When I first heard the reports that WWE Monday Night Raw was expanding to three hours the first thought that came to mind was the failure of WCW Monday Nitro when they made the same attempt.
WWE made a huge deal of Raw’s expansion by promoting that the show would be more interactive with the use of Social Media outlets such as Facebook, Twitter and a company WWE invested in, Tout. Since the July 23rd expansion to three hours, their has been no big change in the ratings as they have been steady in the upper 2.0’s to mid 3.0’s.
[adinserter block=”2″]WWE has so much potential with the first hour to open up the show with a fairly good television wrestling match and then feature some new talent, but instead we are getting CM Punk vs. John Cena vs. the Big Show…the same matches over and over – not to mention wasted time and talent of Daniel Bryan in stupid anger management segments that are nothing more than worthless storyline fillers for a drawn out three hour show.
I think WWE had big hopes for CM Punk’s heal turn which turned out to backfire on the company. WWE had a big opportunity to make a splash last year with turning John Cena heel, but failed at it. Yes, I understand that his merchandise is a big money maker, but WCW took a gamble with Hulk Hogan going heel and it changed the direction of wrestling industry and brought some of the highest ratings in pro wrestling history.
While I applaud the United States Championship being put on Antonio Cesaro (aka Claudio Castagnoli), as I previously stated, WWE needs to use the first hour to feature newer talent from the NXT roster such as Seth Rollins (aka Tyler Black) and many others that have future potential to be superstars on both Raw and SmackDown.
AJ as the General Manager of Raw was a surprise move, but I liked her unpredictable character better when she was associated with Daniel Bryan, Kane and CM Punk. Booker T was a good change from Teddy Long, but now with the recent addition of Saturday Morning Slam, WWE will be adding another one hour a week to their already crammed week of programming with Main Event that debuts this October on ION, creative will have yet another tasks of filling up one hour of TV. While I do agree that it is challenging to come up with new and innovative storylines and angles week after week, it appears that WWE’s creative team is either burned out or running out of ideas.
While there is nothing wrong with the wrestling industry using social media – both TNA and ROH use it – however it appears that WWE is obsessed with social media, as week after week various wrestling news sites report on the numbers of both WWE Raw and SmackDown social media score’s.
[adinserter block=”1″]If WWE put the same effort they put into getting that big social media score week after week as they put into their storylines and creative direction with their two biggest television shows, they just might see the ratings slightly increase. In the 1990’s both WWE and WCW focused on pay-per buys, but with the current state of the industry, it seems to be all about television ratings first and pay-per view buyrates are second.
or more from Jerome Wilen check out his website, Pro Wrestling Ringside – http://prowrestlingringside.blogspot.com
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