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WWE RAW Has Wrestling, Just Not Every Week

Paul Heyman, Stephanie McMahon, Triple HDuring RAW 1000, everyone was complaining that WWE didn’t have wrestling on it. Looking at that episode in a vacuum, they may have had a point. Out of three hours-plus of runtime, less than a half-hour was utilized for actual wrestling matches. That being said, nothing exists in a vacuum. WWE has pretty much given its paying customers a ton of wrestling on pay-per-view, Smackdown and on their Internet shows like Superstars.

But RAW is the flagship. That’s the show that matters, right? Well, I guess that’s a valid point. Then again, RAW this past week had a ton of wrestling on it. In fact, there have been plenty of RAW episodes that have had either long matches, a lot of matches or both. That’s why the reactions of “RAW having no wrestling” on nights when they’re heavy on the stories and segments baffle me. Is WWE really right in their assumed treatment of its crowd as having that short a memory?

As much as some of us hate to admit it, the storyline portions of the show – stuff like promos, beatdowns, segments and sitdown interviews – are just as important as the matches. There is a time and a place for both things to keep their precedence. Some weeks, the promos will win out. Some weeks, the matches will, and yet even in some weeks, there will be a perfect balance. There is a natural ebb and flow with the programming.

Obviously, some weeks, WWE gets it wrong. When the segments are bad, obviously we’re going to clamor for more wrestling. Plenty of times, WWE writes such bad comedy or nonsensical writing that we’d even rather see John Cena wrestling Randy Orton. Then there’s the morass of recaps. Even on GOOD shows, the recaps are maddening, especially when the same recap is shown more than once in a night. Hell, I really liked this week’s RAW, and yet every time they recapped the terrible, ultimately masturbatory segment featuring Stephanie McMahon yelling at and attacking Paul Heyman, I wanted to throw things at the television.

That being said, if the show is good, then who cares the time of wrestling on the show? RAW 1000, to me, was a great show outside of the Trips/Steph/Heyman stuff because all the segments hit a chord with me. That’s obviously a bad example because it’s one of the most polarizing shows in recent history. That being said, did anyone have a wrestling time counter during the pipe bomb RAW last year? Or were people counting the minutes of wrestling the night The Rock first came back to WWE? The answer is no.

So to pretend that WWE doesn’t have wrestling during a week when the show’s not up to personal snuff is not only dishonest, but it’s annoying. For a company that has tried to distance itself from the word “wrestling”, they sure put on a lot of it with a lot of the best people in the world at doing it. Quite a bit of it does happen on the flagship show too. It just doesn’t happen every week. To me, that’s not a bad thing at all, as long as we are getting it on a good amount of shows.

And judging by the slate of matches I’ve seen on RAW this year, including a match between Sheamus and Daniel Bryan this past week, I think it’s safe to say we have gotten it.

Tom Holzerman is a lifelong wrestling fan and connoisseur of all things Chikara Pro, among other feds. When he’s not writing for the Camel Clutch Blog, you can find him on his own blog, The Wrestling Blog.

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Tom Holzerman is a lifelong wrestling fan and connoisseur of all things Chikara Pro, among other feds. When he’s not writing for the Camel Clutch Blog, you can find him on his own blog, The Wrestling Blog.

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