Saturday, August 18, 2012

Smackin' It Raw: Seven ways to make a three hour Monday Night Raw work

Every Since Monday Night Raw went three hours it has at times during each show feel like a chore to watch. Making something you love feel like a chore is the quickest way to turn people away but it doesn't have to be that way WWE Raw could work at three hours and be entertaining from start to finish. Here I present to you seven ways in which a three hour Raw can work and while we are at it improve WWE as a whole:

Unify the WWE & World titles:

The two world titles was a great idea when the brand split first happened and the wrestlers on Raw and Smackdown never crossed over to the other shows. That time is long over now though. Somehow there is still a brand split but its only in the loosest of ways with Raw and Smackdown wrestlers showing up on whatever show they want. Hell earlier this year Raw became “Raw Supershow” officially allowing Smackdown wrestlers to show up on Raw whenever they want. The brand split still held where Raw wrestlers stuck to Raw, that is unless there was a storyline reason. But lets face any wrestler can go on either show they want so the point of a two world titles is dead. That said I think they should hold off on a unification match until Wrestlemania this year to give it more of a big match feel but its time for the Undisputed WWE Championship to make a return. That said I never liked it when they called the title that, call it what they did before WWE bought WCW and call it “The WWE World Championship” as a bonus that all incorporates both titles name into one. The worst part about it would be that odds are that the beautiful looking World Title will disappear.

Unify the Intercontinental and US titles:

Same story with the world titles, there is no need for two secondary titles so these two need to be unified as well. Alone these titles have no prestige anymore but if you unify them you can make a big deal out of it and make the title feel special again, have former World and WWE champions compete for it while still using it to elevate the younger talent. I wouldn't wait to unify these titles until Wrestlemania though for this one the sooner the better. Since the IC title has a much greater history in WWE thats the title that should stay.

Make the tag team division relevant again:

Every week we hear on TV how the tag division is fiercely competitive. They must think we are all idiots. That division hasn't been important since the early 2000's when you had a deep tag division with Edge & Christian, The Hardy Boyz, The Dudley Boyz, Too Cool, The APA, The New Age Outlaws and more. Back then we had real tag teams but the last half a dozen or more years our tag teams are more of the two wrestlers slapped together type. Rarely have they had tag team names and their attire didn't match, those things might not seem all that important but it is. It shows better unity between the two wrestlers making them feel more like a team. All that said things are not really as bad right now as they have been in recent years, it looks like the tag division is on a upswing again even if it is going very slowly. For the first time in years we have more then two tag teams that don't feel like two guys slapped together. Curt Hawkins & Tyler Reks feel the most slapped together and they were but they are slowing making it work for them and months ago even took the step to get the matching attires. Primo & Epico, The Uso's, and The Prime Time Players all feel like real tag teams. Oddly enough the Tag Champions Kofi Kingston & R-Truth are the team that feels like and are the most slapped together of the teams in WWE right now. I'd say get the titles off of those two let them go back to single action and give the titles to one of the teams mentioned above. After that bring in more teams and really build up that division and make it feel special again.

Give the divas more time:

The divas division is nothing more then a joke for two reasons. First off most of the girls have no business in a wrestling ring with minimum training at best. The second and in my opinion bigger reason is the lack of time given to the diva matches. Why would anyone care about the Divas title if the matches get less then two minutes of TV time each week and if your lucky five minutes on a pay per view. WWE needs to break out of that trend and look to their past on how to make a good Divas division again. Before Trish Stratus and Lita called it quits the Divas matches were just as long as any other match. With Raw at three hours now there is no reason you can't give these girls 10 minutes out of your three hour long show. You can make people care about the divas again taking the girls who can't wrestle well such as Kelly Kelly and Alicia Fox follow the example of Rosa Mendes and other Divas who have taken a strictly managerial position. Granted both women have shown a lot of improvement which is all well and good but keep the title away from them until they are actually good enough to carry it. Instead leave the wrestling to the likes of Beth Phoenix, Tamina Snuka, Natayla and to a lesser extent Eve and current champion Layla who have both shown they can actually be decent if given the time to wrestle and improve. While we are at it Hire back Kharma who was fired for no reason and bring in Sara Del Ray who I heard was recently hired. Del Ray, Phoenix, Natayla, Kharma and Snuka have it in them to make the Divas division feel like its worthy of more then just the time to use the bathroom or in my case take the dogs out to use the bathroom.

Bring back the Crusierweight title:

With a world title and a secondary title gone the titles instantly feel more special because there are less of them. That said I think there would still be a place for a Crusierweight title to make a come back. The reason this title could make a comeback is because it would be different from the other titles that anyone could compete for. With this one there is a weight limit that would keep the heavyweights from competing for it. Traditionally the weight limit for these titles have been 220-225 lbs I suggest we lower the weight limit to 210-215 lbs instead since more and more of the world title contenders these days are closer to 220-225 already. Bring in a few high flyers and make this division the spectacle that it should be which is the problem WWE has always had with this title. Don't let it become a joke again with divas or Hornswoggle as champion. Make it serious. Reintroduce it in a eight man tournament. On the current roster that tournament could consist of of Sin Cara, Tyson Kidd, Evan Bourne, Hunico, Justin Gabriel, Yoshi Tatsu and to really give it a rub Rey Mysterio and Daniel Bryan who weighs in at only 210 lbs himself. To have two former world champions competing for the title and praising it up will make it feel important right away. During the tournament give each match a bare minimum of 10 minutes with the tournament final having at least 20. It shouldn't have 20 minutes each week but 10 minutes to the crusierweight champion while having another crusierweight match on the show would make the division feel important right away.

More time for matches and less time for backstage skits and bad comedy:

With three hours every week there is no reason why the matches we are getting right now on the show are as long as they were when there was only two hours. This isn't a race anymore its a marathon. There should be at least two matches that are long enough for two segments on the show. That's two matches that have commercial breaks during them. Longer matches usually mean better matches and better matches mean more people caring about the product. It seems like Raw went three hours it seems like the amount of matches and match times are the same and the only thing that has increased is the amount of backstage skits and comedy. We don't want or need that we want and need more wrestling. I hate to take a term from TNA but WWE needs to make wrestling matter again.

Work on getting the younger talent over:

One of the main reason for the brand split all those years ago was to be able to give TV time to the younger wrestlers who would of been overshadowed by all of the established wrestlers that were already on the roster and found their way there after WCW was bought up. That's not the case anymore and if anything WWE needs more main event stars what better way of doing that then by giving the younger guys a chance to shine. Give them more time on TV both in matches and by cutting short promos before the matches. This method has always worked to get younger guys over for a reason. Also while your getting a younger guy over don't bring in a main eventer and have them destroy that person every week. Zack Ryder looked like he was going places late last year until Kane kicked the shit out of him every week on TV and made to look like a loser every chance they got earlier this year. If you want to have a main evener beat a younger guy that's fine but have it be a competitive match where the main eventer wins. That way even in a loss the younger guy seems like he belongs and that he could be a main eventer as well.

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