WWE PRESS RELEASE:
WWE MONDAY NIGHT RAW EXPANDS TO THREE ELECTRIFYING HOURS LAUNCHING WITH THE 1,000th EPISODE, JULY 23 ON USA NETWORK
@JohnCena Tweets Historic Announcement From USA Upfront Presentation
NEW YORK – May 17, 2012 – WWE Superstar John Cena announced via Twitter today that WWE Monday Night Raw will expand to a three-hour event 52 weeks a year. The extended telecast will kick-off July 23 at 8/7C on USA Network and marks the 1,000th episode of the WWE Raw franchise and a television record – no other series has ever reached this milestone. The announcement was tweeted today by Cena (the No. 1 most influential male athlete on Twitter last month) during USA’s upfront presentation in New York City. The move firmly put WWE’s stake in the ground as one of the most powerful social brands in the world and an integral part of USA Network’s social media initiative.
“The WWE Universe is one of the most socially active and passionate fan bases in all of television,” said Chris McCumber and Jeff Wachtel, co-presidents USA Network. “The powerful three-hour block of live TV truly makes USA the year-round destination for young male viewers on Monday nights.”
“WWE is proud to celebrate this historic milestone with our partners at USA Network,” said WWE Chairman and CEO Vince McMahon. “Our new three-hour Raw represents the next generation in interactive television where our fans won’t just watch the show, they will help create it.”
The expanded WWE Monday Night Raw will transform television to an unprecedented level of viewer interaction. Fans will have new ways to get involved in the show through WWE.com and social media by deciding matches, stipulations and new character development. WWE will brand this unprecedented fan interaction as “#RAWactive.”
I honestly can’t stress enough what a horrible idea this is. If this were the height of the Monday Night Wars with 7.0+ ratings and such I would still think it’s a bad idea. All the more so now. It’s called oversaturation and overkill. All the more so now.
Let’s face it: Even the most ridiculous WWE mark on the planet would have to admit to me at this point that WWE has a difficult time putting on a consistently good show for two hours, even with tons of commercials to pad it out, let alone three. I can’t remember the last time I saw a good 3 hour RAW special.
WWE has been an oversaturated product for years. How much pro wrestling is enough, folks? Especially mediocre wrestling with barely soap opera caliber booking and writing most of the time. This is a general phenomenon that has been worsening as the years have gone by since that rueful day that Vince made the decision to take the company public.
How many people really are interested in watching ANY television show for three hours EVERY week and losing an entire evening to it? WWE is most certainly not the best TV show out there by a mile so we lose ground quickly here on basic sanity and common sense.
I’m also aware of the fact that USA Network themselves were pushing this idea. I think that’s extraordinary in as bad a way as possible.
USA Network has some good shows they put on and I’m mildly surprised they want to forfeit all of Monday prime time only to WWE wrestling. How about something like Burn Notice or some cool show like that coming on before RAW?
I guess their suits figured they’d just go ahead and dedicate the whole night to wrestling. I guess they haven’t noticed the ever declining ratings for WWE post WrestleMania nor did they notice how inconsistent the ratings were even during the all hyped Road to Wrestlemania time period, just to cite recent history.
I predict this decision will backfire and will be overturned in no more than a year’s time from its implementation.
I sincerely hope maybe the poor fools that are stuck with WWE stock make some noise over this. How’s that stock been performing lately? Enough said. This is not going to make that stock perform better, either. I’ve got news for you.
I can’t believe I’m the only person that thinks this is a wretched idea although I really don’t care if I am.
Ideally, I wish pro wrestling was handled more like real sports where you had an on season and off season. Regardless of “scripted” or not can anyone really deny the kinds of physical challenges these people live through on a daily basis? I’d stack them up against any “real sport” athletes out there any time, any where, any place.
WWE is the biggest offender on running the nearly year ’round meat grinder. This is an area where I have to give TNA Impact Wrestling major kudos. They run a humane schedule. This could indirectly benefit TNA if more wrestlers become interested in not ending up like Edge or worse.
Mr. McMahon, this is greedy, stupid, and needless. Too much meat grinder. Not enough weighty substance behind it to mandate it.
Please reconsider this decision. Sometimes the adage “less is more” is true. This is one of those times.
My two cents.