Remember when escape rooms were a big thing?
You'll have been to one, or at least probably had mates prattle on about one of them, but for the unaware or otherwise uninterested, they had their own boom period in the mid-2010s as the group activity du jour. The idea was to gather together with friends, loved ones or complete strangers and try to crack a few codes in order to get out of a room.
For those that entered into the spirt of things, the concept had tension, drama and stakes. Time limits expiring could you leave you locked in forever! One wrong move and you could end up back at the start! Those people over there are constant-eye-contact folk and you're running out of places to look when you talk to them!
It was all to play for.
The novelty eventually began to wear off shortly before our own houses became the settings, the ramifications were frighteningly real, and there was no collection of clues on how get out beyond daily doom-scrolling. In a (sort of) post-pandemic world, surely only oddballs will relish the prospect of going to one of these again? Surely all the manufactured angst can't compete with 2020/21's real deal? Surely being inside a room with people you've never met is a total waste of hours that have never felt so precious?
But then who are we to talk? We still watch three hours of Monday Night Raw every week, and that broke our brains long before the first lockdown...
10. Because It Can't Be
Seems prudent to do this one first, because it's the thing WWE rely on most from an audience that is ageing and diminishing (in number, not capacity).
WWE Monday Night Raw can never be the Monday Night Raw you first fell in love with, unless the Monday Night Raw you first fell in love with was from July 2021 and you're still all wonderfully, wonderfully new to this.
Your writer is as guilty as anybody else at this. Tuning in once a week, hoping that World Wrestling Entertainment might attempt to provide entertainment with a wrestling show broadcast for fans all over the world. But the show is not the thing they still say it is, and hasn't been for years now. Years.
"The longest running weekly episodic show" (or whatever collection of words they force into Michael Cole's ears as if they're trying to pop them after a long flight) isn't booked episodically. They drop stories cold, forget the ramifications of other ones and change advertised matches without even acknowledging the adjustment to the card.
At an admin level, Raw isn't Raw. Or SmackDown, or any other wrestling show in history. It's content, which rather appropriately leads us to...