Monday nights have featured a lot more of WWE's first family, the McMahons.
It's a move that is equal parts blessing and curse. Putting Triple H and Vince and Stephanie McMahon in the center of the spotlight has its benefits, but it also pushes other folks out of the way.
Whether one is in favor of or against more McMahon family drama on WWE Raw, it's best to get used to it. The McMahon infiltration is set to continue into next year.
Wrestling Observer (via WrestlingInc) reported that the current McMahon dysfunction will lead into a WrestleMania XXX storyline.
Brad Maddox's reign as general manager is sure to be filled with strife. Like his predecessor, he'll have to deal with trying to pacify the three-headed monster that is the McMahon family. He goes up against a trio of personalities that fans know very well.
Fans are familiar with the McMahons. These aren't new characters WWE has to introduce or build up. There is already a connection between character and audience there.
We already have feelings negative or positive about Stephanie, Vince and Triple H. Most fans have a large stock of memories involving those three, so it's easy to jump on board when it comes to their narratives.
Working a prospect into the mix takes patience and care. Tossing in a few McMahons is easy.
In addition, the results from a ratings perspective have been positive, especially in recent weeks. PWTorch reported that the July 8 episode of WWE Raw earned a 3.08, making it "the highest-rated Raw since the end of April."
Dave Meltzer of F4WOnline broke it down by segment, revealing the following:
As far as the Raw ratings went, the reason for the increase over the past six weeks when the segment breakdowns came in, it was totally clear it was the Vickie Guerrero job performance evaluation segment that drove the viewership.
So it seems that fans as a whole were interested in how the angle with Vickie and the McMahons played out. Now that's she out as general manager and Maddox has taken her place, we can get a better idea if it's the McMahons that people were tuning in for or if it was for watching Vickie suffer through their family squabbles.
Many of the men and women on the roster represent unproven commodities. It's understandable that the man in charge of the company would rather trust his own presence to boost ratings than leave that up to someone who has been in the game for far less time.
It's that dilemma that is at the heart of why so many people are irked by the McMahons' reentry onto WWE TV.
As reliable as culling McMahon family drama may be, going this route inevitably means someone gets left off TV or has their segment or match shortened.
The emphasis on the McMahons is like an NBA team playing a veteran who is past his prime while an untested rookie sits on the bench. Sure, the vet can still score 15 points a game, but what if the rookie can score 20?
The attention the McMahons get means there's less spotlight available. Someone gets shafted in that process, be it someone like Wade Barrett or the tag team division as a whole.
The strangest thing about this internal McMahon conflict is that seems not to be leading anyplace. Where can it go in terms of a match? Is Triple H going to wrestle Vince at WrestleMania XXX? There's not an intergender Triple Threat in the works here, right?
If Vince, Stephanie and The Game were to all choose a Superstar to represent them in the ring, that would be a means to use the McMahons' established stardom while building up some lesser-known stars.
The McMahons will always be a part of WWE Raw. Their history with the show and their name recognition will make sure of that.
Some have called the turmoil between them a soap opera; some have called it simply entertaining.
There are positives associated with keeping the McMahons onscreen, but WWE has to balance their airtime with making sure to divvy out enough of it to those waiting for an opportunity.
Bringing Maddox into the story will certainly increase his exposure. Who else can WWE lump into the narrative? Someone can serve as Vince's hired goon or Stephanie's spy.
The tension between the McMahons can either lead to a temporary boost in ratings or be a means to elevate future stars.