WWE Monday Night Raw is increasing to three hours. Some of you seem to think that’s a good thing.
It’s reminiscent of the downfall of WCW. WCW used to substitute more for better ALL THE TIME. A two-hour Nitro on TNT and the traditional Saturday TBS show was plenty. Always leave ‘em wanting more. Those two-hour Nitros had FOCUS. The product was ORGANIZED. Uh, sometimes.
But WCW added Thunder on TBS. Nitro went to three hours. There wasn’t enough creativity to go around. Talent, yes. Creativity, no. There was barely enough creativity to fill the programming WCW had, but WCW kept adding MORE.
The three-hour Nitro made Thunder meaningless. Nitro was the A show, Thunder the B show. Three hours of Nitro downgraded Thunder to B-minus. Nitro killed Thunder. Nitro committed suicide via the extra hour.
Now it’s all happening again. When was the last time you watched Smackdown?
(WCW flashback: Thunder premiered Jan. 8, 1998. Nitro went to three hours Jan. 26, 1998. WCW added three hours of new programming the same month. How arrogant.)
There’s only so much time a normal human spends watching wrestling. The market is saturated. Parents, do you want your kids to watch MORE WRESTLING?
My column earlier this week detailed the obvious holes and flaws in this past Monday’s Raw. Do you think more TV will remedy those problems, or exacerbate them? Will WWE creative knuckle down and come up with quality programming for that extra hour, or just throw X amount of meaningless matches out there?
I think you know that answer.
It’s hard to write good TV. Sitcom writers have to fill just 23 minutes per week, and sitcoms have bigger, more experienced, more talented staffs than WWE has, and those staffs have to write for far less characters with winning and losing NOT INVOLVED.
The added hour is a disaster. No TV > bad TV.
BTW, it’s obvious that Big Show will go reluctant heel at the PPV, getting his job back by way of helping John Laurinaitis beat John Cena. So Cena, WWE’s only full-time star, will have beaten Brock Lesnar, but lost to a movie star and a non-wrestler.
It’s sheer lunacy. But we’ll get to watch another hour of it. Or not watch.
When Vince McMahon debuted his heel owner character in 1997, it was great. His feud with Steve Austin was great.
But it turned out to be the WORST THING for wrestling, because all we’ve seen since are storylines that involve AUTHORITY FIGURES. It’s every booker’s lazy way out. It’s all WWE does now. Laurinaitis feuds with EVERYBODY.
Impact is going live. Does going live make a train wreck anything besides a train wreck?
Update (5/18/12): I'm told Raw will be interactive, with the marks booking matches. Interesting. How come they never let the viewers script Seinfeld?
Mark Madden hosts a radio show 3-6 p.m.weekdays on WXDX-FM, Pittsburgh, PA(105.9). Check out his web page at WXDX.com. Contact Mark by emailing email@example.com. FOLLOW MARK ON TWITTER: @MarkMaddenX