With SummerSlam just two weeks away, Monday's Raw needed to both add some new matches to the card (which it did) and give fans reasons to be excited for the upcoming pay-per-view.
WWE accomplished the latter when it came to Brock Lesnar and John Cena, courtesy of a fantastic video package. The issue is that the show otherwise meandered too often.
It was a case of too many snacks and not enough meals.
Diego vs. Fandango was the same silly fare we've seen from them as of late. El Torito hugging Layla uncomfortably and Hornswoggle dancing in Fandango-like gear is not getting anyone to buy the WWE Network.
Bo Dallas took on R-Truth again in what may end up being a feud that makes its way to SummerSlam. However, is that something really worthy of that show? It feels far more like something that belongs on TV as padding in between more substantial offerings.
Mark Henry returned on Monday's Raw where he steamrolled Damien Sandow. That certainly won't help increase interest in SummerSlam.
A backstage segment where Adam Rose encountered the mirror from Oculus felt like filler as well.
That's far too many times during the three-hour show that failed to promote SummerSlam or provide anything memorable. Hall of Famer Jim Ross summed it up well on his blog: "Too many meaningless talking segments w/ prelim acts feels like a waste of time."
Of the Henry vs. Sandow match, he said it was "neither entertaining nor did it have anything to do with Summer Slam. So why was it on the show?"
It's not surprising then that fans tuned out.
According to Jason Powell of ProWrestling.net, "Monday's WWE Raw scored a 2.86 rating, down from the 3.06 rating the show drew the previous week." The report also notes that "WWE took another hit in the third hour of the show this week."
If WWE insists on making Raw three hours, it has to do a better job of utilizing that time. Repeating the price of the WWE Network and mentioning it ad nauseam is not going to pull in subscribers—more consistently entertaining programming will.