Is it just me, or did you hesitate to hit ‘play’ too?
I know I am like most wrestling fans. I have been watching for many, many years and lately I am just feeling like turning on Raw is more of a chore than a privilege. Last week, I missed RAW. This week, I was forced to watch the shortened Hulu version, and to be completely honest (and much to my dismay) I am not disappointed by this. Just the fact that it CAN be whittled down to one and a half hours shows that they are missing some severely important characters. Now yes, I will say that the injuries have taken the roster down a peg, but really I kind of blame Vince for relying too heavily on one person and having barely anyone to believably take the place of anyone. That being said, this could be an easy fix.
But before you can fix something, you have to really take a good, hard look at precisely what makes it difficult to watch Raw.
For one: Vince has amazing characters he is unwilling to utilize to their full potential without making them look silly. We are consistently bombarded with the idea the only kind of effective heel is one that runs and is a coward, or one that takes cheap shots. There is such potential in characters like Bray Wyatt (as a fearsome cult leader who talks loud but then backs it up), Kevin Owens (who is cold and calculating and never does anything without a reason), or even this new League of Nations if played properly.
Secondly, the WWE relies heavily on the past successes they have had. Now I believe that nostalgia has a place here as much as the next guy, but it should be rare and seen just as such. Nostalgia. You can’t base you show around it. If you do that, you take away from an opportunity to build new people. There are plenty of people in NXT or even in the lower part of the roster that could been paired with The Dudleys to be raised up. I'm not saying nostalgia can never win, but it shouldn’t be relied on heavily, or the hole is just going to be dug deeper.
Third, Build. Vince... this is 2015. Please stop trying to build like this is 1989. We get it. You love the story of good guy vs. bad guy, but I think that people might be passed that. Take for example, the entire Attitude era. The "bad guys" were the “good guys” and the “boss” was the “bad guy”. Vince inadvertently stumbled on the voice of the WWE universe that was tired of taking it from their own boss and wanted to stick it to the boss. Look at CM Punk .vs John Cena in 2011. CM Punk was the "bad guy" but he was cheered more than the “good guy” (Cena) because he connected with a voice in the WWE that was tired of what they were getting. Vince needs to find that voice right now instead of stubbornly pushing along with whatever it is that he wants. He has social media so that should be easier now than ever before!
Lastly I think one area that is hugely lacking right now is the writing. It is believed and has been stated that "Fans don’t remember what happened last week." This is now the age where this ‘truth’ (if it ever was one) is absolutely gone. With the WWE Network available, the internet abundant, and just about any clip in history available on YouTube, fans remember everything. When a TV show has bad writing, it is usually canceled in the first season. That is because it doesn’t have the millions-strong fan base that WWE has, but that doesn't mean that you can just set aside good story-telling. Far from letting it make you lazy they should use it to encourage them to make their story lines fluid and interesting! Give fans a good story and they will be fans for life.
However you color it, I think this is a problem that Vince needs to address rather quickly because it seems like it is affecting viewership. I know that it is certainly making me look at my watch before I ever even turn on RAW.
A few random observations about the League of Nations.
I really like the idea of LoN and I hope they play them well, to be completely honest. They might come across as a holding pattern, but they could be a good holding pattern if a good story is told. Sheamus has the bad fortune of being the champion after Seth Rollins and that is a tough act to follow as Seth was radically talented on both the mic and in the ring. I do not envy the position he has been placed in, but I think he can put on some good matches and make a good feud or two before the belt is moved. That could just be me being hopeful though.
As the LoN formed, can we please lose the crappy side gimmicks? "King Barrett" is a stupid gimmick and he looks quite out of place standing there holding his crown. Seemingly (and hopefully) we saw the end of Mex-America, but please just lose the “King” thing. It's not working for Barrett.
Am I the only person who doesn't really understand characters or stables that is based on "We hate America"? Does the rest of the world just sit there and say, "Eh, I have no opinion here." or even worse do they agree with them? Where does the rest of the world stand when it comes to this? I really would like to know.
Please feel free to email me and let me know your thoughts on the current state of WWE! email@example.com