absolute mess. Like Bryan Alvarez alluded to on Wrestling Observer live this week, the WWE has lost a significant audience and, much like WCW when Nitro went to three hours, I think these people are quite possibly gone for good.
But on the flipside, the WWE isn’t turning Raw back to being two hours any time soon. They lose the third hour of ad revenue and there’s no chance would companies increase their offerings for a two-hour show with the Raw viewership figures falling so.
The WWE’s answer? The return of Vince McMahon. I can’t help but think he’s more part of the problem.
This past Monday’s Raw opened up rather uniquely as Seth Rollins called out Raw general manager elect Baron Corbin. Once Corbin came out, Rollins proceeded to tear into the GM for the way the show has been run the last few weeks. Seth Rollins mentioned the misuse of the Revival, the bad comedy segments which included Drake Maverick and other Raw misfires. It was actually quite refreshing to hear.
While on TV, it was Rollins bashing Baron Corbin, make no mistake about it it was really an apology from Vince McMahon to the WWE universe. Corbin was just the vessel Vince used representing himself and Rollins was the voice of the fans. It was really interesting to see McMahon (even if he wasn’t on the show) admit that his “A show” has been really bad the last few weeks and acknowledge it.
As for the show itself, I have to admit, it was a lot more watchable and flowed a lot better than it has in a while. The ratings, unfortunately, hit another all-time low, but make no mistake, this was a step in the right direction for WWE. It’ll take some time to get fans back to watching the show again, but word of mouth is strong and positive for this episode, so at least there was an admission of failure and the attempt to correct his mistakes.
Creatively they have admitted their shortcomings and I am sure they will at least try to right their wrongs. That still leaves this company with one glaring question: who will lead the WWE? Whether you liked Roman Reigns or hated the character, he was a megastar for Vince. He generated a reaction whether negative or positive and people did for the most part tune in. What WWE lacks greatly right now are true stars to get behind. WWE has always been built on one or two guys who were the face of WWE.
Whether it was Hulk Hogan, the Ultimate Warrior, The Rock, Stone Cold Steve Austin, John Cena or Reigns…there has always been a guy. Is Seth Rollins that guy now that Reigns is sidelined for an uncertain amount of time? Who knows? We do know that he is pound for pound one of WWE’s most talented wrestler’s. Does he have the charisma or the star power to be that guy? I have my doubts but make no mistake he is the best fit for the job.
Nobody else stands out that much right now. Braun Strowman? Maybe, but his popularity took a hit after his failed heel turn. Drew McIntyre? Perhaps one day, but right now his future is that of a monster heel. So for now, Seth it is. Again, I love Rollins as a wrestler and think he is the most qualified to be the guy right now, I just don’t see him at the level of the other guys WWE chose as the face of the company. He is popular, but not that type of popularity that the others had. Here’s hoping I’m wrong and Rollins can burn it down as the face of WWE.
A Chyna Tattoo
Speaking of tattoos, it appears Vince McMahon joined this guy’s “Kiss My Ass Club.”
A recent Japanese McDonald’s ad featuring New Japan legend Masahiro Chono
Just in time for the holidays comes a Macho Man wreath made entirely out of Slim Jims
Now THAT is a very cool Becky Lynch tee shirt…
Introducing Blade Hennig……possible 4th generation pro wrestler???
Cool wedding cake!
Dakota Runnels…..daughter of Dustin and Terri Runnels
A recent picture of Darren ‘Droz’ Drozdov with Bubba Ray Dudley and Dlo Brown
Any guesses as to who this little girl would turn out to be? Hint she is a current WWE star that is on Raw.
If you guessed Alexa Bliss, you are correct!
Kirk Douglas (who recently celebrated his 102nd birthday) arm wrestling with NWA legend Lou Thesz
A backstage photo of the Godfather’s “Ho’s” from back in the day…
A 1986 commercial for Rubik’s puzzle featuring The Macho Man Randy Savage
All previous ‘This Week in Wrestling’ pieces can be read here.