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Live WWE TV Discussion Thread

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  • tl;dr (because the post ended up being VERY long, like a standard episode of Raw)
    • Problem isn't the roster
    • change up how recaps are done
    • tighten things up a,d change the formula
    • cut down on longer matches or make the longer matches multi-participant

    I'm not arguing that the main shows needs a shake up, but I don't think it really involves the roster. You of all people know Raw for example has people sitting waiting for a shot as you're the other major Keith Lee fan here (I would say I'm with you in that category). But who else on Raw is waiting for more time? Angel Garza, R Truth, Wyatt, Priest hasn't had a match since the zombies, Jeff Hardy, Jinder and his stable, Riddick Moss, Titus O'Neil...

    And by calling all those people up, you're not leaving NXT with much.

    In the end, you and I agree Raw needs a shake up, we just disagree on execution. I think the current roster is fine as it is, but they need to reformat the show. IT might be impossible, and there are likely things I'm not aware of that need to be taken into consideration, but there are way too many recaps and rematches. Recaps are needed, especially on a 3 hour show. But I feel that can be tightened or condensed more, or done innovatively.

    I suggested in my thread about old ideas brought back, but I think it would be great if there was a news desk or station somewhere backstage where the announce team can go back to for reports. They sort of do this with really badly arranged interviews, but change it up and make it more reality related might be best. They used to cut to Michael Cole backstage by an ambulance when someone was getting taken away, for example. Or cutting to Lord Alfred Hayes in the "control center" for a report on a feud.
    Let's take RKO Bro vs New Day. I am not sick of it, and think they haven't repeated the matches at all (I prefer when they do singles matches between tag teams so you can share some action without giving away the real drawing match). But let's say instead of anything live from the 4 men next week, we cut to a backstage interviewer who shows us clips of a few of the incidents, adds in a pre recorded interview/promo (from their cars or home, or somewhere where it's not obviously at the ThunderDome arena backstage).

    This isn't major, and it won't suddenly change the game. But it does break up the formula, and allows the talent for newer ways to showcase their skills.

    I keep repeating the term "formula" when I complain about WWE. This is really where I feel that's the main issue wit hall WWE. Smackdown covers it up better with the Roman angle, and even NXT has their formulas. But Raw has it the worst.

    Here's a break down with some suggestions for improvement based on last week's show:

    I get needing a multiple segment match every week, maybe more than one. But as we've seen from all the rematches, there's a reduction in their effect. So they need to shake things up a bit. Last week they had the battle royal for the tag title shot. That was really smart, as it pushed a new challenger, told the story of RKOBro vs New Day, got Lince and Morrison in the mix in a rather logical way. This match went through a commercial, got a lot of people involved, and was generally fun. The match itself wasn't great, somewhat sloppy ending, but these things happen. Story wise, it was good TV.

    The problem was AJ's mic work. He's not bad, but it wasn't great, and felt cheesy more than anything. Had this been pretaped and kept shorter, it would have moved more fluidly. Instead of them surprising everyone with their promo while the wrestlers were standing around in the ring looking stupid, have the announcers show Omos and AJ ringside in their seats, cut to their pre-recorded promo explaining why they wanted to be there, and cut into all the teams. They could have had Sarah Schreiber list off the teams and let AJ respond to his thoughts about them. Instead it was a meandering promo that felt unfocused and too tightly scripted.

    In fact, the promo wasn't really all that necessary, because the segment where Omos had the last turkey leg was enough. No need for the champs to be ringside at all. Have the match, then when the Vikings were about to celebrate, have the champs interrupt as they did. Cuts down on time.

    Now a big issue here is that Raw is 3 hours, so there's lots of time to fill. I get that, but too many segments feel obviously extended to fill time. So instead of overkill with segments going long or happening too often, incorporate more angles and roster members.

    Next was the Elias guitar segment which gets interrupted by Ryker, then cuts to commercial. Then the match takes place, ends in count out and doesn't go too long. Perfect. We can debate Ryker's talents or whatever later, but in terms of producing a TV show, this was good. No matter how much some IWC/AEW fans complain about WWE's use of count outs and DQ endings, they exist for a reason and can be used intelligently. It might get overdone, but I don't think the solution is to not have ay. So this is a good example, as it told the story of Elias wanting out of the match, puts Ryker over as a threat, and keeps the feud going. It's very standard wrestling booking, but it works when done well. This was good.

    Then they recap Drew vs Kofi from the week before. Way too long. These 2-4 minute recaps should be used to hype a PPV match, not a contract signing segment.

    As for the contract signing, it was fine, but nothing special. Drew promoing without Bobby in front of him feels dumb. The story and content wasn't bad, and Drew's delivery was good. But this feud is long in the tooth, so dragging this on for such a long time really doesn't help. This felt longer than it needed purely to fill in time. That's never good. Bobby not showing up made no sense really, though MVP worked the mic much better overall. Heels can carry long promos better because the content can be more varied. All a face promo can be about is "overcoming the odds" to varying directions. The sword part was good, but out of nowhere.

    Nikki's interview was ok, but also felt longer than it needed to be. Her accent is adorable, but I can see it being a ratings nightmare. So don't give extra lines to her just to do something. Have her intro Asuka, let them do their "nobody is ready for" stuff, and cut.

    Sheamus at the booth was smart. He's a very good talker, and seems comfortable on the fly, which lends itself to live commentary. The match leading to the count out ending wasn't great. Not only was there already a count out in the match before this one (though a couple of segments away), but it didn't really feel genuine. We've seen Ricochet be really resilient and recover from much worse. I also get that Sheamus likely couldn't have been physical with his nose broke. I also feel this match needed to be booked in a way to extend the feud because they can't predict when Sheamus will be cleared again. This isn't 1995 when Undertaker could put on a nose covering mask and keep working. Safety protocols are heightened. But in the end, this is a match where a time limit would have been a better option. I know they don't exist in WWE, but AEW has shown that you can add a time limit and make it work, and work around it for 99% of your matches. But with that not being a possibility, they would have needed a bigger stunt to count them out, or do DQ instead. Somehow have Sheamus talk them into swinging chairs at each other.

    MVP/Kofi segment was pure gold. I'm not sure where it's going, but I loved everything about it. Maybe it was too long, but no matter what I was hooked and interested in where it might go.

    Kofi vs Riddle later tonight. I don't mind wrestlers having multiple matches in one night, but usually they make sense of it. Either a singles gets stopped early so turns into a tag. Or we get what they did on SD where Usos got screwed so asked for a rematch later that night. This double booking didn't really make sense.

    Mansoor/Ali segment was well done. Kept short, good work by both men, and worked into the eventual match Mansoor had later that night.

    Hardy's promo was ok. His scripted lines never work on me, but maybe he does talk that way. But the story he was telling about veterans vs rookies was good, and ended up helping the match vs Alexander.

    Charlotte/Rhea segment was dumb, but I guess this is one of those WWE staples that I just have to accept. Nobody looks good when they bicker like this, on who should be the leader. I feel ike Rhea, being the face or tweener or whatever she is this week, would have been better off giving a sarcastic thumbs up to Charlotte when the Queen said Rhea should follow her lead. Not literally, but instead of talking back, just blow off the immature Charlotte somehow while letting the fans know Rhea is not being pushed around.

    As for the match, it was fine. I don't mind Rhea losing to Cross, as it was Flair's finisher that ended it. But by this point of the show, my attention is wearing thin. It just feels like a wouldn't have connected without something special or major about it. Maybe save a match with some stakes for this part of the show, or make this a 6-8 woman tag somehow so that there can be more action and less "paint-by-numbers".

    Mansoor vs Gulak was fine, but late in the show to be able to pull off this sort of unknown quick matches. I feel most people start zoning out by this point, but the other side of it is that if it were earlier in the show it could have caused more people tuning out at that time. So I'm not sure what the best answer is. But as much as I like Ali being in Mansoor's ear and using Gulak more often, overall this didn't really have any impact on me as a viewer.

    Riddle and Randy segments are gold to me, but I can see how it can bother others. So I Can't say what the right answer is here. But for my tastes, this worked well to lead into the Kofi vs Riddle match. I might have saved this for next week after we already saw them involved in the Battle Royal and I think another segment (did I miss that?), but as it's own part of this show it was very good. Best match of the show, good story advancement, and entertaining (to me) segment to set it up.

    Then we had Alexa/Shayna stuff. I won't go into all the details, but this was overall a disappointment. Some potential, but these playground segments should be filmed away from the ring. I can't say where everyone's line is, but I feel like once people are in the ring, athletes should focus on being athletes. It's the same reason I feel the setups for talk shows like Ding Dong Hello reduce their effectiveness. This the giant entrance stage and ramp, that feels like a much better place to let these things happen, especially if there are no bumps to take. Relating SD into this talk quickly, it would have been harder for Cesaro to beatdown Rollins on the stage in a safe way, but you can have the action go down to the ring, or go backstage where there can be a safer area to work. It's not that the stage shouldn't have any action, as we've seen from several brawls going through the tron setup. But it should be avoided so that the impact of someone going through the tron stands out more.
    But in the case of Alexa's Playground, this falls flat for lots of reasons, pushes the limits of reality too far, and opens the door for the obvious critiques. This might have been something the standard WWE director is not ready for. I'm not getting into bashing Kevin Dunn as a person because I don't know what he actually has say in. But this segment was mostly failed by the poor directing. Shayna walking aimlessly backstage could have been done so much better.

    Would that have fixed the segment? Probably not, but it wouldn't have been as bad.


    • Originally posted by PEN15v2
      Let's take RKO Bro vs New Day. I am not sick of it, and think they haven't repeated the matches at all (I prefer when they do singles matches between tag teams so you can share some action without giving away the real drawing match). But let's say instead of anything live from the 4 men next week, we cut to a backstage interviewer who shows us clips of a few of the incidents, adds in a pre recorded interview/promo (from their cars or home, or somewhere where it's not obviously at the ThunderDome arena backstage).
      You know what would make that huuuuge when they're back on the road? The fact that doing it means that Orton/Riddle/Kofi/Woods/whoever's turn is is this week gets a week off TV and an extra night at home.

      For guys who haven't travelled regularly in almost two years, I'm sure that would be welcome. And you probably wouldn't notice that AJ Styles and Olmos weren't there this week because they still had a 90-second pretape from home and a recap of their angle on the show.
      My latest (and hopefully last) Covid-Era show


      • In theory, that would be great. BUT, I'm sure they aren't able to plan this stuff enough to record on an earlier date and leave them at home for that day. Especially since I'm sure there will be dark matches where the guys who "had the week off" end up competing.


        • See, that's where you have to arrange that a talent is off this week and won't be at TV, which they do, and that talent needs to not be a dick about it and answer their phone to send in the requested promo, even if it's coming at like 4 pm on Monday and they need it in five minutes.

          It only takes one to ruin a good thing. Like that time AJ couldn't stop spilling company secrets on Twitch so they killed the entire concept.

          My latest (and hopefully last) Covid-Era show


          • Tonight Charlotte taught me I would like more women in full bodysuits.


            • I'm not going to pretend that I ever sit down and watch Raw from start to finish - I haven't done that in years, mostly because I just don't have the time to give to it - but it strikes me that one of the main issues they actually have on Raw now is that they're trying to sell it as a big show every week.

              Happy to be told I'm completely wrong on that front, like I said I don't watch it from start to finish. But the stuff that interests me more isn't watching Rhea vs Asuka in singles action for the fourth time in two months while they sell it as a major WrestleMania rematch, especially as the story is Rhea vs Charlotte and what happened after the match, but things like RK-Bro where the story is developing a bit more slowly over time and allowing a little time to breathe.

              I don't know, I feel like some aspects of Raw they let have a little bit of time to grow reasonably organically, and other bits of it are put together by someone who's still in 'Monday Night War' mode trying to attract viewers. But a quick scan suggests that Raw is holding a relatively steady viewership of 1.5 to 1.9 million and hasn't shifted positively or negatively out of that range for a fair while, possibly since last Mania season. And if you want to be really cold about it, this is during a year where a lot of people have had their 'normal' lives turned upside down and are arguably more free to sit down and devote three hours to watching Raw on a Monday night - it's not like there's a glut of people out there who on a Monday night are out somewhere thinking 'it sure is a shame I've got this regular club on a Monday and have to DVR Raw' who have now started to watch because that club isn't on or whatever.

              And I think this all goes back to Pen's bullet points at the top of this page - change the structure/formula. Why do a long Rhea vs Asuka match, with a clear winner, when the actual pay off/focus is the Rhea/Charlotte brawl afterwards? Why do Drew vs AJ as a lead in to the six man tag match?

              I know that Raw has three hours 'to fill' or whatever, but it does feel like there are some real ways they could use that time much more effectively.


              • I fell asleep last night, but I read and saw the highlights that Piper Niven made her RAW debut with Eva Marie. There has to be some percentage of the American Audience, regardless of how small, that knows who she is, but the RAW commentators were acting like they have no idea to who she is.


                When Toni Storm, Rhea Ripley, Pete Dunne, Jordan Devlin, Grizzled Young Veterans, Walter and Imperium, (and some more people, but I cannot remember who) all came from NXTUK into NXT they were all touted for their NXTUK accomplishments, but now Piper Niven is being billed like she is from out of the blue, and has not been competing for NXTUK.

                I do not get it.

                With reports that the WWE might potentially change her WWE name of Piper Niven, and hide the fact that she was in NXTUK. WHY? It's not like she is coming from another company.


                Umm..the potential names for Piper are now: “Dew Drop” or “Doudrop". Give me a f'n break. Taking yet another wrestler and giving them a terrible gimmick.
                Last edited by Powder; 06-15-2021, 09:17 AM.


                • Because the main roster, and people behind the main roster, are isolated from NXT UK in a way that NXT is not. NXT and NXT UK are obviously under the same banner. NXT UK is even more distant from Raw than NXT is.

                  Also, Niven has no tangible achievements in NXT UK. She hasn't been NXT UK Women's Champion. What else is there to say? 'That's Piper Niven from NXT UK! She's good...but not as good as some other people on the brand' isn't exactly a great introduction, is it. Everyone you're referencing there at least has a tangible accolade in NXT UK to reference (I think?) but Niven doesn't.


                  • I think the main issue with not recognising Piper Niven is that they recognised WALTER when he appeared at Survivor Series '19. And they recognised Pete Dunne, Tyler Bate, Kay Lee Ray etc when they've appeared. If they never acknowledged or recognised anyone from NXT UK then that's fine and at least acceptable/understandable. But when it's just random like it is it's a bit stupid, and kind of makes you wonder why you bothered watching them if everything they've done is going to be ignored.


                    • Every one of those people has been NXTUK Champion at some point.

                      Don't be silly people. They have been doing this for literal years. They would do this when they had people from fucking WCW come in that they wanted to give a new name or gimmick to.

                      I watch the WWE product and barely know who Piper Niven is, other than her not winning the MYC. NXTUK is not highly seen, even amongst WWE fans. It's like Oliver said, it's one thing to say "this person is the former Champion of the WWE's UK division", and another to say "here is this person who wrestled for us in the UK. She didn't accomplish much."

                      One is a new and exciting person who only a fraction of your American audience (the people they're programming to) has seen, with unlimited potential who just squashed former Champion Naomi. The other is someone you've had under contract for a while that has otherwise not accomplished anything.

                      Remember folks, WWE does not, nor has it ever, program for the "smart fan" who absorbs every last bit of wrestling media possible and knows every name of every person. To 80+% of the audience, Piper Niven probably is a total unknown.
                      My latest (and hopefully last) Covid-Era show


                      • I’ll give you that…

                        now explain, Dew Drop


                        • The simple answer is : they chose to reinvent her. We'll see where it goes.

                          As for the name, until I hear it on tv, I don't care.


                          • I mean, I think it's safe to say they were never going to call her "Piper". (Note to upcoming wrestlers: there are some names to avoid, including Piper, Hogan, Flair, Savage.)

                            First name Dew, last name Drop is pretty silly. But Doudrop as a last name....maybe? Kimberly Doudrop? It's no Dolph Ziggler or Justin Credible, but it'll get a job done I guess. That's also literally just a name that SRS says was "pitched". How many names get pitched for every wrestler? Is that the one they're running with, or did some stooge send SRS an incredulous text because of something stupid that someone said at the creative meeting?
                            My latest (and hopefully last) Covid-Era show


                            • All names sound stupid until they actually become something. Would you have bet on Steve Austin, a completely generic name, would have become a star if someone had just told you they debuted? Dew Drop/Doudrop isn't great - arguably too much the other way from Steve Austin - but give it a couple of weeks and it'll be a complete afterthought.


                              • However, Steve Austin, while generic, is a name that I could see being a top face or the face of a company. Same for Jim Duggan, Ted Dibiasi, Scott Hall, Jim Neidhart. All simple generic names that never were top guys, but names that, while they are their given names are not dumb sounding.

                                Can any of you really see the WWE building the Women's division to where the top face of the division is named Dew Drop? Or (Insert generic first name here) Doudrop? No way.

                                Give the character a new name. But give her something that can be marketed.
                                Last edited by Powder; 06-16-2021, 08:15 AM.