Vince McMahon to Take Back WWE Raw with Stephanie, Triple H and Shane

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistDecember 18, 2018

NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 04: Vince McMahon attends WWE Superstars for Sandy Relief at Cipriani, Wall Street on April 4, 2013 in New York City.  (Photo by Brad Barket/Getty Images for WWE)
Brad Barket/Getty Images

For WWE chairman Vince McMahon, the thing that will help Raw's current malaise is more of the McMahon family.

Standing in the ring with his daughter Stephanie, son Shane and son-in-law Triple H, McMahon announced a vague change of direction for WWE programming.

Wrestling Inc's Marc Middleton reported the Dec. 10 edition of Raw drew 2.194 million viewers, which was the lowest viewership in history for WWE's flagship show. During that episode, Seth Rollins brought up many of the issues fans have had over recent months.

As a result, WWE teased McMahon's return to Raw "to shake things up."

Not only did the McMahon family not provide any sort of action plan to turn things around, but fans also quipped how a supposedly refreshed Raw looked exactly the same.

To say Monday's announcement fell flat is probably an understatement.

Expecting Raw to automatically be a compelling three-hour program is, of course, unrealistic. WWE isn't going to drop everything and start with a completely clean slate with WrestleMania season right around the corner.

At the same time, WWE hasn't earned the right to say, "Bear with us. Change is coming." Vince McMahon has a clear vision for what he wants Raw, in particular, to be, and it doesn't appear to be connecting with a large chunk of the company's audience.

Based on the success of NXT and the continued growth of New Japan Pro-Wrestling and independent wrestling writ large, fans want more of a realistic, competition-based version of WWE—not the over-the-top soap-opera style it used to great effect years ago.

Not to mention, WWE has little incentive to make dramatic changes. There's no real domestic competition to speak of, and the new television deals for Raw and SmackDown Live indicate the company's strategy is leading to a healthy bottom line.

Until fans start voting with their feet and wallets, they'll continue to see the same Raw each and every week.

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