If WWE had their way — and they usually do — the average viewer would watch Raw with cellphone in hand actively streaming WWE Active. To kill time following Monday’s show, they’d log online to Youtube, post opinions to (dead) tout, and watch straight to DVD releases starring Mike MIZanin. All this followed by episodic episodes of Main Event, and much maligned/sometimes surprisingly compelling B-show Smackdown.
Much of this “content”, however, is replays of the other shows you’re supposed to be watching, replays of the show you’re currently watching, hype videos, charitable causes and reminders of WWE’s mainstream appeal.
It’s affected the fluidity of the show. Commercials scheduled during matches is as old as wrestling itself. It’s how they get you to stay through the break. Showing highlights during matches of what’s currently on the app? That seems like the best way to get you to leave at the first sign of freedom from the tyranny of Matt Striker’s backstage interviews.
This clusterfuck of information, half assed storylines and filler thrown our way is frustrating. I shouldn’t be asking myself questions like “is there really an audience for a new ‘Zack Ryder Show?’”. Usually, there are periods of programming that make putting up with this minutae tolerable, but lately, they’ve given us less reason to be so accepting. Aside from the widely praised Shield, the segments and feuds have been leaving much to be desired, it’s easy to question the idea of putting as much material out as WWE does.
There is no hiding the fact that the more influential wrestlers in WWE are less than happy with the way things are handled and the people who are more or less pushed nowadays. To have your largest superstars using the internet to regularly mock the product is not a good look. The three hours given to Raw is more than enough time to put the more compelling aspects of the brand on display, and less emphasis on getting as many of the faces television time as possible.