PARKS'S TAKE PARKS'S TAKE: The Raw TV Main Event Plague, plus thoughts on Lucha premiere, tonight's Impact, Chamber PPV's proper slot, more!
Oct 29, 2014 - 12:44:16 PM
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By Greg Parks, PWTorch columnist
One of the many issues plaguing WWE Monday Night Raw over the last several months is the main event matches. The matches themselves are sometimes good, even very good. But, the mix of wrestlers in those matches, as well as the finishes, have come under fire from concerned fans.
Since September 1, there have been nine episodes of Raw, and nine main events. The only people besides John Cena, Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins, Kane, or Randy Orton to be involved in those matches have been Chris Jericho (September 1) and Roman Reigns (September 8). Every other match has been some combination of the aforementioned five.
Five of the nine matches have ended in disqualification, with the Contract on a Pole match ending with a distraction. That makes six out of the last nine with some sort of screwy finish. Those numbers have made some fans compare Raw main events to the days of the NWO ruling the roost in WCW. I understand that these five are involved in the main event storyline, not to mention building to two PPVs where they played a major role in both.
And with Rollins and Ambrose being used in a main event position, is there any room to really complain about how stale the main events on Raw have been? Fans are always asking to see new blood in that spot, and Rollins and Ambrose are new, relatively speaking.
Another note to this study: The babyfaces have gone over in an amazing eight of the nine matches, with the only heel victory coming in the 3-on-2 handicap match that aired on October 20. That doesn’t mean the faces are standing tall at the end, but in the win column, the good guys are far outpacing the heels.
WWE has been known to run wrestlers and programs into the ground, and the three-hour format of Raw doesn’t help. It’s good that WWE is focusing their efforts on the main event programs, especially those main eventing PPVs.
But, having those top wrestlers interact in matches so often for free lessens the value of those subsequent matches they’re asking people to pay to watch. WWE desperately needs to find a new formula, or even Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins matches with other top tier talent will feel like “been there, done that.”
Other Thoughts: I’m excited about the debut of Lucha Underground later tonight. If nothing else, it’ll be refreshing to see pro wrestling presented in a unique way. I’ll be Tweeting live during the show @gregmparks ... Speaking of exciting wrestling presented in a unique way: TNA Impact also airs tonight. Okay, I’m kidding about the exciting and unique parts. That said, there is a championship match on tap tonight with Bobby Roode once again challenging Bobby Lashley for the TNA World Title. Sadly, it doesn’t matter who wears the title now, but the match should be good...
I think WWE reportedly moving the Elimination Chamber PPV out of the February slot is the right decision. It never made sense to have the Royal Rumble winner earn a title shot at WrestleMania by going through 29 other men, only to have the titles on the line next month with the challengers having to only beat five others. If it does replace a PPV later in the year, it could help to heat up the post-WrestleMania down period, or the lull in the fall that we’re currently experiencing ... Checking online, I seem to be one of the few who enjoyed the Hell in a Cell PPV, or at least gave it a thumbs-up. It was a strong in-ring show on paper, and I think that aspect delivered. The only real head-scratching move to me was the end of the show with Bray Wyatt and the smoke-and-mirrors surrounding the finish of Ambrose vs. Rollins. I didn’t hate it as much as others, which I guess helped keep my positivity afloat.
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