I tuned in to RAW on Monday night to watch who would change brands. At the end of the night, I applauded WWE for some surprising picks, but I was very frustrated at the transactions from the RAW brand. Let's go through the picks, and then I'll summarize why I'm upset at the way WWE is going. Also, keep in mind that I only watch RAW, and I haven't taken the Supplemental Draft into account.
Rey Mysterio comes to RAW
I loved Mysterio in WCW. He was a young high flyer who brought Mexican wrestling to mainstream television. Mysterio v. Jericho was an exciting feud that culminated in many great matches. Unfortunately, Rey is 33, and his age and weight gain have slowed him down. Also, he is not a main eventer. There's a reason why Madison Square Garden cheered for Edge (the heel) at the Royal Rumble. There are only so many times that WWE can do a David vs. Goliath storyline with Mysterio. WWE must stick him with Jericho in an Intercontinental title feud.
Jeff Hardy leaves RAW
I was very frustrated with this move because of Hardy's potential. Jeff is one of the few wrestlers left from the Attitude era who many feel deserves a run with the strap. The confrontation at No Way Out with Triple H was one of the most exciting points of the year. Even with his suspension, he is one of the most over wrestlers in the company.
CM Punk comes to RAW
This was the lone positive move for RAW. Punk is ready to contend for one of the two major titles in WWE. He has charisma on the mic, and his momentum from ECW should carry over to Monday nights.
Jim Ross leaves RAW
I couldn't believe that WWE is making the voice of RAW leave. This man built his career back up after leaving WCW and soon found himself as the best announcer in the business. His energy is much more believable and entertaining than Michael Cole. He also has a much stronger knowledge of the business that Cole. His expertise will be missed.
Batista comes to RAW
Once again, RAW gets an older star who is stale and past his prime. Batista has been in the World title picture since Cyber Sunday '06, and his injuries have left him with much less mobility than when he first fought on RAW. The only wrestler who has been able to get solid matches out of him is the Undertaker.
Kane comes to RAW
For the third time, we get a wrestler who is not as popular as he once was. Kane has been reluctant to hold a major title (I'm sorry, but WWE does not consider the ECW championship as a major title), effectively telling the outcome of any title matches he is involved in. He is focused on putting younger talent over, which is good for the company, but he needs to stay where the younger talent is: ECW.
Mr. Kennedy and Triple H leave RAW
First, Mr. Kennedy is one of the few young draws that WWE has. He has rebounded from his suspension and become a very over face. William Regal served as a great springboard for him to gain momentum. Now he will have to regain his footing on Smackdown. RAW loses a top young talent.
I do not like Triple H as a person, and I think he needs to turn heel, but he is still the top superstar in the company. I believe that this move will result in the titles switching brands, with the World title now on RAW. This doesn't make sense to me. The WWE title will ALWAYS be the top title in the company. Therefore, it should be defended on the top brand, RAW.
Basically, RAW got older and lost the potential for some key feuds (HHH v. Hardy, Kennedy v. Cena/HHH). They are left with a lack of main event heels and a lack of fresh talent. It seems like we now may be seeing Batista versus Cena. Oh boy, what a barn burner. I don't understand why WWE is stacking Smackdown, it's not their top brand, they have more restrictions on writing because of the network, and they are damaging their main show. Maybe they should just get rid of the Brand Extension altogether, but maybe that's another article.