With John Pollock feeling under the weather, Wai Ting is joined by Nate Milton to review WWE RAW 12/17/18:
Vince McMahon returns to the show to announce the new leader of Monday Night Raw, Baron Corbin receives a final chance to become Raw GM, Dean Ambrose and Ronda Rousey issue Open Challenges, and a number of NXT call-ups are announced on this “new” and “fresh” edition of Raw.
Am I the only one that thinks increasing McMahon involvement is a bad move in terms of producing a good product…? It might work in the short term in terms of ratings because people want to see what the fuck is gonna change but I feel like it’s gonna be shit. I feel like Stephanie’s gonna show up on SmackDown now as well with Becky, Asuka and Charlotte having to deal with Stephanie being the focal point. Triple H will be Rollins’ main obstacle to the main event before he even gets a shot at Raw’s world title.
Can’t believe fans are on board with this. Can’t believe positioning Baron Corbin as the fall guy worked. Can’t believe Vince McMahon positioning himself as the saviour to the product that he made terrible, actually worked.
This show to me didn’t even feel like a refresh. The only thing that seemed different was some NXT call-ups. With the roster bloated, not sure that will help. Nate’s description of the Dean/Rollins feud pretty much applies to most of the show. The match quality is mostly above average, but there is no captivating storytelling to make me care about the matches.
Also, I feel like commercial breaks are a huge problem with Raw. It seems like we return from a commercial and only get 5-10 minutes of action on the show before we return to another commercial break. It makes it hard to get invested in the show. I know commercials are necessary, but they used to go at least 15-20 minutes without a break back in the day.
Putting the McMahon’s back on TV and randomly making Triple H and Stephanie mega faces was a bizarre way to start the show. Also, can Apollo Crews and Roode/Gable be any more generic? The drop in overness from upper mid carder to lower mid carder is huge these days.
To be fair…
When we transitioned to things like ruthless aggression, attitude and PG Era…did these era’s COMPLETELY change the state of Raw within a single episode while staying that way? I’d say no. These changes were gradual.
Having said that, this sounded to me like it was a return of the authority.
Lets bring the McMahon’s back to regular tv! What a fresh start!
Only time will tell if this segment means anything at all. My interpretation of all this means we’ll be seeing a shift to more fan favorites and pleasing the crowd like you’d expect from an indie show. Elements of this Raw definitely had that feeling especially with the Baron Corbin match.
I’m with you on this one but I feel like if we go with first impression alone, thing won’t change that much and it’s just a way for them to justify what they will do creatively during mania season.
The call ups mean nothing because for the most part, they are calling up people that meant nothing in NXT plus as we know, the worst time to call somebody up to the main roster is during mania season because they tend to get lost in the shuffle and will probably join no way Jose on main event within a month after their debut and be put in their respective battle royal at mania.
Anyway, I’m ready to give them one more chance to prove me wrong but Let’s face it, they went through at less three or more era with the same booking philosophy and I don’t see it changing anytime soon or until somebody outside of the McMahon family is in charge of the company
To have a major shakeup and then run out the exact same combo of tag teams, Balor/Dolph/Drew, Elias/Lashley…I’m sorry what changed? And I appreciate the “give it time” sentiment but WTF time needs to pass to shake up feuds and stories that have got you here in the first place? We need more Lashley and Elias before the real changes start because that was so hot we can’t end it abruptly?! C’mon!
NXT HHH ousting his father in law is the only McMahon storyline and involvement I want in the show. And frankly, we’d all be in love with the change on Raw if HHH showed up - pedigreed Vince and said this is his time. TBH - if the NXT invasion story was ever going to be used, it should have been this with the Undisputed Era positioned as the new generation. I digress.
Unfortunately I have zero faith in WWE to position it’s new call ups for success or giving them storylines to bolster their debut. and when they job out EC3 and Lars in a month for 50/50 booking (for fear of hurting other established names) they’ll feel exactly as meaningless as most the roster now. It’s a fundamental flaw with 50/50 booking.
That said - I’ll give it time. We have KO, Sami and probably Bray coming back. Cena for Mania I assume. Brock will be on more heading to Mania and maybe some legends. So the truth is ratings (and talent) will bounce back and this entire angle will look so pointless by SummerSlam 2019.
If this was in fact a short term ploy to bring Vince back and boost a number and by Mania the status quo is back (or rather we see no real changes) the core fan. Us on the internet and the 1.3 million core subscribers may not be apathetic at that point. We may be downright pissed. Like fool me once shame on you. But keep telling me change is coming and it’s a cheap ploy - f yourself Vince. I think the worst thing they can do a alienate the core fan (particularly if there Network rate is going up as rumored to be). They actually should cater to where their bread is buttered. Nothing brings in the casual fan like hype and excitement but that has to start somewhere…
I predict we are going to see a major talent exodus soon and not by way of “future endeavored”. I fully expect guys to not resign contracts when another option becomes viable and if that other option includes health care, insurance, and all the things we hear aren’t provided to independent contractors, I see a lot of guys opting for that until WWE figures itself out in that new world - should it come to exist. This can’t be frustrating for just fans. Talent has got to be annoyed and angered as well and yet really, what’s changing? New faces while the old faces get blamed for something out of their control?
This was probably a worse Raw than the last couple weeks, for the fact of promising something and then giving us 3 hours of the same crap. I’ve given the company the benefit of the doubt, too many times over my 32 years of being a fan. I gave them one more chance with this Raw. I was actually looking forward to this and all we got was basically the McMahons saying we will get more of them.
I’m done getting excited for anything this company does. I’ve tried my best to stay positive with them. I’ve complained many times, but always told myself it will get better. It doesnt. The WWE needs something drastic. I dont claim to know what, but it needs a real shake up.