NoDQ.com > Columns > Murphy's Law: Is Raw Stale?
Posted by Matt Murphy on 01/07/2013 at 03:36 PM
Hello once again. Tonight's Raw is shaping up to be a newsworthy show so I expect to have another article tomorrow about anything notable that happens, but for the purposes of this one, I'll be answering an email I received.
And this happens to be the ONLY email I received, so I encourage you all to send in some questions! I'll include my Twitter at the end of this article as well for those who would prefer to send me questions through there.
This is an email from Joel:
"I have a couple questions, what are your thoughts on TNA's future and how to better the product and is RAW getting stale in your opinion? because it has been to me and many others. Please answer in your columns"
Well first of all, thank you for the question. I'll address the TNA question first, as I touched on it a bit in my previous article. At this rate, I don't know if I see TNA folding anytime soon because they do have good money to back it up, but I just don't see them growing if they keep up what they're doing. Hell they really haven't been growing at all in the past few years.
The best thing TNA can do is cut out anything bringing them down. Which would be guys like Hogan, anybody who they pay a huge amount of money to, that isn't really an essential part of the program, and who haven't moved ratings at all. And no matter how much Hulk tries to make himself an essential part of the program, he just isn't. At least a guy like Jeff Hardy goes out and actually gives you matches and is an active part of your company.
And other things I've touched on before, just improve the booking. Have stories that don't make the people cringe. Enhance the X Division, and ESPECIALLY enhance the Knockouts Division. The fact you can pretty much count how many ladies are on the roster on one hand is a joke. It barely even warrants a singles championship, let alone a tag team one. I don't know if I have the faith in TNA to really improve their ratings substantially, but I won't say never.
To the other question regarding Raw, the short and quick answer is yes. But we're not here for short and quick answers, so allow me to elaborate.
Now for me personally, I can sit through a 3 hour Raw fine, I don't fall asleep or do other things or anything like that, but I completely understand how other people can be sick of it. I as well think they should go back to 2 hours.
One positive of a 3 hour Raw, is you can allow more time to matches, and most of the time they're better off for it. However that positive doesn't really make the 3rd hour worth it. When Raw is a great show, of course I wouldn't mind the 3rd hour as much. But when it's subpar, or just plain bad, it's not too much fun. The 3rd hour also, more often than not, tends to force WWE to just drag things on and just throw in filler that wouldn't normally have seen the light of day.
This whole thing shows up in the ratings too. By the time the 3rd hour rolls around, people just tune out. If there's a big match or angle in the main event slot, they'll tune back in, but WWE is having a real problem keeping people watching for the entirety of the show, and at 3 hours, I don't know many people, particularly casual fans, who are gonna sit there for 3 hours every week for Raw. I understand WWE is getting paid a whole lot for that extra hour by USA, but they're also losing a rather alarming number of viewers lately.
And with Smackdown airing and the brand extension basically dead, I don't really see the need for the 3rd hour because anything you don't feature on Raw in 2 hours, you can easily feature on Smackdown. Not to mention Main Event. Speaking of Main Event, I remember reading a report that Ion Television wanted high quality matches every week and that they didn't want it to be the next Superstars. Well, it started out like that. But now it's pretty much the next Superstars. I guess only time will tell if WWE goes back to 2 hours or stays at 3, but I expect them to go back to 2 eventually.
Well, that does it for now. Like I said, I fully expect to be writing another column soon about Raw tonight if WWE really does deliver on the whole "leave people talking" hype, so I'm looking forward to seeing what happens. So as always, send me your emails, ask me your questions, and I'll see you guys next time.
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