One of the worst developments in the history of Monday Night Raw was stretching an already struggling two-hour program into three-hours.
Worse, Raw’s third hour hasn’t lead to more wrestling, just more of the same recaps, social media plugs and commercials.
What the extra hour should mean is more wrestling and more underutilized talent, like Tyson Kidd, making appearances. The kind of talent seen on WWE Superstars.
Superstars is one of WWE’s less-known one-hour programs, televised internationally, but is only available online in the United States.
Although Superstars’ hour isn’t as excellently booked as NXT’s sixth season, it does consistently provide some of the best matches on WWE’s weekly programing.
With mid-card talent such as Tyson Kidd, The Usos, Alex Riley, Jinder Mahal, Justin Gabriel, Jack Swagger and divas such as Natalya and Layla—who put on matches longer than 10 minutes instead of barely two—Superstars is worth a look.
Not only that, but Superstars is exactly what Raw needs for its extra hour.
Instead of relegating the upcoming stars to barely-watched online shows, give them an hour of focus on the A-show. Begin Raw with the under-leagues, before the second and third hours of the usual “big stars.”
Wrestlers appearing on Superstars do get the occasional Raw appearances, but why not give them a permanent place to get the viewers warmed up?
As Raw fails to find its groove as a three-hour weekly episodic program it becomes increasingly apparent that a Superstars-style hour is what would work best for Raw’s opening hour.
Whether or not it is promoted as a part of Raw proper, or as a pre-show, incorporating Superstars into Raw’s three hours would help bring the focus back to wrestling.
Furthermore, it would also give the spotlight to some worthy talent like Kidd and Swagger.
Raw’s extended format is in dire need of a revamping to keep the third-hour alive. Incorporating the Superstars approach to wrestling and talent utilization would not only be that much needed breath of fresh air for Raw, but the necessary change to keep the extra hour from quickly becoming another of WWE’s failures.