WWE: 10 Reasons Why the Guest Hosts Should Stop on Raw
Looks like WWE is at it again. They've invited yet another celebrity to star as guest host on their flagship television program, Monday Night Raw.
This time, movie star Jonah Hill will grace the squared circle to entertain the WWE Universe in anticipation of his new movie, The Sitter. If you're a Jonah Hill fanatic, then you're in luck.
However, if you're a typical WWE fan like me, you're probably rolling your eyes over the prospect of having to watch another pedantic guest host dish out pointless drivel for two hours.
Personally, I think it's time for WWE to put the kibosh on Monday Night Raw guest hosts. Here are 10 reasons why.
It Has Little Impact on the Ratings
If having guest hosts equated to higher ratings, I could easily see keeping them on board. The thing is, though, is that they’ve had little impact on WWE Monday Night Raw's weekly television ratings.
In the first two months that guest hosts started appearing on Raw (beginning in July 2009) the ratings for WWE’s flagship program remained constant. Each week, Raw averaged between a 3.5 and 4.0 cable share in the Nielsen television ratings. This indicates that these guest hosts have no significant impact on whether people tune in or not.
If they do, they’re certainly not doing it to see a B-list celebrity promote his or her newest project.
There Could Be More Wrestling Instead
I would say the typical WWE Monday Night Raw guest host usually takes up an average of 20 minutes per show, participating in skits or talking to the crowd, basically performing host duties. Instead of boring the audience and viewers with these mundane duties, WWE would be better off scrapping these guest host segments in favor of more matches.
Featuring two or three additional undercard matches each week would give more exposure to young, hungry WWE Superstars eager to prove themselves to the WWE Universe. Wouldn’t the fans rather see wrestlers who want to be there as opposed to guest hosts who are mostly there to pick up a quick paycheck?
The Raw SuperShow Is a Better Idea
World Wrestling Entertainment can put a halt to inviting guest hosts on Raw because they have come up with a better way to spike interest in the program: the Raw SuperShow.
And I’m sure the younger fans at Raw shows have no clue who Piven is. But they know who Orton is.
The bottom line is that the WWE Universe would rather pay to see a Raw SuperShow as opposed to a Raw starring an obscure celebrity guest host.
It’s Not a Reciprocal Relationship
It’s easy to see why a celebrity would be interested in hosting WWE Monday Night Raw. It gives them the perfect opportunity to promote one of their more immediate projects, be it a novel they just wrote, a movie that’s on the verge of box office release, etc.
However, what does WWE get out of it? If you’ve looked at any of the Nielsen ratings lately, they don’t benefit much in that regard. Maybe they get a 30-second clip on Entertainment Tonight or ESPN highlighting the celebrity’s appearance; but that’s about it.
To me, the guest host idea isn’t a two-way street. The celebrities benefit from it, but WWE doesn’t.
Having a High-Profile Raw Figurehead Would Be a Better Idea
Instead of implementing a revolving door of celebrity guest hosts every week, WWE would be better off appointing a legendary wrestler as a prominent authority figure to lead the way each week on Monday Night Raw. Personally, my interest in the show increased after Triple H became the Chief Operating Officer of WWE and began making weekly appearances.
Although he no longer holds that on-air position, why not bring in someone else to serve in a similar role? Now that Mick Foley has returned to WWE airwaves, why not appoint him the permanent Raw General Manager? Or you could bring the controversial Eric Bischoff or Paul Heyman back into the fold.
And I know this is out of left field, but why not make Zach Ryder the weekly Raw host?
“Are you serious, bro?”
Most of the Hosts Aren’t Even Wrestling Fans
How many of the celebrity guest hosts do you think are actually WWE fans? I’d reckon it’s a small percentage.
I sense that hosts like Shaquille O’Neal and Ben Roethlisberger are WWE fans. Both athletes were very natural in each of their guest-host appearances.
And I think Shaq would make a decent wrestler now that he’s retired, while Big Ben’s doppelganger is already on the WWE roster. (Does anyone else think Michael McGillicutty and Roethlisberger look exactly alike? I do.)
Other than that, do you think prominent figures like the reverend Al Sharpton, Bob Barker and Florence Henderson (all former guest hosts) are sitting on their recliners every Monday night with their eyes glued to the Raw SupersShow? I seriously doubt it.
There’s Already Enough Non-Wrestling on Raw as Is
Having segments featuring celebrity guest hosts further diminishes what little wrestling there already is on WWE Monday Night Raw. When you take away all of the promos, backstage interviews, vignettes and commercials, that doesn’t leave much time left on Raw for actual wrestling.
And every time WWE has a Raw guest host, you know they’re not bumping one of those vignettes or promos to add the host’s segments; they’re eliminating yet another wrestling match.
So, WWE, please do us all a favor and scrap the guest host experiment. There’s already enough non-wrestling on Raw as it is, nevermind throwing guest hosts into the fray.
The Hosts Are Mostly Awkward
Whenever I hear that WWE Monday Night Raw will be having a guest host, I cringe. That’s because I know that the interactions between the celebrities and WWE Superstars usually reek with awkwardness.
Who can forget when movie star Jeremy Piven infamously called the paramount WWE pay-per-view SummerSlam “SummerFest?” And I still remember when awful guest host Dennis Miller called Triple H, “The Show,” instead of “The Game.” This prompted Triple H to mockingly refer to Miller as Dennis Milburn.
I credit WWE when they invite celebrity guest hosts who actually have their finger on the pulse of the industry (like Pete Rose or Mark Cuban). But when you bring in hosts who clearly can’t even differentiate between a padlock and an ankle lock, the results are painfully awkward for the audience.
Save the Celebrities for WrestleMania
I know WWE is constantly trying to combine wrestling and celebrity together into one big melding pot of pop culture. But the company should stick to getting celebrities involved at major pay-per-view events like WrestleMania instead of watering the novelty down on Monday Night Raw.
Usually, whenever a celebrity gets involved at WrestleMania, it’s a pretty iconic moment. Mr. T partnering with Hulk Hogan at WrestleMania I probably still gives old-school enthusiasts chills. I know I still get chills in recalling the WrestleMania when Mike Tyson dropped Shawn Michaels like a sack of potatoes to give Stone Cold Steve Austin the then-WWF title.
To me, celebrity appearances at WrestleMania are special; celebrity appearances on Raw aren’t. Instead of wasting money on guest hosts, WWE should save the money and spend it on one big-time star at WrestleMania every year.
It’s Boring Already!
It’s painfully obvious that the era of Monday Night Raw featuring celebrity guest hosts has run its course. The guest hosts have been appearing on and off for the better part of three years now, and each one has become as boring and predictable as the previous.
By now, we all know how a typical Raw featuring a celebrity guest host shakes out. They come on and have a few awkward segments with WWE Superstars. They promote the heck out of whatever it is they’re promoting (new book, movie, show, etc.) and commentators Michael Cole and Jerry “The King” Lawler suck up to them like there’s no tomorrow.
Quite frankly, the guest hosts have simply become bland and that’s the biggest reason why it’s time for WWE to disqualify them.