Last week's Christmas Eve edition of Raw was a rather absurd piece of three-hour television, filled with corny and lame jokes, wacky antics (Santa Claus got ran over!) and meaningless matches.
It would be unfair to call the show itself horrible.
Sure, there were some highlights. As noted, Santa (actually Mick Foley with some great makeup) was ran over in the show's opening moments by Alberto Del Rio and looked to be at death's door for much of the show. Thankfully, he hulked up at the end and made his comeback.
This was too ridiculous to hate. The crowd also seemed into it. They responded loudly for Foley's two appearances.
The Cena/Del Rio Miracle on 34th Streetfight was great, too. Del Rio futilely throwing a teddy bear at Cena while Ricardo Rodriguez looked on aghast was better than it had any right to be.
However, on the whole, it was mediocre, disposable television.
Nothing that happened truly mattered, nor did it fit in with current storylines. Del Rio is supposed to be a face but this was seemingly forgotten about on this show. Most of the programme felt like an attempt to fill time.
Unsurprisingly, this edition of Raw scored a 2.2 rating (via F4Wonline), meaning it was one of the least-watched episodes of the flagship programme since 1997.
Not that anyone at WWE will be hitting the panic button; it was Christmas Eve, after all. They probably weren't expecting a good number, hence the whole casual and on-the-fly nature of the booking.
But giving up on their Christmas episodes entirely and throwing out any old tired comedy because they figure that no one will be watching is not the correct way to go.
Fans, who are giving the company three hours of their time, deserve more, quite frankly.
They should be given a quality and entertaining show that feels like it's worth watching; one that has had genuine effort put into it.
WWE's casual and almost indifferent attitude to its Christmas-themed shows also makes little sense from a business standpoint.
The company is heading into the lucrative, ultra-important WrestleMania season. A-list movie star and part-time wrestler Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson is due back soon for a match at Royal Rumble. A rematch between Brock Lesnar and Triple H may also be in the cards.
There are a lot of things going on. At this point they should not be giving up on three precious hours of television time when it could be used to hype up angles/build up programs. Why couldn't last week's episode have been taken more seriously?
Sure, any television show airing on Christmas Eve is going to face a struggle to garner good ratings, but WWE shouldn't be inviting viewers to switch off by filling up the time with total nonsense.
Of course, the company treating their end-of-year shows as an afterthought and filling them up with random skits and comedic storylines isn't anything new. (Anyone remember the awful Little People's Court segments from 2009's Christmas episode featuring Triple H and HBK?)
This seems to be how the company wants to do things. Maybe the writing crew are too exhausted during the hectic Christmas period to put in any real effort, or maybe Vince McMahon just likes having an entire episode of his flagship show dedicated to corny jokes and crazy antics. Who knows? Sadly, the situation doesn't look to be changing anytime soon.
Oh, it's not so bad. Christmas Raws aren't too awful. And they're far more preferable than some end-of-year clip show. However, on the whole, they really do seem to be a colossal waste of airtime.
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