Monday Night Raw is the “A Show” of WWE. We know this because they never miss a chance to tell us. Monday Night Raw is the flagship show of the WWE, and they’ve come out of the draft looking much better than SmackDown Live! Of course, if that’s true, how come the majority of the WWE Universe claim that Brand Blue is the better show? Probably because if you think about it, Monday Night Raw was destined to disappoint.
Monday Night Raw Was Destined to Disappoint
Everyone insists SmackDown Live is the underdog show. They only get two hours while Raw gets three. Monday Night Raw got to keep the New Day, Seth Rollins, Roman Reigns, and many other main eventers. Not to mention, someone who isn’t a wrestling fan doesn’t know about SmackDown, they just think of Monday Night Raw.
So after the brand split, SmackDown had to be considered the underdog show. Especially when you saw who the general manager was (foreshadowing). Dean Ambrose, Becky Lynch, Bray Wyatt, and several other wrestlers who were really talented, but seemed to take a backseat to everyone else were put on Brand Blue. Yes, everyone insists SmackDown Live is the underdog show, but the reality is, Monday Night Raw was destined to disappoint. Here’s why.
Here Comes the Yes, Yes, Yes
Who was the most exciting return of 2016? Oh yeah, Shane McMahon. When Vince McMahon‘s son returned after being gone for several years, he represented change. He represented the new era of the WWE, and when he arrived, he introduced a slew of new stars. When the Brand Split was announced, and Shane had to pick a General Manager, he selected Daniel Bryan.
Recently retired, Daniel Bryan enjoyed a run of popularity unheard of since Stone Cold Steve Austin. The Yes Movement took over the wrestling world from the summer of 2013 to WrestleMania 2014. The team of Shane McMahon and Daniel Bryan gave SmackDown Live a powerful team.
A powerful… and popular team. Bryan and McMahon were wildly over with the fans, so who wouldn’t want to watch their show? Two good-hearted, fan loving administrators over a new promotion? Sounds good to me. Especially when you consider the alternative.
Queendom or Boredom?
SmackDown Live is run by Daniel Bryan and the recently returned, Shane McMahon. Who runs Monday Night Raw? Oh yeah, Stephanie McMahon. The same Stephanie McMahon that has been a despicable heel on Monday Night Raw for the better part of the last four years. With rambling, repetitive, obnoxious promos, Stephanie has developed into one of the most hated heels in the company. What’s wrong with that?
Well, the point of a heel in pro wrestling is that someone will pay good money to see them get beat up. When a babyface finally exacts their revenge, it’s called a payday because fans pay to see it. With Stephanie, there is no payday. Vickie Guerrero threw her in some pudding a couple years ago, and she took a spear from Roman Reigns, but she’s still in charge.
Do you want to see babyface Shane McMahon granting deserving babyfaces title shots or do you want to see heel Stephanie McMahon go through the same storyline that we’ve seen with three different superstars. Kevin Owens is the corporate champion today, but last year, it was Seth Rollins. The year before that, it was Randy Orton. As talented as all three of those guys are, the story-line gets really old when you realize they’ve been doing it since The Rock aligned with Vince in the Attitude Era.
On Monday Night Raw, you have a watered down version of a product people already believed was stale. You’ve got the same people main eventing shows, with the same villains, and the same dreadful three hour time slot. Stephanie McMahon is still slapping babyfaces, and Roman Reigns is still looking strong.
The next night, you’ve got a shorter show, with the commissioner you love and the general manager that gets a huge reaction anywhere in the world. You’ve got the face of the sport, John Cena, the most popular indy wrestler in the world, AJ Styles, and yet they can still parade around as the underdogs. Seth Rollins is incredible, but AJ Styles has been… phenomenal in 2016, and who in the world is picking Roman Reigns over John Cena?
Despite the fact that everyone insists SmackDown Live is the underdog show, the reality is that Monday Night Raw was destined to disappoint. People complained that Raw was stale before the split, and then they lost half of their stars. It’s a shame the WWE can’t make Monday Night Raw a two hour show again, because they’re really struggling to put on good shows consistently like SmackDown has, and it’s easy to see why.
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