WWE’s main show, RAW, has received quite a bit of criticism this winter, as the show is continuing to get worse every single week. Some are blaming the bad show quality on the fact that the show is three hours long, while others have suggested that both WWE chairman Vince McMahon and the WWE creative team are completely out of touch with their audience.
RAW’s ratings are continuing to fall to record lows every week, and while this past Monday’s RAW didn’t set a new record low, it nearly did, as it was the second lowest rated show of the modern era.
There is some validity to the “RAW is too long” argument. If you look at the ratings pattern from week to week, you’ll see that the show is able to sustain around over three million viewers for the first two hours. Then in the third hour, there is always a huge drop off, and the viewership falls below 3 million.
For now, WWE isn’t planning on reducing the length of RAW back to two hours, even if there’s clear evidence that they should. They’re also not planning on making any major creative changes, which has been, other than the show length, their biggest weakness.
Some have compared the quality of WWE’s weekly shows to the quality of the company’s former competitor WCW in its dying days, a company that produced some of the worst and most nonsensical television in the late 90’s and early 2000’s before it was eventually purchased by WWE.
WWE’s current product being as bad as WCW’s product in its dying days is up for debate, but one ex-WWE star, who also worked for WCW before they went out of business, thinks that RAW is as bad as WCW’s secondary show, Thunder.
Shane Helms, better known as The Hurricane, expressed his opinion on WWE’s current product on Tuesday via Twitter. When asked about RAW by one of his followers, Helms simply said, “It’s WCW Thunder bad. And I would know.”
Helms’ opinion is just that, an opinion, but there are plenty of people, especially those who attended this past Monday’s RAW in North Charleston that agree, as was reported by Bryan Alvarez of the Wrestling Observer. Apparently, an abundance of fans who attended the show ended up walking out long before the main-event segment.
The man formerly known as The Hurricane isn’t the only ex-WWE star who has openly criticized WWE’s product, as guys like Mick Foley and “Stone Cold” Steve Austin have ripped the company once or twice in the last couple of months.
Just recently, Foley threatened to quit watching WWE if the quality of the show didn’t improve. After last week’s show, Foley said that he saw some improvement and that he would continue watching going forward.
As for Austin, he took a shot at WWE creative on his podcast after hearing ex-UFC fighter Chael Sonnen’s new gimmick idea for Sheamus. The “Texas Rattlesnake” called Sonnen’s idea awful, and he followed that up by comparing the former UFC middleweight’s idea to some of the stuff he’s seen on WWE television, saying that, while Sonnen’s idea was awful, “WWE is doing some pretty awful s**t right now too.”
WWE is well-aware that its weekly audience is getting smaller and smaller every single week, and there have been reports over the last two weeks that the company was planning on making major changes to RAW. However, those changes haven’t been apparent.
As of right now, Vince McMahon isn’t too worried about WWE’s falling ratings because he feels that the people who left will come back in January to see the build to WrestleMania. Usually, thinking that the fans will come back for WrestleMania season is a safe bet. However, that wasn’t the case this past year.
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