WEEKLY OVERVIEW – WWE (thru 12/12): Top stories of week, major show lineups, live event results, schedule of live events, noteworthy social media posts, more

By Zach Graham, PWTorch Contributor


The following is the latest in a new series of weekly in-depth articles exclusive to PWTorch which will help put in perspective major wrestling promotions with a weekly overview, looking at news and roster developments, results, future line-ups, social media activity, key interviews, plus a timely commentary at the end. We will be featuring similar features on other promotions each week and each will be updated weekly.


•Top Stories of the Week

  • Bobby Roode & Chad Gable won the Raw Tag Team Championships from AOP on Monday night
  • Monday Night Raw this week draws lowest rating of all-time on USA Network drawing a 1.58 rating. The rating is counts live and same-night-DVR viewers of USA Network. This rating is based off a percentage of homes with access to USA Network. For comparison the December 4, 2017 show had a 1.96 rating. (SOURCE)
  • Smackdown Live also drew an incredibly low rating this week, although it did go up from last week’s record low. Last week Smackdown drew a 1.39 and this week’s episode grew slightly to a 1.43 rating. Smackdown this week did not finish in the top five shows on cable television in total viewers, but did finish third among the key 18-49 demographic that advertisers covet. (SOURCE)

•WWE Weekly Event Results

WWE Live Event – Raw Roster (Santiago, Chile) 12/5/18

(1) Drew McIntyre defeated Finn Balor & Dolph Ziggler in a Triple Threat match

(2) Bayley, Natalya, & Ember Moon vs. The Riott Squad ended in a No Contest after a brawl broke out between the six . Natalya eventually put Ruby Riott through a table.

(3) Elias beat Baron Corbin, Drew McIntyre, & Bobby Lashley in a Handicap match after Apollo Crews came down to help Elias

(4) Buddy Murphy (c) defeated Gran Metalik to retain the Cruiserweight Championship

(5) Rey Mysterio beat Andrade Cien Almas (w/ Zelina Vega)

(6) Titus O’Neil, Apollo Crews, No Way Jose, & Heath Slater defeated The Revival, Rhyno, & Jinder Mahal

(7) Ronda Rousey (c) beat Nia Jax (w/ Tamina) via Disqualification to retain the Raw Women’s Championship

(8) Seth Rollins (c) beat Dean Ambrose via Disqualification to retain the Intercontinental Championship

Source: Sportskeeda.com

WWE Live Event – Raw Roster (Buenos Aires, Argentina) 12/6/18

(1) Drew McIntyre beat Dolph Ziggler

(2) Buddy Murphy (c) defeated Gran Metalik to retain the Cruiserweight Championship

(3) Rey Mysterio beat Andrade Cien Almas

(4) Elias beat Baron Corbin, Drew McIntyre, & Bobby Lashley in a Handicap match after Apollo Crews & Dolph Ziggler interfered to help Elias

(5) Titus O’Neil, Apollo Crews, No Way Jose, & Heath Slater defeated The Revival, Rhyno, & Jinder Mahal

(6) Ronda Rousey (c) beat Nia Jax (w/ Tamina) via Disqualification to retain the Raw Women’s Championship

(7) Ronda Rousey defeated Nia Jax & Tamina in a Handicap match

(8) Seth Rollins (c) beat Dean Ambrose via Disqualification to retain the Intercontinental Championship

Source: Sportskeeda.com

WWE Live Event – Smackdown Roster (Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada) 12/8/18

(1) The Bar (c) defeated The New Day (Big E & Kofi Kingston) to retain the Smackdown Tag Team Championships

– Samoa Joe vs. Jeff Hardy was scheduled, but Joe attacked Hardy on the ramp during his entrance

(2) Charlotte defeated Asuka

(3) Karl Anderson & Luke Gallows beat The Colóns

(4) Jeff Hardy beat Samoa Joe

(5) Lana pinned Peyton Royce (w/ Billie Kay)

(6) Lana beat Billie Kay (w/ Peyton Royce)

(7) Rusev defeated Shinsuke Nakamura (c) via Disqualification. Nakamura retained the United States Championship

(8) A.J. Styles beat The Miz

Source: VIP.PWTorch.com

WWE Live Event – Smackdown Roster (Calgary, Alberta, Canada) 12/9/18

(1) Jeff Hardy beat Samoa Joe

(2) Karl Anderson, Luke Gallows, & Shelton Benjamin defeated The Colóns & Andrade Cien Almas (w/ Zelina Vega)

(3) Charlotte defeated Asuka

(4) The Bar (c) defeated The New Day (Big E & Kofi Kingston) to retain the Smackdown Tag Team Championships

(5) Lana beat Peyton Royce (w/ Billie Kaye)

(6) Lana beat Billie Kay (w/ Peyton Royce)

(7) Rusev defeated Shinsuke Nakamura (c) via Disqualificaiton. Nakamura retains the United States Championship

(8) Daniel Bryan (c) defeated The Miz

Source: PWTorch.com

WWE Live Event – Smackdown Roster (Ontario, California) 12/10/18

(1) The Bar (c) defeated The New Day (Big E & Kofi Kingston) to retain the Smackdown Tag Team Championships

(2) Charlotte defeated Asuka

(3) Lana beat Peyton Royce (w/ Billie Kaye)

(4) Lana beat Billie Kay (w/ Peyton Royce)

(5) Karl Anderson, Luke Gallows, & Shelton Benjamin defeated The Colóns & Andrade Cien Almas (w/ Zelina Vega)

(6) Rusev defeated Shinsuke Nakamura (c) via Disqualificaiton. Nakamura retains the United States Championship

(7) Jeff Hardy beat Samoa Joe

(8) Daniel Bryan (c) defeated The Miz

Source: Fightful.com

If you attend a live event, please send results to pwtorch@pwtorch.com. Thanks!


•WWE TV Match Results

Monday Night Raw TV Results 12/10/18

(1) Bobby Roode & Chad Gable defeated AOP & Drake Maverick in a two-on-three handicap match to win the Raw Tag Team Championships. Bobby Roode pinned Drake Maverick

(2) Drew McIntyre beat Dolph Ziggler

(3) Bayley (w/ Sasha Banks) beat Alicia Fox (w/ Jinder Mahal & The Singh Brothers)

(4) Lio Rush (w/ Bobby Lashley) defeated Elias. Heath Slater was the official and Bobby Lashley interfered to help Lio win. Lashley seemed to intimidate Slater into allowing the interference.

(5) Ember Moon (w/ Ronda Rousey) beat Tamina (w/ Nia Jax)

(6) Seth Rollins defeated Baron Corbin in a T.L.C. match to retain the Intercontinental Championship. Heath Slater was also the official for this match and (reluctantly) attempted to interfere on Corbin’s behalf.

Smackdown Live TV Results 12/11/18

(1) Daniel Bryan beat Mustafa Ali

(2) Shane McMahon & The Miz beat The Vegas Boys (Chip & Chad) two local wrestlers. The Miz never entered the match

(3) Jeff Hardy & Rusev (w/ Lana) beat Samoa Joe & Shinsuke Nakamura when Rusev pinned Nakamura

(4) Asuka defeated Charlotte via Disqualification after Charlotte hit Asuka with a kendo stick

WWE Mixed Match Challenge Results (Aired on Facebook Watch) 12/11/18

(1) Jinder Mahal & Alicia Fox (w/ Singh Brothers) beat Apollo Crews & Bayley when Alicia Fox pinned Bayley

(2) R-Truth & Carmella beat The Miz & Asuka when R-Truth pinned The Miz. Asuka attacked The Miz and walked off when R-Truth pinned The Miz for the win.

Apollo Crews replaced Finn Balor, who is out with an injury.

The winners will compete at WWE T.L.C. to win the Mixed Match Challenge.

205 Live Results (Aired on WWE Network) 12/12/18

(1) Buddy Murphy beat Gran Metalik

(2) Cedric Alexander defeated Tony Nese

Main Event Results (Aired on WWE Network and Hulu) 12/12/18

(1) Tyler Breeze defeated Mojo Rawley

(2) Lucha House Party defeated Curt Hawkins and The Ascension

Source: WKPWP Smackdown On-Site Correspondent


•Upcoming Lineups for Stadium/PPV Events

WWE T.L.C. on Dec. 16 from San Jose, Calif.

  • Seth Rollins (c) vs. Dean Ambrose for the Intercontinental Championship
  • Braun Strowman vs. Baron Corbin in a T.L.C. Match
    • If Braun wins, he will earn another Universal Championship match vs. Brock Lesnar at the Royal Rumble and Baron Corbin will be out of power entirely
    • If Baron Corbin wins, he will become permanent General Manager of Raw
  • Ronda Rousey (c) vs. Nia Jax for the Raw Women’s Championship
  • Daniel Bryan (c) vs. A.J. Styles for the WWE Championship
  • Becky Lynch (c) vs. Charlotte vs. Asuka in a Triple Threat T.L.C. Match for the Smackdown Women’s Championship
  • Jinder Mahal & Alicia Fox vs. R-Truth & Carmella in the Mixed Match Challenge Finals
    • Winners receive 30th (last) entry into their respective Royal Rumble matches.
  • The Bar (c) vs. The New Day vs. The Usos in a Triple Threat Tag Team match for the Smackdown Tag Team Championships
  • Finn Balor vs. Drew McIntyre
  • Elias vs. Bobby Lashley in a Ladder Match.
    • A guitar will be hanging above the ring and the first person to grab the guitar can use it as a weapon.
  • Natalya vs. Ruby Riott in a Tables Match
  • Buddy Murphy (c) vs. Cedric Alexander for the Cruiserweight Championship

WWE Royal Rumble on Jan. 27 from Phoenix, Ariz.

  • Braun Strowman vs. Brock Lesnar for the Universal Championship (Pending Braun beating Baron Corbin at T.L.C.)
  • Men’s Royal Rumble Match
  • Women’s Royal Rumble Match

•Upcoming Events

  • Fri. 12/14/18 WWE Live Event – Raw Roster, Bridgestone Arena, Nashville, Tenn.
  • Sat. 12/15/18 WWE Live Event – Raw Roster, Rabobank Arena, Bakersfield, Calif.
  • Sat. 12/15/18 WWE Live Event – Smackdown Roster, Oracle Arena, Oakland, Calif.
  • Sun. 12/16/18 WWE T.L.C. SAP Center, San Jose, Calif.
  • Mon. 12/17/18 WWE Raw, Golden 1 Center, Sacramento, Calif.
  • Mon. 12/17/18 WWE Live Event – Smackdown Roster, Stockton Arena, Stockton Calif.
  • Tue. 12/18/18 WWE Smackdown – Save Smart Center, Fresno, Calif.
  • Mon. 12/24/18 WWE Raw – No listing on WWE.com
  • Tue. 12/25/18 WWE Smackdown – No listing on WWE.com
  • Wed. 12/26/18 WWE Live Event – Raw Roster, Madison Square Garden, New York, N.Y.
    • Braun Strowman vs. Baron Corbin
    • Seth Rollins vs. Dean Ambrose for the Intercontinental Chamionship in a Steel Cage Match
    • Ronda Rousey vs Nia Jax for the Raw Women’s Championship
    • Finn Balor vs. Bobby Lashley
    • Velveteen Dream, Pete Dunne, Johnny Gargano, Ricochet, & Aleister Black vs. Tomasso Ciampa & Undisputed Era (Adam Cole, Kyle O’Reilly, Roderick Strong, & Bobby Fish.)
    • Dolph Ziggler, Alexa Bliss, Natalya, Sasha Banks, and Bayley are also scheduled to appear
  • Wed. 12/26/18 WWE Live Event – Smackdown Roster, Allstate Arena, Chicago, Ill.
  • Thur. 12/27/18 WWE Live Event – Smackdown Roster, Nassau Coliseum, Uniondale, N.Y.
  • Thur. 12/27/18 WWE Live Event – Raw Roster, Nationwide Arena, Columbus, Ohio
    • Ronda Rousey vs. Mickie James (w/ Alexa Bliss) for the Raw Women’s Championship
    • Seth Rollins vs. Dean Ambrose for the Intercontinental Championship
    • Braun Strowman vs. Dolph Ziggler & Drew McIntyre in a two-on-one handicap match
  • Fri. 12/28/18 WWE Raw (WWE.com has Raw scheduled for Friday 12/28 in Detroit, Mich. Tickets being sold through the site also have it listed as a Raw television show for Friday 12/28)
  • Fri. 12/28/18 WWE Live Event – Smackdown Roster, Royal Farms Arena, Baltimore, Md.
  • Sat. 12/29/18 WWE Smackdown(WWE.com has Smackdown scheduled for Saturday, 12/29 in Pittsburgh, Pa. Tickets being sold through the site also have it listed as a Smackdown television show for Saturday 12/29)
  • Sat. 12/29/18 WWE Live Event – Raw Roster, United Center, Chicago, Ill.
  • Sun. 12/30/18 WWE Live Event – Smackdown Roster, Amalie Arena, Tampa, Fla.
  • Sun. 12/30/18 WWE Live Event – Raw Roster, Keybank Center, Buffalo, N.Y.
  • Mon. 12/31/18 WWE Raw – No listing currently on WWE.com, WWE could be playing tape delayed version of Raw from 12/28 scheduled Raw event
  • Tue. 1/1/19 WWE Smackdown – No listing currently on WWE.com, WWE could be playing tape delayed version of Smackdown from 12/29 scheduled Smackdown event
  • Fri. 1/4/19 WWE Live Event – Raw Roster, Columbus Civic Center, Columbus, Ga.
  • Sat. 1/5/19 WWE Live Event – Smackdown Roster, Greensboro Colliseum, Greensboro, N.C.
  • Sat. 1/5/19 WWE Live Event – Raw Roster, Donald L. Tucker Center, Tallahassee, Fla.
  • Sun. 1/6/19 WWE Live Event – Smackdown Roster, Crown Coliseum, Fayetteville, N.C.
  • Sun. 1/6/19 WWE Live Event – Raw Roster, Hertz Arena, Fort Myers, Fla.
  • Mon. 1/7/19 WWE Raw, Amway Center, Orlando, Fla.
  • Mon. 1/7/19 WWE Live Event – Smackdown Roster, North Charleston Coliseum, North Charleston, S.C.
  • Tue. 1/8/19 WWE Smackdown, Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena, Jacksonville, Fla.
  • Fri. 1/11/19 WWE Live Event – Charleston Civic Center, Charleston, W.Va.
  • Sat. 1/12/19 WWE Live Event – Raw Roster, Knoxville Civic Coliseum, Knoxville, Tenn.
  • Sat. 1/12/19 WWE Live Event – Smackdown Roster, Freedom Hall Civic Center, Johnson City, Tenn.
  • Sun. 1/13/19 WWE Live Event – Smackdown Roster, Rupp Arena, Lexington, Ky.
  • Sun. 1/13/19 WWE Live Event – Raw Roster, Von Braun Civic Center, Huntsville, Ala.
  • Mon. 1/14/19 WWE Raw, FedEx Forum, Memphis, Tenn.
  • Mon. 1/14/19 WWE Live Event – Smackdown Roster, McKenzie Arena, Chattanooga, Tenn.
  • Tue. 1/15/19 WWE Smackdown, Legacy Arena, Birmingham, Ala.
  • Fri. 1/18/19 WWE Live Event – Raw Roster, AT&T Center, San Antonio, Texas
  • Sat. 1/19/19 WWE Live Event – Raw Roster, Taylor County Coliseum, Abilene, Texas
  • Sat. 1/19/19 WWE Live Event – Smackdown Roster, Denny Sanford Premier Center, Sioux Falls, S.D.
  • Sun. 1/20/19 WWE Live Event – Smackdown Roster, Chi Health Center, Omaha, Neb.
  • Sun. 1/20/19 WWE Live Event – Raw Roster, Kay Yeager Coliseum, Wichita Falls, Texas
  • Mon. 1/21/19 WWE Raw, Chesapeake Energy Arena, Oklahoma City, Okla.
  • Mon. 1/21/19 WWE Live Event – Smackdown Roster, Landon Arena, Topeka, Kan.
  • Tue. 1/22/19 WWE Smackdown – Intrust Bank Arena, Wichita, Kan.
  • Sun. 1/27/19 WWE Royal Rumble, Chase Field, Phoenix, Ariz.
  • Mon. 1/28/19 WWE Raw, Talking Stick Resort Arena, Phoenix, Ariz.
  • Mon. 1/28/19 WWE Live Event – Smackdown Roster, Tucson Convention Center, Tuscon, Ariz.
  • Tue.1/29/19 WWE Smackdown, Talking Stick Resort Arena, Phoenix, Ariz.
  • Fri. 2/1/19 WWE Live Event – Raw Roster, Sasktel Centre, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada
  • Sat. 2/2/19 WWE Live Event – Raw Roster, Brandt Centre, Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada
  • Sat. 2/2/19 WWE Live Event – Smackdown Roster, Rogers Arena, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
  • Sun. 2/3/19 WWE Live Event – Raw Roster, Canalta Centre, Medicine Hat, Alberta, Canada
  • Mon. 2/4/19 WWE Raw, Moda Center, Portland, Ore.
  • Mon. 2/4/19 WWE Live Event – Smackdown Roster, Yakima Sundome, Yakima, Wash.
  • Tue. 2/5/19 WWE Smackdown, Angel of the Winds Arena, Everrett, Wash.

•Latest TV Highlights

Monday Night Raw

  • Seth Rollins speaks the frustration of the fans in a promo to open the show. Seth called out Corbin to start the show and Rollins criticized Corbin for putting The Revival in “Lucha House Party” rules matches against the Lucha House Party and even brought up the recent low ratings. Seth said Corbin’s decisions are masking his own insecurities, Seth then turned his focus to Brock Lesnar. Seth said Brock hasn’t had a match on Raw since 2002. Corbin finally retorted saying he didn’t care about Seth or the fans and he promised to make things worse for Seth after he beat Braun Strowman at T.L.C. Seth then challenged Corbin to a T.L.C. match tonight and after Seth repeatedly called him a coward Corbin accepted. The match later in the night was for the Intercontinental Championship and Heath Slater was forced to officiate. Slater at one point knocked Seth off a ladder when he went to grab the championship (presumably to save his job) and Seth gave Slater a superkick, then a Stomp to Baron Corbin before grabbing the championship for the win.
  • Bobby Roode & Chad Gable win the Raw Tag Team Championships from AOP & Drake Maverick in a three-on-two handicap match. After AOP largely controlled the match, Drake Maverick begged to be tagged in to score the pin. Maverick celebrated and mocked Roode a little too long and when Maverick finally went to cover Roode, Roode rolled up Maverick for the win.
  • Dean Ambrose was interviewed backstage by Charly Caruso. She introduced him as the “Lunatic Fringe” and Dean told her never to use that nickname again. When she asked him how Roman would feel about him turning on Seth and he responded “Roman? Who cares?” After a video recap of the night Roman announced his leukemia had returned and Dean turned on Seth, Dean walked away without saying another word. Dean would reappear on the ramp for a stare down with Seth after Seth beat Corbin to end the show.

Smackdown Live

  • Daniel Bryan lectured the fans about their destruction of the environment before his match with Mustafa Ali. He apologized for calling the fans sheep last week because that’s offensive to the sheep. He said the people are more like parasites and now that the Yes Movement is dead, they’ve moved on to a new host, A.J. Styles. Mustafa Ali came down trying to talk some sense into Daniel Bryan. He said that the 205 Live locker room all used to look up to Daniel Bryan as the undersized underdog. Bryan tried convincing Ali that they didn’t need to have their scheduled match because the people don’t deserve to see it. Ali said he wanted a fight and Bryan responded by asking Ali what type of vehicle he drove. Ali said he drives an SUV because he has a wife and two kids and Bryan began slapping him. Ali gained the upper hand on Bryan before the match officially started.
  • Miz came to the ring with the World Cup trophy in his latest attempt to recruit Shane McMahon to be in a tag team with him. The Miz stood in the ring and begged Shane to come down and talk to him. After Shane came down, he asked Miz if he was okay and also said his actions with the trophy are starting to get weird. Miz was upset that Shane had been ignoring him, but he knows they were destined to be a tag team together. The Miz called down a referee and two local wrestlers for them to fight. Shane was reluctant, but after the two wrestlers attacked him from behind he fought back and eventually forced one to submit without ever tagging in The Miz. Later backstage, Paige was very upset with the official who claimed The Miz told him that Paige had sanctioned the match. In a second backstage segment Shane yelled at The Miz for hiring the two local wrestlers and lying to the official. The Miz admitted he crossed the line, but it’s all in an attempt to work with Shane. The Miz put out his hand to shake Shane’s and Shane walked away.
  • Charlotte and Asuka had a Wrestlemania rematch tonight. This match was promoted multiple times throughout the night, which helped emphasize the importance. Becky Lynch sat ringside for the match, but did not join the commentary team.  After a long match, Charlotte would eventually grab a kendo stick and hit Asuka with it, just like she did against Ronda Rousey at Survivor Series. After hitting Asuka, Charlotte turned her attention to Becky, who would throw Charlotte into the ringside steps. Asuka would then throw Becky over the announce desk before grabbing the kendo stick and hitting both Becky and Charlotte multiple times and standing tall to end the show.

•WWE in the Media

Finn Balor was on the Notsam Wrestling Podcast with Sam Roberts last week. Sam and Finn Balor talked about the NXT show in San Jose ahead of WrestleMania 31. Balor talked about how special that night was and knowing that the crowd would be wild and getting to work against Neville that night. He also said he believes Neville is one of the best wrestlers in the world. Balor talked about how special it was to be a part of the group that Sam deemed the class that got NXT to being the touring brand it is today. Sam also mentioned that Balor and the group that joined NXT around the same time he did (Sam mentioned Kevin Owens, Sami Zayn, Samoa Joe, and Hideo Itami specifically) changed the stigma that there are some good independent wrestlers that just couldn’t make it to WWE. Balor didn’t come out and agree with this, but did say there’s something to be said for doing things the hard way and that’s how he views his career. It’s been the long road, no shortcuts taken, but it’s been fun every step of the way and helped make him the performer he is today.

Finn said he found out about the T.L.C. match with Drew McIntyre when the rest of us did, when WWE announced it on Twitter. They’ve never had a singles match together and he’s excited to face him. He also said his goal is never to steal the show, but just to put on the best match possible. Finn gave credit to McIntyre for going through WWE at such a young age, then leaving to grow as a wrestler, and now making a comeback in WWE is worth recognizing. Finn also mentioned Jinder Mahal for doing the same thing and said he has the ultimate respect for those guys who have had such a successful comeback. Balor then talked about training in a New Japan dojo and said that he did have offers to leave New Japan in his late 20s but he didn’t think he was ready. He also mentioned when he finally did come he still wasn’t sure he was ready to come to WWE. He said he came to WWE because he felt like he had done everything he could in New Japan and both professionally and personally he felt he needed a change.

Finn and Sam then turned their focus to Becky Lynch. Finn says he isn’t surprised at all that Becky has been on this run lately and feels that most people around Becky thought she could do this, but she may have been the only person who didn’t until recently.

Balor then talked about the differences between him and The Demon and said that he does The Demon so infrequently he kind of forgets the movements and subtle differences between that character and the Finn Balor character. He said right now he feels extremely comfortable being Finn in front of the audience, but with The Demon he has to reeducate himself every time he becomes that alternate character.

You can listen to the interview HERE.


•Listen to the latest Wade Keller Pro Wrestling Post-Show – Smackdown Post-Show

PWTorch editor Wade Keller is joined by East Coast Cast co-host Cameron Hawkins as they discuss WWE Smackdown with live callers first, an on-site correspondent, and then later answering email questions. This show features topics such as Daniel Bryan’s latest heel promo, Asuka-Charlotte-Becky Lynch hype, Shane McMahon-Miz dynamic, Battle Rap, and more.

-On Tune In Radio HERE
-On Apple Podcasts HERE
-Or search “Wade Keller” on your podcast app of choice


•WWE Social Media Highlights

Wednesday afternoon Seth Rollins sent this tweet out. Seth was responding to Ex-WWE Creative Team member Jimmy Jacobs who was responding to a tweet about the record low rating on Raw this week.

WWE tweeted out this video from Rhyno clearing up the air about whether he is retiring. Rhyno was “fired” in storyline last week after losing to Heath Slater. It’s worth noting that Rhyno is worked the South America Raw live events this week, but was working with heels.

Two twitter “fights” this week. The first one here is Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville vs. Naomi.

Mandy and Naomi kept going after Smackdown. They were supposed to have a match on Tuesday night, but that match didn’t happen.

The second twitter fight is your weekly Becky Lynch Twitter update. This week she’s focused on Charlotte.

Becky also called out Corey Graves on Wednesday:

Lastly, Bray Wyatt tweeted this out. All previous tweets of his have now been deleted and he still hasn’t been seen on television in months. Is this a hint at a character change?


•Closing Commentary

•I (like the rest of the wrestling world) found Seth Rollins’ comment defending how hard it is to write five hours of television a week very interesting. It’s interesting that he was scripted on Monday to be the voice of the fans and talk about how bad the show has been lately, then followed that up with this comment. On television he blamed Baron Corbin for the issues on Raw in order to stick to storylines, but it seemed indirectly critical of the writing when he talked about the ridiculousness of Lucha House Rules matches and things like that. I will say that Seth is probably right; I’m sure writing five hours of live television a week is hard, but that’s absolutely no excuse for how bad Monday Night Raw has been lately.

Raw has almost been the exact same show for weeks now. I could probably copy and paste the results from week to week and 90% of the results would be done and all I would need to do is reshuffle them into the order they were put on television this particular week. I don’t really think scripting the same matches week to week takes much effort. Having the same things happen week after week is insulting to the fans that make time to watch it live. After two weeks of The Revival vs. Lucha House Party in a Lucha House Rules match, the seventeenth match between Finn Balor and Bobby Lashley, or another combination of Bayley/Sasha/Natalya vs. The Riott Squad, what’s the incentive to bother watching anymore? Doing the same things over and over don’t advance storylines and if you aren’t advancing storyline there’s no point of watching the show. Imagine watching a television drama where the same thing happens week after week with slight differences each week and you keep expecting things to finally come to a head, but it just keeps staying the same. The story doesn’t even advance it just stays right where it is week after week. Would you keep watching?

If writing a three hour show and two hour show every week all 52 weeks of the year is so hard, maybe people should take more vacations. I sincerely can’t imagine the mental drain of writing such long shows every week, so take time away from it (including you, Vince). People can lose their creativity when they are so focused on something, or just in the same monotonous routine and trying to get it done on time. If people take vacations, use that opportunity to possibly have someone else come in and help every now and then, or just hear from new voices that may not usually be heard in the room. If this burnout is a problem, you could also have a larger writing team that would allow people to skip a few weeks of television occasionally and it not be so detrimental to the operation. You know what else may help with this? Allowing the wrestlers to have more input in what they are doing. So many people just feel so scripted every time they talk, allow them some creative freedom and the job of the writing team gets a little easier.

Here’s another solution: Plan ahead! Why does the show for Monday night have to be written Monday morning/afternoon? If you planned ahead, the job of the writers gets easier when you sit down to put together the final product. People say the advantage NXT has over the main roster is taping weeks and weeks of television at one time, but that’s not a valid argument to me. There is no reason the main roster writing team can’t plan weeks in advance. Even if it’s as simple as plotting out what they want wrestlers to do for the next few weeks of television, at least it’s something to help guide their thinking. By doing this you can start planning weeks in advance allowing more time for brainstorming and idea sharing because you’ll have the time to do so. So many things just randomly happen now, like Drew McIntyre and Dolph Ziggler breaking up. They were together, then they just stopped appearing together, and after a few weeks of it going unannounced, they decided to have McIntyre officially turn on Ziggler. It was so random! If you have a plan in place of what wrestlers you want doing what, these things won’t seem so out of the blue. I know that this is done for the top stars, especially building up to WrestleMania, but it needs to be done for everyone on the roster. If you don’t do this, then you end up in a situation where the top people are gone for various reasons (Roman Reigns, Braun Strowman, Kevin Owens, etc.) and you have nobody to replace them because you’ve been ignoring the mid-card and haven’t bothered building up anyone to seem even remotely credible. If you’re constantly building up new contenders, you won’t have to have the same match for weeks on end because there will be other people that are believable against the top stars.

The last idea I have is stop turning teams and friends against each other after three months. You want to make heel and face turns matter again? Stop having teams form and split as often as I have to change the oil in my car. Every single team that gets together splits up before a calendar year goes by, unless they look identical (Authors of Pain and Bludgeon Brothers just to name a couple). Bobby Roode and Chad Gable won the Raw Tag Team Championships on Monday and people are already discussing when they will split up. Are you serious? That shouldn’t even be a thought! They haven’t been together more than a few months, but we’ve all been conditioned to think that their time together will come to an end very, very soon. With these teams constantly forming and splitting so quickly, it’s hard to get invested in them at all because why bother? The best example of this has to be Bayley and Sasha. They’ve been a team for most of the year and they’ve had two half-hearted attempts to turn them against each other. At this point, I don’t think them turning would matter much to anyone if it were to happen in the next few weeks.

For the sake of this argument I didn’t bother focusing on show length changes because that’s not an actual answer at this point, unfortunately. I will point out that there is a large segment of the audience that like NXT due to them only having one hour of television a week. People also say they like Smackdown because it’s only two hours instead of three like Raw, but the time they have is a part of their contract with USA Network and unlikely to be changed. I’d like to think a two hour Raw would help things drastically, but at this time that’s not an option. Another thing people focusing on is getting rid of Vince McMahon and at this time that’s also not really an answer. I understand that a large portion of these issues may stem from Vince himself, but he needs to adapt. WWE is Vince’s business and it seems very unlikely he will walk away any time soon. The XFL may change that in 2020, but only time will tell.

If WWE wants television ratings to go back up, they have to start making things matter again! Most of this year has felt like a long infomercial trying to sell the audience to come spend $9.99 a month for the WWE Network where they can see feuds and stories be paid off, but then feuds don’t get settled there because the PPVs become teasers for the next “big” PPV or stadium show. WWE is going to have to start building up fans again. I’m betting they will try something like bringing back The Rock or someone else to try and boost ratings, but that’s the equivalent of a Band-Aid on a cut that needs stitches in my opinion.

Start writing quality television and whatever audience is left will start to praise the shows rather than complain. A large group of people that have stopped watching still seek out reviews of the shows. These people want to watch, but don’t find it rewarding or worth the time investment currently. Jason Solomon, host of the Solomonster Sounds Off Podcast and occasional co-host of the Wade Keller Pro Wrestling Post-Show, puts up these very unscientific polls after each show. With this we can see that people are fans of podcasts like his that review the shows, but they don’t watch the shows themselves because it isn’t worth their time right now. Below are Jason’s two polls this week that show 64% of his 3,866 voters (2,475 people) didn’t bother watching Raw, and 49% of the 2,491 voters (1,221) didn’t watch Smackdown.

I know that’s a pretty small sample size, but it’s a good indicator in my opinion. If WWE wants to fix their ratings issues, it starts with better writing. If they allow themselves more time to actually think through the script and talk it out, it will help them tremendously. There are so many plot holes that would be filled if they just bothered reading through the script before the show. If the heel General Manager didn’t book the Lucha House rules match that gives the babyfaces the unfair advantage, then who did? Having time to stop and think about these types of things would (hopefully) fix these types of silly mistakes that some fans feel insult their intelligence. While WWE may look for an easy answer to this problem, there isn’t one, so they need to start looking for the right answers and not the easy answers.


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The following is the latest in a new series of weekly in-depth articles exclusive to PWTorch which will help put in perspective major wrestling promotions with a weekly overview, looking at news and roster developments, results, future line-ups, social media activity, key interviews, plus a timely commentary at the end. We will be featuring similar features on other promotions each week and each will be updated weekly

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