The WWE recently turned Monday Night Raw into a 3-hour show with the speculation from their wrestlers to be able to fit everyone in. Since that time, their 3-hour show has been just an avenue to include the same guys on television for an extra hour. Every week one of their most popular superstars Zack Ryder tweets out to a million followers saying that he isn’t booked again to wrestle on the show. Read that over again, one of their MOST POPULAR superstars. If he isn’t booked, that means a lot of other guys still aren’t being booked on the shows too.
[adinserter name=”366 left”]Overall, the WWE is on television 7 hours a week, not including NXT or Superstars. That is 7 hours of mostly original programming per week that they are putting on television. Go back to the days when even 3 hours was a lot of programming for the WWE and look at the anticipation for their most anticipated feuds such as Hogan/Savage, Hogan/Warrior, Bret/HBK, and more and count how many high profile matches those wrestlers had in the lead-up to their big match. Did you ever see Hogan take on Andre on live television before wrestling Savage at Wrestlemania V or maybe a Hogan Vs. Savage match before their big match?
Now obviously the Monday Night Wars changed the way professional wrestling was shown on television and putting on an exciting show with high-profile matches became the norm. Seeing Austin wrestle Kane, Mankind, etc. week in and week out is something that the fans got used to and once WCW folded, they continued on with that path. The thing is this path is going to end up boring the audience and keeps them from buying Pay-Per-Views because the Pay-Per-Views are becoming just like another episode of Raw to them. Why pay $40 dollars to see the event when the next night they will be having pretty much the same event the next night?
3 hours of Raw is entirely too much, especially considering they use the wrong filler. By wrong filler I mean they do entirely too much talking and dragging and should be doing more squashes in order to build up to the events. Don’t get me wrong, they shouldn’t do 3 hours of Raw, they should move back to 2 hours and concentrate on the big superstars in the right way to build to a match that people want to see on Pay-Per-View to actually get them to buy it.
This also helps their live shows as well. The top guys were coming through the loop doing big matches, as they do now, but weren’t doing them on television. You were more likely to see Hogan/Savage on a house show or Pay-Per-View than you would ever see on Superstars or Prime Time Wrestling. Keeping the top-tier guys away from each other on television would create more interest in seeing them wrestle at house shows as well as doing a Pay-Per-View buildup for them. Seeing Dolph Ziggler and John Cena wrestle each other on Raw every week leading up to a match between them creates a lot less anticipation to see them wrestle when they have wrestled three times already.
[adinserter name=”366 right”]A lot of people are annoyed that they haven’t seen the Rock on Raw every week leading up to the Royal Rumble and haven’t seen him wrestle but they are still going to be the same people buying the Pay-Per-View. The Rock’s indirect snuffing of WWE television is actually doing a better job of building anticipation than having him wrestle every week to the show like they have every other main eventer do leading to the Pay-Per-Views.
So step one of rebuilding wrestling would be to not wear out your top guys on television when you have a Pay-Per-View to build to.
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