How To Save Monday Night Raw
On Monday I found my self contemplating two different options. Either I watched the latest weekly installment of Monday Night RAW, or I watched a re-run of LOST.
Re-run or no re-run, LOST won hands down—anyway, judging by last week's RAW viewing figures, I didn't think I would've been missed. So Monday passed and then Tuesday passed (as Tuesday tends to follow Monday) and I didn't give RAW one thought until this morning, when I remembered that I hadn't checked up on the latest happenings on WWE's flagship show.
So with nothing else to do and with You Only Live Once by the Strokes blaring away in the background I checked out WWE.com. After reading about what seemed a pretty uneventful RAW (WWE seems determined to crap on Orton) I found myself on the RAW superstar page.
RAW, as we all know, has been marketed by the WWE as their "A" show, so why the hell is it so desperately lacking in talent? We usually get the obvious draft routine, RAW loses champion to smackdown, smackdown loses theirs to RAW etc. But last years veered away from that process and in doing so left RAW scratching their heads.
RAW over 2007 and the start of 2008 had put on the consistently better matches, so how are they rewarded? Triple H (the WWE champion at the time) gets drafted to smackdown, along with Jeff Hardy (the biggest guy at the WWE at the time) which leaves RAW with no champion until our "saviour," CM Punk, turns up and gives us probably the most forgettable title reign this side of 2000.
RAW managed to survive because Y2J and HBK were on their A game and put on a feud that caused many to forget about the rest of the below-par rubbish RAW was putting out ever week. If this sort of thing were to happen again this year, RAW might not survive.
This year, rather than the straight swaps we used to get, we need more of the top talent heading back to RAW (only not as much as the amount that left RAW for SD last year). I recently heard the phrase a "a swerve for the sake of it" darting around, and I think it pretty much sums up the WWE at the moment.
If everyone expected SD to get Christian, why didn't they just either let SD have him or give him to RAW?—at least RAW would have got some decent talent. Instead, Vince choose to put the instant classic on ECW so it would shock us.
But I think I speak for everybody when I say a shock isn't always a good one, to use an example a good shock would be Orton retaining at WM24 a bad shock would be a guy whose been hyped up for months end up on a show that Ric Flair wouldn't even come out of retirement for.
So one way of improving RAW would be to disband ECW. ECW is watched about 13 people (that's only about seven more than TNA get) so it probably wouldn't leave WWE feeling the financial strain. People can moan that ECW is used to bring on talent, but instead of giving Morrison a singles match every so often we get to watch Finlay and Mark Henry—who aren't exactly what you'd call "new" talent. Plus, isn't the Intercontinental title used for new guys, instead we get guys like Regal and jokes like Marella holding it (Santino is funny but he isn't I title quality).
I dread to think of what might have happened if Randy Orton would have started his career in 2009. The WWE needs to let ECW have it's swansong at Mania (get RVD in a match) and then disband it and give Swagger the IC title and make the ECW title into an extreme rules title (the hardcore title with a different name).
This year I'd like to see the WWE really shake things up and let Shane take over Smackdown and Stephanie take over RAW. Then Vince could announce the draft would be the same as in 2002. Let both GMs start from scratch and choose 20 picks eack and then have a draft lottery for the rest of the wrestler not picked.
Due to the fact that WWE keeps playing it safe, they probably wouldn't do is as would confuse the 5 year olds (what Mummy, Batista isn't on RAW anymore? [insert crying sound]). So they'll probably stick to the tried and tested, old and boring and predictable and pointless method of the usual draft lottery (the predictable one doesn't describe last years though).
I'd love to see a real lottery and watch as smackdown end up with Hornswoggle, Khali, Jim Duggin, Jillian and Manu as their picks. If this does happen I'd like to these picks...
Undertaker - He's been on SD too long and it'd probably be a shock, not to mention he'd be allowed to feud with HBK (however I have a feeling that HBk might go to SD and Undertaker will remain where he is).
Christian - Unlikley but it'd give Christian the biggest chance to get a world title.
Vickie - An excuse for her to quit and leave the WWE.
HHH - Can feud with Orton (however i do think WWE will trade Orton to smackdown and instead of HHH to raw, raw will get Edge)
The Brian Kendrick - Currently not getting enough screen time as he warrants on SD, if leaves it'll also let Ezikiel get some singles competition
John Cena - I like Cena on RAW but I'd rather see Orton v HHH on RAW than Edge v Cena, although the other way around is more likley now that Vickie is appearing on RAW.
John Morrison - The best guy on the ECW roster and needs to move away from a brand that's pulling him down.
Batista - It might take some of the 5 year olds away from RAW and help RAW become a bit more edgy.
Rey - After his performance of the year worthy appearance in the chamber I think Rey deserves more high profile matches and I don't think he'll get those on RAW.
Evan Bourne - The guy with the 2nd most potential on ECW, could be the new Billy Kidman (the wcw version, bourne isn't an out an out cruiser weight but can still do cruiser weight moves which is similar to Kidman).
ECW—I don't care as long as they don't get anybody good
(I also have a feeling that Y2J might leave to join SD)
Besides my two main points here are other ways to save RAW -
Unify the tag titles - Why have two tag titles when you've only got about 3 good tag teams.
Unify the US and IC Title - It'd still be called the IC title and would be exclusive to RAW.
Bring back the Cruiser weight title - It'd replace the US title on SD and if Rey, Chavo, Helms and Bourne were on SD we'd get a great chance of seeing some old school cruiser wight matches. (It doesn't have anything to do with RAW but I thought it'd be worth mentioning that SD would have a replacement for the US title).
Move away from PG - Do I need to explain this to anyone over 5.
Don't allow Vickie near the brand - For her voice alone.
Make JBL retire - He seems to be pulling other wrestlers down at the moment, hopefully he go back to commentating which he was great at, or he could be GM of a brand but not wrestle.
Let HBK have a title run - It'd help attract some of the hardcore fans back to RAW as it'd show the WWE would be willing to give the title to someone who deserves it and can wrestle.
There'll probably be others I've missed out so please comment.
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