No Chance – When I Don’t Want to Watch Raw

It’s been a while hasn’t it? Those of you who frequent this site may have very well notice that I haven’t been writing weekly articles lately. Now I won’t bore you with tales of why I haven’t been able to write lately. But you’re here for snarky wrestling commentary not my life story. And obviously I have been keeping up with wrestling as I still do Classy Ring Attire on a weekly basis (a totally awesome podcast that you should be listening to every week.) But this past week was a bit different. Due to, again, personal circumstances I wasn’t going to be able to be on Classy Ring Attire that week. My spot was covered and the podcast was recorded as planned, but for the first time in a long time, the only reason that I had to watch Raw, was because I wanted to watch Raw. And that brought up a question that I hadn’t had to ask myself in a very long time. Do I want to watch Raw?

The short answer was honestly, no. I didn’t have a reason to watch Raw. I wasn’t going to be able to watch it live, so any fun twitter live reactions would be lost. And to add to it, the episode was a go home episode for Payback. And even though I was looking forward to the PPV, the card was more or less all set up. There was no way that I was going to be missing any real plot development. The go home show is, as we all know, just an advertisement for the PPV and it was a PPV that now, thanks to the network, I had already bought.

So I did end up watching Raw. I did it in that DVR way where the three-hour show ends up being just over one hour.  But a big part of it was that I’d seen every episode of Raw for several years now and didn’t want to break my streak. Watching Raw out of habit is a dangerous thing, and something that the WWE needs to be aware of.

In 2011 I was watching Raw on a weekly basis with a group of 6-8 people. Today I watch with 2-3 or sometimes just by myself. And that isn’t a surprise nor does it in and of it self, say anything about the product. Life happens and what was at one point in your life a weekly thing eventually becomes just getting together to watch WrestleMania once a year with old friends. But here’s the thing, it’s a lot harder to groom a weekly viewer than it is to lose one. I’ve seen people get attached to a particular wrestler or storyline only to fade away when that storyline ends or that wrestler isn’t pushed as aggressively. I myself remember a time back in 2010 thinking “Raw’s been getting boring lately maybe I’ll take a break for a while.” And if that episode hadn’t ended with the very first Nexus invasion, I may have taken that break.

It sounds like the point I’m trying to say is Raw should try not to have bad episodes, and while that is something I think we all can agree on, that’s not something that is necessarily attainable, and that’s not something that needs a whole article to talk about it. The problem wasn’t that Raw was bad, but rather I had no reason to see that episode. Nothing about that episode was “Oh boy, need to be sure to tune in for this thing!” Raw wasn’t bad it just wasn’t interesting, and that’s really something that shouldn’t be happening.

Every Raw, every single episode of Raw, should have a reason for me to tune in. And I’m not saying that every Raw needs to have a thing that caters directly to my personal interests, but every episode needs to have a thing where at least some portion of the audience should be looking forward to it, even if it’s a Cena match. The only thing the go home show for Payback had was the announcement about the announcement about the announcement about Daniel Bryan’s title. And that was wearing thin long before that point. Right now even Smackdown is ahead of Raw on the “You should watch Smackdown because of reasons” front but that’s only because Smackdown matches and debuts are announced on Raw. It is far too rare for me to have any idea about what’s going to be on Raw when I tune in. I want to tune into Raw next week to see the Seth Rollins fallout. I wanted to tune in this week to see the Payback fallout. But what did I want to tune in last week? Habit? Habits are easy to break. And in this case an “I don’t want to see that” beats an “I don’t know what I’m going to see” because it’s far too easy to catch up later with later never really coming.

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