WWE’s announcement of Raw Legends Week set for January 4 is yet another attempt to bump the ratings that will not have a long term effect.
As the television ratings for WWE Monday Night Raw continue to decline, the push for what fans wanted to see was clear: entertaining content with new faces that does not insult the intelligence or feel like a waste of time. The big question was whether Vince McMahon and the company would make any changes to improve the weekly show. Heading into last night’s edition of Monday Night Raw, interest was pointed toward how the WWE would respond. Then it hit. The promo of Raw Legends Night. In classic McMahon fashion, the WWE turns to names of yesterday in a panic effort to get viewers to watch the performers of today. This is not the answer, and nothing will change.
Set for January 4, Raw Legends Night is set to include Hulk Hogan, Ric Flair, Torrie Wilson, and other yet to be named individuals. The promo revealed on Raw even included the rarely seen Carlito as a returning figure. There is no way to skirt around the issue, but this is a terrible idea for several reasons.
First, forget about the booking and the laziness of the general idea, the world is in the middle of a COVID-19 pandemic. WWE struggled to mismanage the issue multiple times throughout the situation, leading to outbreaks and general anger toward the company for its lack of protocols. Bringing in names like Flair and Hogan, who are within the ages of the highest-risk groups, is an unneeded risk to pop a rating. Sure, expect some of these appearances to be virtually, but again – does that create any type of excitement that will get fans to tune in week after week? Bet on the answer being “no.”
Second, does Raw Legends Night solve the issue that plagues WWE creative every week? No. This will not fix the lackadaisical booking that mares much of the women’s division – even as it continues to show it has a loaded roster of ladies willing to perform. This will not fix the disdain toward tag team wrestling where teams are haphazardly thrown together, beat, then broken up weeks later. 50/50 booking, badly-written promos, and rushed ideas are all other issues that will not be fixed by putting legends on television in any compacity, for one night or an extended run.
Nothing about the decline in ratings for Monday Night Raw should be surprising. The promotion continues to put forth content that insults the intelligence of viewers and makes it difficult to enjoy – regardless of how much a wrestling fan one may be. Now, the USA Network is pushing for change – the individuals who write the checks cashed by the WWE. One would think that is enough to ferry real change, but if Raw Legends Night is the course things will continue to remain in a state of dreadful stagnation.