We might be reaching a point where the empty arena experiment
is wearing thin.
This observation isn’t just from this writer’s perspective,
but also from WWE’s point of view. The company changed things up Monday, scattering
NXT developmental wrestlers throughout the arena, spaced out and behind clear partition
walls to provide audience noise throughout the program.
Raw’s 11th consecutive show from the near-empty Performance
Center felt tired at times, even with the energy infused by the live audience.
It’s starting to become a grind, even with WWE doing a lot better with the
shows than they were two months ago. But the wrestling itself was lackluster. Segments
fell flat. And the lack of star power is dragging the show down.
Even though Raw earned passing marks this week, we’re
reaching a point where WWE is going to need to figure something out that changes
how its programming is presented. This column has been giving a fair amount of
leeway with grading Raw and the PPVs thus far, but eventually, that leeway is
going to run out when the show isn’t as good as it can be.
Still, there were some fine moments Monday night, like
crowning a new champion, a new partnership, and an ascendant star.
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.