This weeks Raw was a solid show from a booking and entertainment viewpoint.
If you're unhappy with this show, chances are you either:
A: Want booking commonly found under Vince Russo's pen—a high rate of twists, turns and shocking outcomes. Even if logic was defied and confusion setting in, it's all in the name of never being able to predict what will happen.
B: Want to see guys fall off the highest places on the hardest objects/surfaces. None of the current programming will do for you because the rating of the show is PG and we needed blood or curse words to entertain.
C: You're so determined on being an “analyst” you are in desperation to find things to “analyze.”
D: Your favorite wrestlers weren't used, so the show sucks automatically.
Or some combination of the four listed scenarios.
A three-hour Raw is always going to be long. The program can be good, but three hours with 15 commercial breaks is bound to remind you that the show is now longer than traditionally its been. I mean, an NFL football game is three hours for television, and that features a 15-minute break halfway through.
It's the length of time, mixed with the NFL and season premier of sitcoms, which contributes to the low rating. Besides, ratings aren't as important as they were made out to be when it during the old Monday Night Wars. DVR, Hulu, and YouTube all change how the products are consumed, which ratings don't reflect.
The formula is good for the long term of the content. The booking of the three hours is a vast improvement over the past three months.
WWE is still getting their recaps and social media worked into the show. Despite those promotional minutes being occupied, the roster and storylines are being pushed.
Everybody might grade a little differently, but for my counting, 8-10 storylines were addressed, most successfully advanced on this past week's Raw:
- The story of referee problems and questioning of management.
- The story of Dolph Ziggler holding Money in the Bank while being put over and making everyone talk about when is he going to cash in.
- The story of Daniel Bryan and Kane's relationship— their being targets to other teams as they hold the tag titles.
- The story of Prime Time Players continuing to put tag teams on notice that they mean business.
- The story of CM Punk wanting respect in an Academy Award-winning performance by Mick Foley.
- The story of Ryback's continued climb to the top.
- The story of Wade Barrett's being back on the scene and having a new attitude.
- The story of the World Heavyweight Champion along with Alberto Del Rio.
- The Divas storyline and the identity of who attacked Kaitlyn.
- The WWE Championship match, with John Cena's health in question.
Entertaining segments shot Hollywood-style in the diner with Kane and Daniel Bryan. Potential Promo of the Year with Mick Foley and CM Punk. Potential Match of the Year on Raw between Kingston and Ziggler. All in one show.
There were episodes earlier in the year where we would have celebrated having any one of those highlights to talk about, on one show.
Leave people wanting more. Make them want to see what's next. WWE did this. Were there weak spots in Raw? Of course. There always will be in a three-hour show.
Overall, the list that was once filled with complaints, are being or at least attempting to be satisfied by the WWE:
- A relevant tag division.
- More in-ring action and matches.
- Surprises such as an unadvertised appearance by Foley and Ryback's appearance at the end.
- New characters being pushed.
- Comedy entertainment.
- Less Tout and recaps.
- Titles that mean something: Sheamus has been champion since April 1st, while CM Punk is over 300 days and counting.
- AJ Lee cursing without it being edited in the opening segment.
If you aren't happy, go referee an NFL game. Your judgment and opinions will fit right in there.