Amid various reports suggesting that WWE is under tremendous pressure to improve its ratings, the latest rumors from behind the scenes suggest that this week’s episode of Monday Night Raw featured a number of creative changes that were made during the show itself.
As noted by WrestlingNews.co, it is no longer unusual for WWE’s creative team, led by company owner and chairman Vince McMahon, to make changes right before a televised show goes on the air. However, that wasn’t what reportedly happened on this week’s Raw, as Bryan Alvarez and Dave Meltzer pointed out on Tuesday’s Wrestling Observer Radio that McMahon appeared to make some changes on the fly, leading to a show that Alvarez called a “disaster in the back.”
“Disaster is a funny word because when I watched the show, I never thought … the only thing on the show I thought was a disaster was the 24/7 stuff,” Meltzer said, according to quotes from WrestlingNews.co.
“The rest of it was just normal stuff. Apparently, backstage it was extremely disorganized and things were being changed as the show was going on. Matches were changed and maybe that’s why Baron Corbin got pinned [in the main event].”
The “24/7 stuff” Meltzer referenced pertained to the introduction of the new 24/7 Championship, which, as WWE explains, is open to everyone on the company’s main and developmental rosters and can be defended at any time or any place, as long as a referee is present. Per The Inquisitr, fans had a largely negative reaction toward the new title, with many calling the belt’s design “ugly” or commenting about its lack of prestige.
Meanwhile, Alvarez suggested that McMahon should think about giving his writers some time off, as they spend so much time during the week coming up with ideas for WWE’s television programs, only for these ideas to be changed on the fly, just as they allegedly were during this week’s Raw.
Meltzer then responded by explaining that WWE doesn’t exactly reject everything that its writers come up with, but rather alters “some percentages” of this content because McMahon is “on a whim.” He then compared the WWE boss’ apparent approach to creative matters to how the company’s top rival in the 1990s, World Championship Wrestling (WCW), used to make similar 11th-hour changes while its shows were on the air.
Meltzer and Alvarez’s revelations about this week’s Monday Night Raw represent the latest rumors to hint at the allegedly toxic backstage environment at WWE as the company tries to reverse its trend of declining ratings. As cited last week by WhatCulture, an unnamed source close to several WWE writers shared some information with veteran wrestling journalist Wade Keller on his Post Pro-Wrestling Show podcast, claiming that the controversial Wild Card Rule was conceived at the last minute and that WWE’s creative team is “writing for an audience of one,” with that one person in the “audience” being Vince McMahon.
The source also alleged that McMahon’s son-in-law, WWE executive and on-air authority figure/part-time wrestler Paul “Triple H” Levesque, is the “most frustrated person” backstage, due to how he has to “console” the talents he had helped build up at NXT after their main roster runs don’t turn out as expected.