I’ll preface this by giving my professional wrestling “credentials”. I’ve been watching pro wrestling for more than 30 years. I can remember watching WWF and AWA with my grandfather when I was 6 and 7 years old. I remember a time when there were only 4 PPVs a year. Hell, I remember a time BEFORE pay per view. I remember a time when we didn’t have access to wrestling 24 hours a day 7 days a week on the WWE Network. I’ve watched hundreds of hours of non-WWE programming ranging from ROH, to WCW, to NJPW and everything in between. These days I stick to WWE simply because I don’t have the time to consume anything else.
With that said… here we go.
I missed RAW this week. Honestly… I don’t care. In fact, when I went into my DVR to begin watching it, I realized that I’d never even finished last week’s episode. I’d made it 30% through the show. (Yes… Disney was on the TV when I turned it on. I’ve got 3 young kids… bite me.)
This week’s show was in my hometown of Cleveland. I still haven’t watched it. Sure, I read what’s happened at each show and I watch the PPVs religiously. But I just can’t get myself to care about RAW these days.
The WWE is in a stretch where they’ve got a lot of PPV shows. Like, too many.
- April 26, 2015 – Extreme Rules
- May 17, 2015 – Payback
- May 31, 2015 – Elimination Chamber
- June 14, 2015 – Money in the Bank
That’s 4 PPVs in 50 days. 3 weeks between Extreme Rules and Payback. Elimination Chamber just two weeks later. Money In The Bank just two weeks after that. And I’m supposed to watch RAW (and Smackdown) on top of that? UNCLE. I’ll just go ahead and say it…
There’s too much WWE programming available right now.
Ever since I got the WWE Network (I’ve been a subscriber from day 1) my brother and I have watched every PPV together. It’s become a tradition and a great way for us to get our families together and for us to spend some quality time. That streak stopped on Sunday with Money In The Bank. Now to be fair it had quite a bit to do with the fact that our Cavaliers were in the NBA Finals, but I’m not sure we would have pulled it off anyhow. Four PPVs in 50 days is just too much.
But this is about RAW.
RAW is too damn long. It needs to go back to two hours.
I know that this won’t happen any time soon. I understand WHY the WWE wants to have a three hour show: $$$. Plain and simple. If they’ve got three hours they’ve got another hour to sell advertising. Here’s the problem though with having three hour shows. They’re boring. That’s not a function of having too much time. That’s a function of poor booking, poor promos and poor in-ring work. There are certainly exceptions to that, but I’ll say this… I can’t remember a time during the two hour RAW era where I had a hard time getting through the shows on a consistent basis. And keep THIS in mind… I’m just watching ONE SHOW. There are others out there who are watching RAW, Smackdown, Lucha Underground, TNA, ROH and a slew of other stuff.
And please let’s not turn this into a “Well Chewie, you’re watching a shitty product… watch something else.” I get that. I choose to watch WWE products because by in large I enjoy them more than other products. You watch what you want to watch, I’ll watch what I want to watch. We good?
And don’t get me wrong… this isn’t a “Bash WWE” post. Far from it. I’ve enjoyed nearly every WWE PPV I’ve watched in recent memory. In fact I can’t recall a show that I didn’t enjoy overall. RAW however is a different story.
I’ve never been a big fan of these story lines that take over the entire show. It’s time for The Authority to go away. Forever. It’s been done, and done and done. Do we really need to keep inserting Kane into these matches? He’s a hall of famer for sure but I’m sick of seeing him. J & J Security? I know they’re playing a roll but I just can’t get behind it. Seth Rollins is an awesome champion, but up until his victory at Money In The Bank the other night he’s been made to look like a joke.
King Barrett – who did this guy piss off? Who does he need to blow to get a win? What’s the point of giving him the title of King Of The Ring if he’s going to go on a losing streak of IC Champ Barrett proportions? I know I’m a bit biased as I don’t like R-Truth but when you’re losing to this guy… on a regular basis, you’re essentially done.
Big Show. Ugh. Again… another sure fire hall of famer, but a guy I’m just sick of seeing. He could go away forever and I’d never miss him.
Kevin Owens – dude is a stud. We knew it before he came up to the main roster. And if we didn’t, all we’ve got to do is wait a week for creative to jam him down our throats. The IWC (Internet Wrestling Community) complains about how John Cena and Roman Reigns have been shoved at us for years. Careful what you ask for. I’m guessing they’ll be booing Owens in a year for the same reasons.
Brock Lesnar – I’ll admit, I’ve never been a Lesnar guy. But over the last six months or so he’s really grown on me. That said, the fact that he’s essentially part time talent limits what they can do with him and how they can build a program around him. With him returning the other night I’m hoping for good things but the reality is we’ll see him through Summer Slam and then not again till perhaps the Rumble. *sigh*
I could go on and on…
But the PPVs have been great.
Even though RAW is essentially just a weekly PPV, there’s been something “special” about all of the PPVs this year. That’s the way it should be. The matches should be better. The commentary should be better. The stories told in and out of the ring should be better than the weekly show. And they are. That said, I STILL think there are far too many. There are going to be 13 PPVs this year. At the very least they need to drop one. Hell, I’d love it if they went to 10 per year or *gasp* even six. It would make those big shows even bigger and mean even more. But alas… that will never happen.
Oh and let me say one more thing while I’m surely pissing people off. Can we cut it out with the John Cena hate already? Dude is a stud. Plain and simple. If you watch his matches over the last year or two you simply cannot say he’s not one of the best ever. He has five star matches with EVERYONE he works with. His matches get “This is awesome” chants regularly and you can’t tell me it’s always “the other guy”. You don’t have to like the character, but it’s time you recognize you’re watching greatness in the ring. Guy is one of the best ever.
All of this being said… I’ll still continue to DVR RAW, and I’ll still continue to watch. Yes, I’m a crazy wrestling fan and will be for life.
What do you think? Am I off base?