Where Is The Wrestling On Monday Night Raw? (Editorial)

Monday Night Raw took place last night in Glasgow, Scotland. Raw is advertised as a wrestling show. My apologies, a “sports entertainment” show. The only problem with that is last night’s Raw contained less than 40 minutes of actual wrestling. One of the matches in the less than 40 minutes of in-ring action was between the Shining Stars and Golden Truth. Now, you can consider that a wrestling match. I’d like to call it a train wreck and a waste of everyone’s time. The crowd was silent for most of the match but mustered the energy to chant “boring!” in the middle of it.

Raw is supposed to be a three hour show but it typically goes about 15 minutes long. Lets just say that a typical episode of Monday Night Raw is between 180-190 minutes. It is completely ridiculous for a wrestling program of that length to have less than an hour of in-ring action. It could be excusable if the promos were actually entertaining. The issue is that they usually are mind-numbingly stupid and bore everyone to tears.

Last night, there was a 15 minute promo featuring the New Day dressed in kilts and bringing bagpipes down to the ring. I guess because the show was taped in Scotland that was supposed to be hilarious. Big E then recited a speech from the film Braveheart to pump up the Raw team for Survivor Series. The rest of the promo was everyone cracking jokes at the expense of Sheamus. The promo wound up leading to a quick match between the New Day and Gallows & Anderson. Amazingly, Gallows and Anderson picked up a clean victory over New Day. The WWE has conditioned their audience to view Gallows & Anderson as a joke for the past few months. All of the sudden, they are mowing through the Tag Team Champions. I don’t understand it but that is a whole other discussion.

The main point is that the match was short and hardly competitive. Big E was dominated throughout and the match. The only momentum the New Day had was when Kofi was tagged in and he got in some offense. Gallows & Anderson picked up a quick victory via the Magic Killer. There was no drama and nobody really had any reaction to Gallows & Anderson winning. It just seems like week after week, people are randomly winning matches and it is building towards absolutely nothing. The painfully unfunny promo that proceeded this match was four times as long as the match itself.

Every single promo feels like the Superstars are reading from a teleprompter. There is no life in anything they are saying. It is like the creative writing process in the WWE is to google corny jokes and assign a few of them to every Superstar to regurgitate during the show. R-Truth mistook Jimmy Buffett’s name to mean an actual buffet last night. Braun Strowman had to say the line “I’m on Team Braun!” and try to sound like a monster while doing so. It sounded ridiculous. Wouldn’t it have just been better if Strowman got up in Kevin Owens’ face and told him to get the hell out of his locker room?

Every single segment is overwritten. The idea may be humorous at first but it goes through a bunch of people with their own thoughts and what comes out is a watered down version of the original idea. There are no intense feuds anymore. The entire build to the Hell in a Cell PPV was based around jokes and lists. How was Seth Rollins going to defeat the chubby champion? Was sparkle crotch going to interfere? Rusev and Reigns had several lame promos in which people were getting tossed into a wedding cake or Rusev was showing a slideshow of his family. Meanwhile, the WWE was billing the Hell in a Cell as this demonic structure with a life of it’s own. How were people going to convince themselves they were going to see this brutal battles when the build to the show was the equivalent to a bunch of fart jokes?

I do not understand who the target audience is for Monday Night Raw. It can’t be wrestling fans because there is not enough wrestling. If it is children, why is the show three hours and what child is cracking up at a Jimmy Buffett joke? For that matter, what adult is cracking up at a Jimmy Buffett joke in 2016? It appears that the WWE is trying to cater their product to everyone. They are trying to produce a show that appeals to every gender and every age. I just picture a gigantic chart and empty suits placing segments on the chart. They put the Golden Truth in the kids section of the chart and then the main event in the adult section. They probably figure that by the time the main event airs most of the children will be asleep and the adults will be wide awake to see the match. The problem with that logic is that the ratings go down every hour because adults are changing the channel due to how awful the show is. In their quest to create a show that caters to everyone, what the WWE is left with is a show that very few people enjoy.