In response to plummeting ratings and constant criticism from anyone with an operating brain who ever wasted time watching their program, the powers that be at WWE decided that Vince McMahon would return to Monday Night Raw to, as they put it, “shake things up.” Rumors flew all around about what this could mean, fans had some fun passing around wild ideas for whatever drastic measure they may take to improve their television, and there was some genuine excitement around what might happen.
What do they have to lose by going outside the box? By trying something new? By doing literally anything different?
If you thought they would actually follow through on being different, well, you were given one stiff shot to the gut to remind you that, yes, this is still a promotion run by the McMahon family.
And they just don’t get it.
We know they don’t, because the answer they came up with was yet another worked shoot type promo in this awful “Reality Era” they’ve allowed to flourish in all the worst ways where they acknowledged the show sucked but promised to make it better ... by having the family control Raw and SmackDown as a “united front.”
Yes, folks, they actually wove into kayfabe that the show is awful and it’s their fault for it and then immediately decided the way to fix it was to have them continue running it but they just won’t argue amongst each other now. That this is the answer they came up with is both astounding and demoralizing in a way that nothing else possibly could be. It makes obvious what was already clear but at least possible to ignore previously: they don’t get it and they never will.
The ensuing show didn’t do much to prove any real change was coming. There were good things, sure, but there are good things on any episode of Raw. A full hour for the women to run a Gauntlet match for a title shot? That’s good! Most of the babyfaces not looking like useless morons all the time? That’s good! Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn returning soon? That’s good!
There was bad too, but we don’t even need to focus on that because they made it clear at the very start of the show that nothing is going to change at all. You cannot ask fans to allow you to acknowledge you suck at your job in reality and then use the story to say it will be better because you’ll be united but the story is the same as the reality, which is that you were always running the very bad show and that isn’t changing. Even reading that sentence doesn’t make any damn sense!
This wouldn’t be so frustrating if this company wasn’t swimming in money with a roster so deep with talent up and down the card. They have main event level stars around every locker and somehow none of them feel like main event level stars. The McMahon family is to blame for that. How, then, are we supposed to believe that will change because of this show?
I’ll hope I’m wrong here, but nothing about this says any great change is coming.