When the Monday Night Wars ended in 2001, it seemed highly unlikely that another wrestling company would challenge Monday Night Raw again.
Sure, TNA took their shot in 2010 with Hulk Hogan leading the charge, but that was more of a massacre than a war. For nearly 20 years there hasn’t been a direct competition for WWE.
AEW is an interesting prospect. While they have never directly challenged Vince McMahon, the subtle shade thrown by both the superstars and owner Tony Khan seem to invoke some form of conflict. But they are the upstart company. They are scratching at the legs of the giant. However, the giant has now fallen to its knee and the plucky upstart is seemingly growing in stature.
Following All Out 2021, AEW has never been hotter. The acquisition of Adam Cole, Ruby Soho, and Bryan Danielson have taken many people off guard. Similarly, Minoru Suzuki debuted to another huge reaction. Talent is flooding to AEW and the company is riding a huge wave of momentum.
WWE on the other hand is falling apart. This needs to change right now. Specifically, Raw needs to change
Raw Is Against The Wall
While the August 30 edition of Raw was above average for the current standard, that’s not going to cut it tonight. There is no buzz around the WWE product at the moment, specifically on Monday nights. Even the returns of Brock Lesnar and Becky Lynch have fizzled out under the buzz that AEW has created.
Granted, maybe AEW should have saved some of these debuts for the future, but in the long run it could have been a masterstroke. If the debuts of Danielson and Cole can grab mainstream attention when fan interest in WWE is so low, they could sway some fans away from the flagship show.
There is only one notable feud on Raw at the moment and that is the RK-Bro storyline. Bobby Lashley has no credible challengers, the Women’s Division is in shambles and the Tag Division is being held together by Randy Orton and Matt Riddle. There needs to be a change in the formula if RAW wants to put up a fight.
The Treatment Of NXT Talent On Raw is Horrific
While AEW is bolstering their roster with young stars and seasoned veterans, WWE seems to be destroying their future talent. One only needs to look at Karrion Kross, RETRIBUTION, and Keith Lee to see how 50/50 booking and lacklustre pushes can affect the NXT Call Ups.
Karrion Kross was pinned during his Raw debut. He was at the time, the NXT Champion. This is no way to treat the stars who will one day (hopefully) be main eventing WrestleMania. With no freshness or diversity in Raw’s main event scene, it seems that the product will keep getting stale in the coming months, and we’ll be right back to part-timers plugging the gaps come Survivor Series.
Pay Per View Calibre Matches…On TV?!
One of the strongest aspects of AEW is that it consistently delivers fresh matchups week to week. We’ve got Jon Moxley/Minoru Suzuki on this edition of Dynamite so…why can’t Raw manage the same feat?
I will admit, the triple threat last week was stellar. Sheamus has been having great matches consistently on Raw, but is that enough? One good match? Instead of the constant rematches, why not inject something fresh into the mix? Maybe, Karrion Kross versus Bobby Lashley or Damien Priest versus Ricochet in a 20-minute classic.
There is just enough talent on Raw to make different matchups week to week. Specifically, if the 6 September edition of Raw is just a barrage of rematches, that may be the straw that breaks the camels back.
RAW Needs To Change
We love Raw. As fans, there is a glint of nostalgia that keeps us watching every week. We want it to be good. The issue is that there is so much competition. In a world of content, fans don’t have time for a lackluster three-hour wrestling show.
AEW is hitting its stride which means Raw needs to buckle up and move forward. New stars, fresh matches, and fun storylines. With All Out being a critical and commercial success, WWE cannot falter now. They need to take action, and they need to do it fast.
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