What’s Wrong with RAW?

The Katz Files – Arnie Katz
What’s Wrong with RAW?
The Kingfish Arnie Katz wrestles with the controversial question: What’s wrong with RAW

<RAW currently commits the one truly unpardonable sin of a professional wrestling show. RAW, which used to be War, is now a Bore. They can make those two hours seem like two years == and, too often, that’s exactly what they do.

The ratings continue to drift down as viewers slowly, but surely, turn away from the 120-minute mess that RAW has become during the second half of 2009. This weakness in the face of the renewed challenge from TNA, could spell a very tumultuous 2010 for the McMahon clan.

The 11/30 edition of RAW showcased all the problems in vivid detail.

Let’s look at a few of the worst ones:

Talking Heads
Talking Heads is a kick-ass rock band, but a very poor way to put on a supposedly action-oriented show. The ratio of talk to wrestling is always lopsided in WWE, but at least the palaver used to be interesting.

The opening scene on the 11/30 RAW dragged on and on with much of anything new being said by any of the four men involved. Someone needs to remind DX that even Jack Benny needed writers; HBK and Triple H desperately need something interesting to say.

The booking for Chris Jericho and Big Show is, to say the least, inconsistent. RAW spent weeks building up a rift and now it’s as though that never happened. They did better than DX in the interminable segment, but at times it was like watching Ric Flair wrestle himself.

And what did all that boring chatter lead to? The bottom line was a handicap match with a blatant (and utterly predictable) screwjob finish. And what will that lead to? Why, to another handicap match on next week’s RAW that will also end with a predictable screwjob finish. What a great way to saddle two episodes of RAW with “who cares?” main events/

>B>The Guest Hosts
A few of the guest hosts have done pretty well, but they mostly gum up the works with clueless adlibs and time-wasting sketches. Vern Shroyer, besides being as fresh as last month’s leftovers, added nothing to the program while taking mic time that could’ve been used to push some actual wrestler.

It’s not as if the guest host concept has worked. The ratings have continued to trend downward, because people who like one host are not necessarily going to like the next one. If everything a guest host does adds up to a match involving Mark Henry, it has been a waste of time.

Cherche La Femme
Is WWE afraid that the fans will assault its female wrestlers on their way to the ring? It seems they are reluctant to send their women into the squared circle in anything smaller than pairs – and most commonly in groups of three.

If the women in WWE can’t work decent singles matches, it’s time to get some new women. If WWE has some women who can work, and I think they definitely do, those women should be given ring- and face-time to develop their characters and get some juice into the matches.

Time for a Change
In what seems an indecently short time since this year’s talent shuffle, the RAW roster is alarmingly static. Injuries were a good excuse for a short while, but the lack of outstanding heels who can work good matches is now too dire to ignore.

Randy Orton is the only rulebreaker with any fan interest/ Chris Jericho is only used on the show in storylines involving the tag team title, so that leaves other high-visibility heel positions to Rhodes, DiBiase and, occasionally, Big Show.

WWE is trying to build up Sheamus, but forthcoming his match with Cena seems premature. The world’s whitest man is more over with Triple H than with the fans, which is not a recipe for pay per view success.

WWE must find more wrestlers, both heels and babyfaces, who can work the ring and the mic. It doesn’t matter whether they comes from the indies or WWE’s development promotion in Florida, as long as they get in there and generate some excitement.

That’s all for today! I’ll be back tomorrow with my weekly TNA Notebook. I hope you’ll join me then – and, please, bring your friends.

— Arnie Katz
Executive Editor
[email protected]
(12/3/09)