The WWE made a shocking announcement last week that wrestling fans haven’t stopped talking about since then: Monday Night Raw would be permanently moving to a three-hour format starting with the July 23 episode.
The decision to stretch out Raw another hour every week has been met with mixed reaction, as some seem to love it while others seem to hate it.
There are certainly pros and cons to the move, and although I ultimately don’t think it will work, I’m willing to give it a chance and see what happens.
At least theoretically, the WWE should make more of an effort to improve the overall quality of Raw now that it’s an hour longer each week, and apparently, a huge change is being made to the show in order to try to do that.
Fans at home will be able to pick “matches, stipulations, anything and everything. Different things every week.”
“This is going to be the most interactive show in television history,” she said. “Our audience is going to have the chance to effect something in the show every week.”
I know what you’re thinking—this sounds a lot like Cyber Sunday or the “Viewer’s Choice” Raws we’ve seen in the past.
At least on paper, this is a good idea. You ask the fans what they want, let them vote on it, and then you give them what they want.
The problem, however, is that the WWE’s interactive shows have largely flopped pretty badly because of the way the company—or more specifically, the creative team—constructs them.
It would be one thing if the interactive part of the show allowed us fans to vote on things that we actually want to see, but more often than not, the voting process for the fans has been a joke.
Instead of getting to choose if John Cena faces Dolph Ziggler in a Street Fight, Ironman or Last Man Standing match, we “get to choose” if Daniel Bryan faces The Great Khali, Ezekiel Jackson or Sheamus.
You see what I mean: The point is that the “choices” we are given make it ridiculously obvious which choice the fans will pick, so in essence, it takes any of the fun out of the interactive part of Raw.
I get that this is done because it allows the WWE to write the script for these things and plan them out ahead of time, but when the options in the voting process suck, the show usually sucks as well.
The only way I’ll be interested in Raw becoming interactive again is if we get choices for awesome matches rather than dance-offs or bouts between main eventers and jobbers.
By the way, Michael Cole revealed at Over the Limit last night that we'd be finding out some news on the switch to the three-hour format on tonight's Raw, so don't be surprised if this is what he reveals.