A Modest Blog on Trump’s Raw

The Internet Wrestling Community is up in arms, yet again, this time over the “sale” of Raw to Donald Trump. The obvious complaints are being made everywhere- it’s nonsensical to sell only a show, Trump will barely be at shows and is at most a figurehead, it’s an unnecessary change for change’s sake that won’t last, casual fans won’t care, that this is nothing more than a desperate ratings grab, and that this can only lead to Trump and McMahon nonsense no one wants to see again. First, I don’t see how fans know all this yet, but more importantly, these reasons are utter nonsense.

First, that it’s nonsense to sell only a show. That’s fine to an extent, but the idea would be to sell a brand and make it its own entity. It’s obviously nonsense, but no more nonsensical than a lot of wrestling, where owners fought over the title to wrestling companies in ladder matches and the New World Over took over shows multiple times. It’s easy to suspend disbelief and get past this since it’s a separate brand though and more, this can only be a real positive if followed through upon. Vince and Trump hate one another, so they obviously won’t be cross promoting or having each other’s wrestlers appear on the shows. This finally gives us a stronger brand separation and should create more importance when brands interact.

Trump being barely at shows is a good thing. It makes it seem special when the owner appears again, unlike Vince who as a character reached his saturation point half a decade ago. He can name a figurehead GM, likely Flair, but far better being JBL, and then be off to the background, making people tune in and take note when he does show up, particularly if built well. Meanwhile, the fans get something akin to business as usual with the usual wrestling personality as GM- the best of both worlds… if handled well.

Of course the change was unnecessary. The status quo almost always works in wrestling, but a shake up occasionally is nice and when we go back to the usual, it can seem new again without much work. If it lasts 3-6 months, fans will be thrilled and tune in more readily to the return of “classic” Raw. The timetable on this is what truly prevents it from being the doomsday scenario many are claiming, simply because even poorly handled, Raw isn’t setting the world afire to begin with and gets a nice soft revamp here.

Casual fans might or might not care, but while this is being panned in the media, it is being covered, which is more than you can say for similar stunts like Vince’s death. Even negative publicity has its high points. Fans that tuned out years ago, or those that feel strongly about Trump might tune in for a trainwreck. They might not plan to, but flipping channels, they hit the show and remember some media coverage and are suddenly more likely to stay. With Raw a storyline heavy show anyway, they won’t be inundated with wrestling to the point they just give up, and while that might not work for the IWC (we tune in anyway), it will for the casual, curious crowd.

Yes, this is a desperate ratings grab, much like Vince dying and giving away millions. It happens yearly. At least this has story potential.

Lastly, we have the inevitable Trump – McMahon feud. I say let’s go for it. They won’t physically face off, but if they, like last time, choose their champions, we could have a major storyline- a feud between the brands, that could carry us to Wrestlemania. The natural culmination of such a feud would be a champion vs. champion unification for control of both brands at Wrestlemania, surely a big deal that would make this entire exercise a worthwhile draw.

The main fun of this will be similar to that of Adamle as GM. Trump can try new ideas, change up the format and set, book new guys and generally change anything at will. It might not make for good TV and all of it certainly won’t work, but it will also make for interesting TV with a few gems worth tuning in for. This might not be a good idea and it might fail, but unlike the crap that was on Raw recently, at least it has a chance.

That’s it for today, I know I promised a match review, but I went way long, so check back tomorrow for that and more.

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