As wrestling fans, we love to pick sides. We cheer for the wrestlers we like and boo the ones we don’t. We all have our favorite wrestlers of all time, and even have the promotions we enjoy and don’t enjoy.
But when it comes to the WWE, we the fans have kind of been forced to choose a brand to be loyal to. Sure, you can still watch both shows that WWE airs weekly, but we all have the show we’re more excited for each week, and since the brand split, the show most fans are more excited for is usually SmackDown Live.
Let’s face it, ever since the brand split, RAW has just progressively gotten worse and worse. Even to the point where some fans have stopped watching WWE’s Flagship Show. With 2017 being a new year, WWE definitely must do a lot of things if they want people to stop putting all their attention on to Smackdown.
Now, there are some things WWE can do, but probably won’t. One thing they could do is move a certain list of Superstars from Team Blue to Team Red. Whether you like it or not, Smackdown did come away with a better roster than RAW after the brand split. I mean look at the names on Smackdown. You have Dean Ambrose, Bray Wyatt, AJ Styles, The Miz, and even Women Superstars such as Alexa Bliss, Becky Lynch, Nikki Bella, Carmella. The list goes on and on. Where as on RAW, you’re kind of stuck with Roman Reigns and Charlotte, regardless of who holds any other Championships. So unless you’re an avid fan of Reigns or Charlotte, you’re kind of out of luck.
Aside from being outmatched in terms of talent, RAW is three hours long every week, which is the length of any Pay Per View that isn’t Royal Rumble, Wrestlemania, Summerslam, or Survivor Series. It’s like having to watch a Pay Per View every Monday Night. Now, we can all pretty much agree, if RAW were to shorten its airing time, a lot of Superstars wouldn’t get screen time. However, look at what Smackdown has done with just two hours each week. What RAW needs to do is use Smackdown’s weekly shows and use that as a template for what they need to do with their stars because, even with the addition of the Cruiserweight Division, RAW is still three hours of mostly commercials.
Another thing WWE needs to do to improve their flagship program is something that Smackdown is also guilty of. RAW needs a new commentary team. Sorry, but the combination of Michael Cole, who most fans can’t stand anyway because he sucks at his job, Corey Graves, who is okay at calling matches but still has to do commentary for NXT, and Byron Saxton, who may even be worse than Michael Cole at Commentary, just doesn’t work. Now, with that said, Smackdown isn’t innocent of having a perfect commentary team either. While they’re certainly better than RAW, Smackdown has David Otunga on the broadcast team, who may be worse than Michael Cole and Byron Saxton combined. Otunga constantly sucks up to any Superstar that’s face and will pretty much have the most pathetic excuses as to why he doesn’t do the same to the heel superstars. As an added bonus, Otunga’s reasons often don’t even make sense. With that said, at least Smackdown has Mauro Ronaldo and Tom Phillips with JBL who does a solid job at making good points about certain superstars and their in ring ability. However, as bad as Smackdown Commentary can be with David Otunga on it, RAW has a team of two guys who don’t belong on WWE programming ever, and a guy that has to call matches for both RAW and NXT.
Another thing, RAW needs to stop focusing their main story lines on Part Timers. This of course is directed right at Brock Lesnar and Goldberg. Granted Smackdown has John Cena showing up and basically repeating what happened in 2011 between CM Punk and The Rock, with Styles taking on the role of CM Punk and Cena the role of The Rock, but RAW focuses more on their part timers than on their champions most of the time.
Speaking of champions, the final thing RAW needs to do something about the Universal Championship. There isn’t a single fan of WWE who actually believes that the Universal Title is prestigious in any way. Just look back at Summerslam when it was unveiled with fans chanting, “You’re belt sucks!” during a match between Seth Rollins and Finn Balor.
As much as RAW is still believed to be the flagship program of the WWE, it has also become a show that most fans don’t really even want to catch on a weekly basis anymore. Only time will tell if WWE can improve what has happened to RAW, but without some major adjustments, RAW will likely never be as entertaining to watch as it used to be before the brand split.