Shane McMahon and WWE Stars Who Get Too Much Air Time on Raw and SmackDown

Graham GSM Matthews@@WrestleRantFeatured ColumnistMay 14, 2019

Shane McMahon and WWE Stars Who Get Too Much Air Time on Raw and SmackDown

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    Shane McMahon has been one of the biggest victims of overexposure in WWE in recent years.
    Shane McMahon has been one of the biggest victims of overexposure in WWE in recent years.Credit:

    WWE TV is arguably the worst its been in several years, and while the talent shouldn't be blamed for the company's lack of creativity, the overexposure of certain characters on Raw and SmackDown Live has hardly helped matters.

    Not only is WWE almost completely devoid of larger-than-life personas right now, they are also doing damage to the ones with actual potential by featuring them more than is necessary. Regardless of how memorable their matches or segments may be, fans can take only so much of someone before they begin to grow tired of seeing them.

    There are also those who have no business being on Raw and SmackDown as often as they are. They may find themselves in a prominent program at the moment, but that doesn't mean their frequent appearances add to viewers' enjoyment of the show.

    It's unbelievable that even with a whopping five hours to work with, Raw and SmackDown fail to focus on anyone outside of an elite few. Some of the main event players such as Seth Rollins, AJ Styles and Kofi Kingston make the most of their television time and are able to keep fans engaged, but the same cannot be said for the rest of the roster.

    Of course, a simple solution would be to curtail their air time, or at least have them share the spotlight with wrestlers who are seldom seen on TV. Either way, the following five Superstars are in the most need of having their role reduced on their respective brands to avoid fan fatigue.

Shane McMahon

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    Shane McMahon shockingly returned to WWE over three years ago to an incredible reaction from the WWE Universe. He was positioned as one of the biggest babyfaces on Raw for a while, and even after being named the commissioner of SmackDown Live that summer, he was still fairly beloved.

    The more time passed, the less special it was to see him on WWE TV, though. He played his role well as the head honcho of the blue brand, but his rivalries with AJ Styles, Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn in 2017 and 2018 led to him becoming a bigger focal point of the program than anyone expected (or hoped for).

    His heel turn was a welcome change for his character earlier this year, but that quickly ran its course as well. Now, he's in the middle of two top feuds on Raw and SmackDown with The Miz and Roman Reigns.

    His fluke victory over Miz at WrestleMania 35 only inflated his ego even more, leading to him cutting needlessly long promos every week about how he's the "best in the world."

    Sure, it will be a cool moment when The A-Lister finally vanquishes him in their steel cage match at Money in the Bank on Sunday, but his recent alliance with Elias and bad blood with Reigns accomplishes nothing on the SmackDown side.

    Less is more when it comes to authority figures in WWE and McMahon is no exception to that. He'd benefit greatly from showing up once in a while and not being booked like a lead heel, especially when his matches rarely live up to the hype.

Becky Lynch

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    Becky Lynch's organic rise to superstardom was one of the best parts of the Road to WrestleMania 35. Thankfully, WWE did the right thing by having her emerge victorious in the main event of The Show of Shows and become the Raw and SmackDown women's champion, but the followup has been anything but stellar.

    To her credit, The Man has tried her best with the material she's been given to work with in her promos, but her shtick is starting to get repetitive.

    Granted, part of that could be attributed to how Lacey Evans and Charlotte Flair simply aren't as compelling as Ronda Rousey was during her heel run, but it's also possible Lynch is a better challenger than a champion.

    Before the introduction of the Wild Card Rule, The Irish Lass Kicker was one of the only people appearing on both brands almost every Monday and Tuesday night because of her obligations as a dual champ. That's another reason why she has seemingly cooled off: She is on WWE TV far more now than she has been at any other point in her career.

    She still generates strong reactions, but it's unknown how much longer she can remain on top if she fails to evolve as a character. For example, her rivalry with Evans has consisted solely of them trading insults on the microphone, getting physical around ringside and repeating that process the following week.

    Worst of all, with so much television time being devoted to Lynch, the rest of the women's division has suffered considerably. It isn't imperative that she drop both of her belts at Money in the Bank, but WWE should spend more time creating credible contenders for her after Sunday's pay-per-view.

Roman Reigns

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    WWE has had problems properly booking Roman Reigns since the start of his push at the main event level in early 2015. Every time he seems to be building momentum as a babyface, officials make a mind-boggling decisions that ruins any goodwill he has with the fans.

    The most recent example of this happening occurred shortly before WrestleMania 35. He had just come back from beating cancer, and upon his initial return to Raw, he was more beloved by the crowd than he had been in several years.

    Reigns wasn't featured in a marquee match at The Show of Shows, which likely helped his cause a bit so fans didn't feel he was being pushed as a world championship contender straight from the get-go. Despite picking up the victory, his outing against Drew McIntyre fell flat and he's had a tough time maintaining that fanfare ever since.

    Moving him to SmackDown Live where he would have a fresh batch of opponents to work with was a good call on WWE's part, but officials immediately squandered his momentum by putting him in a program with Elias and Shane McMahon.

    Not only is the rivalry not remotely interesting, it's been prominently featured on both Raw and SmackDown as of late thanks to the newfound Wild Card Rule.

    Having Reigns return to the red brand so soon after switching shows was a shortsighted decision, because the more television time he receives, the more it will harm him in the end.

Charlotte Flair

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    Similar to Becky Lynch, Charlotte Flair is on WWE TV way more than she should be and eclipses the entire women's division whenever she shows up.

    She, too, appeared on both brands in the buildup to WrestleMania 35 and returned to Raw on Monday night for a dual contract signing with The Man and Lacey Evans.

    The Queen is every bit as good as she claims to be, but there are plenty of other women waiting for their opportunity to break through WWE's proverbial glass ceiling. They could achieve similar success if they received half the television time she does.

    To make matters worse, Flair hasn't won a pay-per-view match by pinfall since SummerSlam 2018. That could change if she beats Lynch at Money in the Bank, but putting the SmackDown Women's Championship on her again isn't the answer to the division's recent woes.

    The blue brand boasts more talent now than ever before thanks to the Superstar Shake-up, but we haven't seen half of them due to Lynch, Flair and Bayley being all over the show.

    Casual fans likely aren't even aware Ember Moon, Mickie James and Liv Morgan are members of the blue brand's roster as a result of how the focus always seems to be on Flair.

    Flair would benefit greatly from taking a lesser role on SmackDown once her chase for the championship is over. That isn't to say she should disappear entirely, but Lynch vs. Flair has been done to death and it's time to move on to fresh faces in the title picture.

Baron Corbin

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    There's no denying Baron Corbin generates great heat every time he makes his entrance, especially after announcer Mike Rome runs down his long list of accomplishments, but that doesn't mean he's justified in getting as much air time as he does.

    Corbin's character first took a turn for the worse when he was named the new interim general manager of Raw in the summer of 2018. Heel authority figures kill fan interest in a wrestling show quicker than anything else, and The Lone Wolf proved he just wasn't a good fit for that role.

    It made sense for him to be shoved down the throats of viewers at the time so it would mean more when he was eventually booted from power, but virtually nothing has changed since then. He continues to be featured prominently on Raw in high-profile programs with the likes of Braun Strowman, Kurt Angle and AJ Styles.

    As a midcard act, he'd be perfectly serviceable, but he's in action more frequently on the red brand than almost anyone else and rarely are his matches anything above average. He can more than hold his own on the mic, but his in-ring ability should not warrant him competing in the main event of Raw every other week.

    Corbin could be in line for a shot at the Universal Championship or even another run with the Money in the Bank briefcase, and with Raw lacking a top heel at the moment, perhaps officials see him as the perfect person to fill that void.

    The former United States champion excels in certain areas, but he's not someone who can carry the show. Cramming him into as many matches and segments as possible on one episode won't change that, either.


    Graham Mirmina, aka Graham "GSM" Matthews, is an Endicott College alumnus and aspiring journalist. Visit his website, Next Era Wrestling, and "like" his official Facebook page to continue the conversation on all things wrestling.