WWE Raw: Why the Program Continues to Work After All These Years

David LevinSenior Writer IIJanuary 14, 2013


Where were you when the wrestling world stopped turning? I remember being on campus at Florida State University as a junior majoring in of all things, Criminal Justice. Oh how 20 years can change your life for the better.

While television shows like ER, Law and Order and even some other wresting program called Monday Nitro (even harder to believe that some wrestlers like Steve Austin, Booker T, Chris Jericho and Big Show are still involved in the genetic makeup of the success of the WWE after all these years) have come and gone, Vince McMahon and his boys are still standing, coming to us each week and producing some of the best soap opera we have ever seen.

It's hard to believe even after all this time, but wrestling is still as important to the subculture of America and may be more important to the world population than it ever has been. That's what McMahon envisioned.

Bigger being better and a brand of wrestling that takes you to the edge of your seat, just close enough for all of us to reach out and try to grab it before it is snatched away, like a nanny pulling a lollipop away from a small child, just because she could.

McMahon knows exactly what he is doing. Bigger may not always be better, but the man gets a standing ovation for having the stones to try things that work and don't work week after week. There have been good storylines, better storylines and yes, even awful storylines. They all have their place in McMahon's circus we now see perform four days out of the week.

Back then, it was Raw and everyone else was chasing the only show that mattered. As you know, I am an old-school NWA fan. Even I can admit that McMahon's buying of the WWF at the time from his father was, and is, the single most dramatic accomplishment in professional wrestling and is also the reason Raw is still going strong and is highly successful.

McMahon and Raw have developed great talents like Shawn Michaels. Mr. McMahon even came up with the concept of 12 pay-per-view matches we can set our watches by each month and expect nothing less than greatness.

Yes, I know it does not always turn out that way, but give me some slack here.

The reasons for McMahon's success? That's an easy one to answer. Finding talent, exposing that talent and using it like it is the last thing on earth that can line the McMahon wallet with green. It is the reason John Cena is so relevant. It is the reason Kane and Big Show remain huge attractions. It is the reason someone like CM Punk has been WWE champion 421 days as of Sunday.

In most cases, wrestling promoters did not know "When to hold them, and when to fold them." They hung on for dear life, thinking McMahon's ideas of incorporating family drama, men like "The Boogeyman" and some guy named The Undertaker would all vanish and the wrestling world would got back to its old self. Revert to a time when the AWA, WCW and WCCW would all matter.

It never happened, and McMahon started picking them off one by one like they were ducks sitting on a pond.

It is that knowledge that allows Raw to continue the success. The more the wrestling characters change, the more they stay the same. We may not always like McMahon's direction with the company or the reasons for change, or the bumps in the road that lead us to ask him, "What in the Blue Hell is going on?"

However, we do know it is still the best thing going today. And with its current roster and change on the horizon, Raw will still remain as popular and successful as ever.