5 Ups And 3 Downs From WWE Raw (March 30)

Bloated 16-match WrestleMania card gets final push from red brand.

So here we are.

When it’s all written about in the future, we’ll likely call this WrestleMania season a lot of different things: unique, subdued, snakebitten, a mistake. But we still have to acknowledge that WWE is churning ahead toward its 36th annual springtime flagship PPV, with or without the full support of its personnel, and with or without an audience.

And Monday night was the go-home Raw to send us into this weekend’s two-night PPV. Much like recent empty-arena episodes, the focus was less on “live” in-ring action and more on promos, video packages and recaps than anything else.

And once again WWE fell back on airing full PPV matches from recent history to help sell another feud, which had the added benefit of eating up time in a three-hour program while giving fans a more “traditional” match than the crowd-less bouts we got from the Performance Center.

Admittedly, it’s tough to grade episodes like this. There’s your own personal opinion about whether the show should go on in light of circumstances (no other sporting or entertainment event in the country is carrying on right now). There’s the juxtaposition of an event almost entirely dependent on crowd reactions being played out to an empty arena. And there’s the need to set some of that aside and deal with the situation before you.

With that said, let’s get to it…


Scott is a former journalist and longtime wrestling fan who was smart enough to abandon WCW during the Monday Night Wars the same time as the Radicalz. He fortunately became a fan in time for WrestleMania III and came back as a fan after a long high school hiatus before WM XIV. Monday nights in the Carlson household are reserved for viewing Raw -- for better or worse.