Now that WWE RAW will be 3 Hours (booking 101)

WWE RAW is going to 3 hours, which seems to make most people groan. The USA Network wants them to go to 3 hours and the WWE probably wants to compete with NFL having 3 hour games. Oh and WWE probably wants to charge fans more for tickets. My first idea is probably the easiest, keep 2 hours of RAW, but have 1 hour of Superstars before it. 2 totally different shows, so RAW won’t spread itself so thin and for the fans that need an extra hour of wrestling, its there for them. An episode of Superstars mostly consists of 5 job matches with 1 quality match on top.

Chances are, the network said we want 3 hours of RAW, not Tough Enough, not Superstars. Word on the street is that WWE wants to have a cruiserweight division to fill up that extra hour. WWE doesn’t even have a division for theUS, IC or tag titles. WWE can use the extra hour to air preliminary matches with low end guys. Your Brodus Clays, Heath Slaters, JTGs, Usos, Santinos and Rybacks. Next week, feed them to your mid carders like Dolph Ziggler, Jack Swagger, Christian, Cody Rhodes and so on. Then the next week feed them to your top guys or your almost top guys like Alberto Del Rio, Sheamus, and so on. It is about getting their finishers over so you know what to look for in the important matches and gaining momentum so guys go into a pay-per-view with 4 wins each month. Then at pay-per-views have top guys vs top guys. Almost top guys vs almost top guys and a few mid carders vs mid carders. That way at the pay-per-views there is no clear cut answer of who will win.

Starve people of matches between main eventers (but not angles or promos). Make fans pay to see top guys against one another even if its just a tag match. Don’t show top guys against one another when you could have top guys vs top guys at house shows and draw bigger numbers when fans say I want to see that match instead of meh I just saw that match on free TV or I’ve seen them in 10+ matches over the past 3 months. Daniel Bryan vs CM Punk comes to mind. They’ve had 6+ singles matches in 3 months and at Money in the Bank that will make 7+ in 4 months.

With all of that being said, there is a risk that Smackdown and RAW attendance would go down if people knew they’d only see mid carders vs top guys. But I’d rather have 2 not sold out TV shows and 6 sold out house shows per week, instead of the other way around. Even if TV ratings somehow drop… the real focus is if people are buying your pay-per-views. UFC has a great model where a lot of fans don’t even watch UFC’s free TV, they just watch the pay-per-views because fans need to watch pay-per-views to see the major matches.

To make TV matches more interesting when you know there’s a clear cut winner because John Cena will always beat Jack Swagger. Sheamus will always beat Dolph Ziggler. Guys like Cena and Big Show don’t need to wrestle every week, because they’ve wrestled on WWE TV every week for 10+ years. The twist is you handicap the mega stars. Not as in 2 on 1 matches, but I mean add a gimmick here and there like if the lesser man is good at hardcore or submissions, make a hardcore or submission match. Play to the strength of the midcarder and the weakness of the top guy. You can also have it so there is a top guy as a guest referee or a guest commentator in the top guy vs midcarder match.

People say that wins and losses mean nothing and that’s true in a way. Wins are more of an angle and a way to gain momentum where you wonder when will the streak end? Or even when a champion outgrows a title and you think they have to lose it… will this be the night they lose it? It’s all about momentum and imagining how can this person lose when they’ve got such high momentum going into a pay-per-view match? Making someone wonder who will lose when they’ve both had 4 wins in the month building up to the pay-per-view. Making someone wonder whose finisher is better when you haven’t seen everyone take every finisher. That wonder of what will happen instead of we’ve seen what will happen 3x this month.


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