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Will The RAW 1000th Episode Usher In A New Era In Sports Entertainment?

RAW 1000Monday Night will mark the prestigious 1000th episode of WWE Monday Night RAW.  Monday will arguably be the most important episode in RAW history and has been heavily hyped for some time now.  I believe Monday will be the start of the WWE ushering in a new era of sports entertainment and in the world of professional wrestling.  Monday night will have at least one defining moment that will be in WWE folklore forever.

The move to 3 hours

Whether you agree with the additional hour of programming or not, RAW will move to three hours every week.  Writers, bloggers, insiders, marks and just about everyone else has pointed out what they say are the downsides and negatives to expanding the program another hour.  I want to point out several positives that will come from the additional hour of programming.

The Main Event will have more prestige

With the new three hour format Michael Cole, Jerry Lawler and most likely the new RAW General Manager will be very instrumental in hyping up the nights main event in an effective way.  Not only will the main event be hyped continuously throughout the program but this also sets up well for setting up main events for the following weeks programming and for SmackDown as well.  For example the start of the show could go one of two different ways. The show could open with a simple video graphic stating what the main event is or the show could start with the usual General Manager appearance and promo leading to the booking of the night’s main event.

Although this idea hasn’t yet been implemented, WWE could go the route of the NFL and air a live “pre-game”, type of show to preview Monday Night RAW on WWE.COM.  Imagine the revenue that WWE would generate through advertising if they were to air this on USA or on the WWE website.  The WWE could also host this type of show at a local sports bar near the venue or even inside the venue right by the front entrance.  WWE could use the NFL’s Monday Night Countdown format to show the excitement of the fans in attendance and to develop their talents promo and interview skills as well.  I would imagine that if this show was started that your hosts would be Jim Ross or Joey Styles and Scott Stanford as the hosts, with Matt Stryker as the “ringside/backstage reporter”.  You couldn’t tell me that those individuals couldn’t hype up the RAW main event, in addition to the rest of the card and put over everyone on the roster.

Shows will have a balance of wrestling and entertainment

WWE has a wonderful opportunity to strike a balance between in-ring wrestling and entertainment in this new format.  Would anyone object to having shows such as NXT or Tough Enough to break up the monotony of the same format that we have seen for more than a decade?  Hour one of the show could be used to experiment with the development of new talent with the thought that viewers will be slow to the adjustment of tuning in an hour early.

Mid-card talent will have more opportunity to excel

WWE has arguably the richest and deepest pool of talent in the world of Sports Entertainment and Professional Wrestling.  How many times have you as a fan been frustrated to see that an individual you saw having momentum and increasing popularity be out of sight for a week or two?  With an extra hour of programming you can drastically cut the amount of instances where rising stars such as Cody Rhodes, Zack Ryder, Damien Sandow and others are missing from RAW.  These rising stars will also have more time to have their story told inside and outside the ring and can be embellished on the following nights SmackDown taping.

Those who are not seen as rising stars as of yet will be thrown into the slowly building tag team division.  In the past the majority of your single stars was tag team specialists, built upon their individual strengths and eventually was given the opportunity after many years to run with the ball with their first singles push.  I would love for WWE to go back to this way of strengthening the tag team division as well as developing new single stars from within the current roster.

The Divas division will make a comeback

TNA Impact has shown that showcasing female talent does draw interest from the fans live in attendance as well as those watching on TV at home.  The Divas division will have more time to have legitimate matches on both RAW and SmackDown, without depriving valuable time from their male counterparts.  The Divas will be used as in-ring performers, not just valets, managers, or authority figures like we have recently seen with Aksana, AJ, and Eve.

Jobbers will make a return

Jobbers are the life blood of making your top tier talent look credible on TV and for those lucrative monthly pay-per-views.  Ryback and Damien Sandow have benefited from continuous wins over jobbers who are making them look like credible threats in the WWE to some of the mid card and main event stars.  The difference between today’s jobbers and those in the 80s and 90s, are that these jobbers are able to increase their in-ring set of moves, are made to look like somewhat legitimate threats and also possess mic and promo skills.  With the increasing number of jobbers and squash matches, matches with mid-card and main event talent will be more desired and have more importance and a feeling of being special.

Pay-per-views will have fresh matches

With the increasing number of squash matches, the development of new talent, more in-depth storylines and increased TV time will come higher quality PPV’s.  The number of times that you will see the same competitors fighting on PPV that you do on RAW & SmackDown will dramatically decrease, giving us more reason not to miss any monthly PPV, especially the Big Four.  Most importantly WrestleMania will feature fresh, new, and improved talent, rather than relying on stars of the past who the younger generation cannot and will not appreciate it.

RAW 1000 predictions

  • Undertaker will return and challenge his upcoming WrestleMania opponent.
  • Brock Lesnar will ruin the DX reunion and take out both HHH & HBK.
  • The Cena-CM Punk match will go to a controversial no-finish.
  • A major face & heel turn will occur for the ages.

Roberto is the host of The Full Nelson on 1510AM & 93.7 FM Mile High Sports Radio in Denver, CO & online at www.milehighsports.com.

You can listen to The Full Nelson Sunday’s on 1510AM & 93.7 FM Mile High Sports Radio in Denver, CO from 8pm MT – 10pm MT. If you are not in Denver or Colorado you can listen online at www.milehighsports.com.You can also like their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/realfullnelson.

You can follow Roberto on Twitter at www.twitter.com/robertodenver

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Eric G.

Eric is the owner and editor-in-chief of the Camel Clutch Blog. Eric has worked in the pro wrestling industry since 1995 as a ring announcer in ECW and a commentator/host on television, PPV, and home video. Eric also hosted Pro Wrestling Radio on terrestrial radio from 1998-2009. Check out some of Eric's work on his IMDB bio and Wikipedia. Eric has an MBA from Temple University's Fox School of Business.

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