If you’ve been reading our Best and Worst of Raw column lately or, you know, watching the show yourself — which not a lot of you are doing, apparently — you know that it’s been pretty bad lately. By pretty, I mean “extremely,” and by “bad,” I mean “an exercise in dystopian futility with a future so dark even light cannot escape it.” Maybe that’s an exaggeration, but the highlight of the show is Bobby Lashley bending over and slapping his own ass, so.
Our criticism for the show boils down to nothing making sense, nothing entertaining happening, and a total absence of internal logic for characters or character consistency. If you won’t take our word for it, perhaps you’ll listen to the man who called more good episodes of Raw than anyone, Jim Ross. On his podcast, Ross agreed with at least one of our talking points: that there’s no character consistency, and that they’re losing diehard fans and casual fans by not knowing how or why the wrestlers are wrestling.
“The last two or three weeks, the feedback I get from Monday Night Raw has not been overwhelmingly positive. The show in the eyes of many viewers has been ‘less than.’ Let me try to explain how what I think’s going on here – to enjoy any fictional entity, you have to have an emotional investment in the characters – have to know who the characters are, what their roles are and why I should either like or dislike them. Well in the last few weeks we have seen, now get this – Bobby Lashley, Elias, Dolph Ziggler, Strowman, Nia Jax, Carmella, Charlotte, Daniel Bryan, The Big Show and Dean Ambrose change their persona. ‘I’m a babyface, now I’m a heel. I’m a babyface, now I’m a heel.’ It’s confusing.
“So if you’re a casual viewer which every entity needs, you expect to get the die-hards. My concern is that sometimes you look at that die-hard list and it’s starting to shrink a little bit. And so if you’re a casual fan and if you haven’t turned your back on them or disregard them that’d be crazy, if you only watch once or twice a month, there’s a good chance you’re completely lost. ‘Now wait a minute, is he a good guy or bad guy?’ It matters to people and those that say it doesn’t matter that you’re a babyface or heel just get over it. It sounds really good on a car trip or over a cocktail. It just doesn’t work that way. So I think that all these turns are having a negative effect on the viewer. It lessens the emotional attachment to all those talents I’ve mentioned and there’s a lot of damn good talent I just mentioned. Are they fish or are they fowl? That’s always the question.”
That’s a very diplomatic way to put it, but hopefully WWE will start listening to its own Hall of Famers about how to improve the show. And maybe not write and re-write entire episodes right before they’re supposed to air on three hours of live primetime television every week. And so many other things.
What do you think? Why is Raw so bad, and what can they do to right the ship? Let us know down in the comments.
(transcription h/t to WrestleZone)