RADICAN'S TAKE RADICAN'S RAW REAX 10/8: McMahon goes back to his old back of tricks for short-term solution to sinking ratings
Oct 9, 2012 - 3:48:34 PM
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By Sean Radican, Torch columnist
Raw was a fascinating glimpse into Vince McMahon’s mindset when it comes to fixing WWE. McMahon axed his top writer recently and with the ratings sinking, McMahon pulled out one of the few cards he has left to play to boost ratings and put himself on television in a match with WWE Champion C.M. Punk.
Furthermore, McMahon brought back John Cena, the only one-armed star he has left, and had him getting physically involved in the main event just weeks after he had surgery on his arm. The message Vince sent to the WWE roster was clear. If he can get in the ring at the age of 67 and put on a show, why can’t the rest of his ungrateful talent roster step up to the plate and deliver like he does for the WWE Universe injured or not.
McMahon, still in great shape for someone his age, tossed around Punk like a rag doll at times, but that’s what a big superstar like McMahon does when a wrestler on his roster has disrespected the WWE Universe.
The problem with McMahon is that he likes to lash out at the people below him instead of take the reins and steer the ship in the proper direction. Brian Gewirtz has been removed as the head writer of Raw, McMahon lashed out at a stage hand according to live reports after the opening segment last night and overall was in a foul mood according to most reports.
The problem is that McMahon sees writing the show himself as something he shouldn’t have to do. Instead of building new stars and creating compelling feuds, McMahon has allowed the WWE product to become stagnant and stale with the three hour editions of Raw exploiting the problems that were there when the show was two hours long.
The roster isn’t deep and McMahon’s reliance on using part-time stars to boost buyrates isn’t going to sustain the product in the long-term. Lashing out at his underlings isn’t going to fix things either. Until McMahon looks in the mirror, WWE’s problems won’t be fixed anytime soon.
WWE’s bill has been coming due for a long time when it comes to the lack of roster depth. Two top guys in Mysterio and Orton are one strike away from being out of the WWE. After C.M. Punk and John Cena, there’s not a lot of depth on the roster on the heel and face side. Heck, half of WWE’s audience dislikes Cena and McMahon has done nothing to fix that either.
Once McMahon decides to make the changes himself and stop lashing out at the people below him, perhaps the WWE product can improve, but it’s hard to see that happening given that McMahon has a predictable pattern of behavior once he goes into panic mode.
Sure, WWE might receive a short-terms ratings boost from McMahon and Cena appearing on the show last night and the hook at the end of the show might bring viewers back next week to see whether Punk chooses Cena or Ryback as his opponent at the HIAC PPV.
Long term, McMahon needs to realize that Rock, Brock, Undertaker, and Triple H can’t boost his PPV buyrates and TV ratings forever. Instead, he should take a look at the damage he’s done to the wrestlers on the undercard and realize it’s time to begin putting some steam behind some of them and build for the future. If he doesn’t do it soon, eventually the holes in the ship are going to overflow.
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