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WWE RAW officially goes to permanent 3 hour format beginning July 23 8/7 C on USA



@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 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.

3 Comments on WWE RAW officially goes to permanent 3 hour format beginning July 23 8/7 C on USA

  1. I could be in favor of it. I mean it’s not a bad thing just because. It was bad when WCW did it with Nitro, and it’ll be bad now given WWE’s track record.

    It should be used to give guys who don’t get TV time now some time to shine. It should be used to try new things, let guys like Tyler Reks and Curt Hawkins try out stuff that they come up with. It should be used to introduce new stars and showcase some NXT talent.

    It shouldn’t be used to give more time to Johnny Ace and John Cena, or anyone else WWE insist on pushing way too much during the course of a typical Monday Night RAW.

    However we all know WWE will squander a good opportunity to build new stars, so it’ll end up be worthless and hard to watch. Should just give that hour to the new NXT that actually sounds like it deserves to be on TV and will be a quality wrestling show.


    • You answered your own post with that last paragraph. I could cite for you a number of prominent, horrible booking decisions that have happened in just this last year alone although I think I’d be preaching to the choir. Adding an hour every week to this show isn’t going to suddenly make this same creative team book and write great stuff out of nowhere. If only it were that simple.

      I think you have the right idea. If the USA suits want Monday night to be WWE wrestling night, fine. I, too, would put NXT at that first hour. You’re right. That really could be the best “wrestling” TV show of the entire week especially if the reports about Vince basically staying away from it are true.


  2. Quick follow up from –

    Backstage reaction is dread and concern by and large and purportedly a number of them believe as I do here that this will be a short lived experiment one way or the other. They think it will be back to two hours before the year is out and that wouldn’t surprise me at all. I was being more generous with my “inside of a year” prediction.

    They certainly should be concerned. It’s a terrible idea that should be stopped before it even starts.


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