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Longer matches on Raw

Hey Scott,

I read the 'open letter' than Russo had posted to McMahon yesterday, giving his thoughts on what worked and what didn't on Raw. I have to say, I'm no Russo fan, but he did make some valid points, particularly one about how TV matches shouldn't go two segments.

Now, I'm not saying matches shouldn't be of epic length on Raw, but do you agree that there's some merit to the notion that TV matches going 10-15 minutes or longer dilutes the product a bit? I expounded on this a bit at CamelClutchBlog today, and it seems like they just give away too much specialness from the performers. If I'm watching Rollins, Ziggler, Bryan, Ambrose, Cesaro, whoever work 15 minute matches every other Raw, could that be a reason the PPVs are less special? Well, besides awful booking and planning.

I guess I'm of the mind that TV should build the PPV, and thus six-eight minute teasers would logically build 15-20 minute payoffs. Especially when the TV matches never solve anything aside from, 'enjoy the workrate before the screwjob finish!'

​Well, you initially lost me at "reading anything from Russo" but then you got me back, so well done there.

I too am tired of the trope of the matches running through the commercial break, because now it happens every single show multiple times instead of being something special to indicate a classic.  When "RAW rolls on!" every single segment there's a problem.  And yeah, part of the issue is that they do lengthy matches and then waste them with a shit finish, like the Rollins-Cena main event last week.  They should utilize more "make a tag team match, playa" type of booking to put the PPV guys in the ring together in a long match without giving away the match people want to see.  Crockett did that for years to great effect.  The other problem is of course that RAW is too damn long, so they have to book 15 minute matches just to fill time.  I mean, it's not like they have a giant roster of guys that they're not using because creative has nothing for them!  That's just crazy talk!  ​

Comments

  1. Totally of topic, but Scott, are you reading God's Head? As the guy who kinda got me reading GL, I was curious what you thought. I've been enjoying it more than anything the Nu52 has put out. But, some fans are annoyed that the GLs are getting their butts handed to them again.

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  2. It feels crummy to complain about long
    matches when they tend to be “good”, especially when it’s easy also to bitch
    when you read that “Raw only had 30 minutes of wrestling in 3 hours” sometimes.
    Seth Rollins wrestling Kofi for 15 minutes isn’t “bad” by any stretch of the
    imagination, but you know who’s winning, and almost every match they show is
    meaningless. I can watch a UFC show with every fight going 15 minutes and it’s
    fine because I know that wins and losses matter, and that the result is
    important, at least to the guys involved. Good long matches are totally fine as
    long as they matter, but they really do just seem to be killing time and I don’t
    really have time to waste on meaningless stuff. I think I’m saying that length of
    the matches doesn’t matter, it’s what you do with the matches that counts?

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  3. Yeah, I understand the overall complaint, but I kind of like the double standard of complaining that there are too many long and solid matches on Raw, while AT THE SAME TIME saying that the product is terrible.



    I just think it's over exposure and overall burnout, not the actual product.

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  4. And I don't think it can be compared to UFC or other sports. I mean, it's obvious that wins and losses matter more when it's a shoot result. That's something WWE can't really do anything about, unless they start shoot fighting.

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  5. Well, I don’t know, I think they can to a
    certain extent. It doesn’t need to be rankings or like the Bound For Glory
    tournament, but just some kind of structure. Just something to explain why Sin
    Cara is facing Rusev again. Just *something* to give a reason for what’s
    on screen. Because Sin Cara should not be facing Rusev again. He just shouldn’t.
    It’s not fair to Sin Cara. What kind of kayfabe matchmaker does WWE have back
    there? Let’s give Sin Cara another chance, he might last a bit longer this
    time?

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  6. It should be noted that Regal is a man. A man's, man.

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  7. I think Regal is the leader for me when it comes to "love his character, hate his wrestling". The mat based style just puts me to sleep every single time, but he has incredible charisma and facial expressions.

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  8. Pretty sure Regal never came off the top rope on his head as many times as Benoit did. He kept his matches relatively mat-based which I'm sure helped

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  9. Just too many hours to fill, I guess. I get it. (that's mostly why I don't bother watching 90% of the time. I have accepted that most of it is just filler, and I don't even blame the writing team. )

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  10. Matches less than 10 minutes shouldn't be 2 segments long.

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  11. Aye, I couldn't write a good 3 hour Raw. Maybe one. But not 52 a year.

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  12. Yeah exactly. Maybe even a great 2 month plan, with great PPV payoffs and all (assuming that Vince doesn't scrape half of it 10 minutes before the show), but... Afterwards, can you relax and enjoy what you did? Hell no. "WHERE IS THE 3 HOUR RAW SCRIPT? I NEED IT IN AN HOUR! GO!!"

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  13. Even if the tape machines are rolling? #WCWSaturdayNight

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  14. His match with Goldberg is one of my favorite moments.

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  15. I'm fine with 'meaningless' matches on TV to set up meaningful matches on PPV. Have Rusev and Ryder go ten. It makes Ryder look legitimate and doesn't take away from RUSEV CRUSH when he slaps on the Accolade. NWA and AWA champions went on TV all the time making jobbers look like Magnum TA before putting them away. Why not add some, y'know, intrigue to the matches?

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  16. Given how volatile Vince is, and that he
    did seem to like that one episode where Cena made jokes and Rusev fought Sin
    Cara, it’s probably not a surprise that they produce a slight variation of the
    same show for his approval each week.

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  17. And how many times did they just forget the next week? That's my memory of early 90s WCW.

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  18. The tape machines are too busy getting *just* the right slow-mo of the wrestler's entrance to show during replay.

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  19. I don't get how they can have such a shitty roster. Spend some money and get more wrestlers so we don't have to see the same 14 guys wrestle each other every single week. Get a bigger roster, have a wider variety of matches. Is there single person in the world who wants to see the same two guys have 8 matches on TV in a row?

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  20. I am actually watching the Goldberg "Monday night wars" thing right now, and I remember Goldberg surprisingly handling himself pretty well in that match. He actually pulled out a few unconventional, but impressive counters in there. I really don't think he looked that bad. Like "He's more of a brawler, but he proved he can take care of himself".

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  21. Why not add some intrigue? Good question. My guess... they don't think making an effort on booking would increase their ratings so they focus their energies on other ways to market the product.

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  22. Regal's just a freak of nature - there's no real logical reason that a guy that looks like your grandmother should be such a legit badass.

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  23. But if they give away a ton of fresh matches on free Raws, then the PPVs will mean even less, and the new guys will be over exposed also. It's really not as simple as some of you make it out to be. I see it as a near impossible situation.

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  24. It's not easy, but if you split the brand back, bring up half a dozen guys to Raw and half a dozen to Smackdown, you're easily well on your way. Just getting 3 new tag teams and not making us suffer from watching them beat tag feuds to death would be good.

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  25. Wrestling is supposed to be about building to big attractions and paying it off. Not about taking the laziest possible route to fill 5 plus hours of TV over and over with the cheapest most mediocre product they can get away with. That's what is missing IMO.

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  26. I loved the split from day 1, and even loved the Brand exclusive PPVs, where for example, London and Kendrick defended their tag titles in 20 minute PPV matches. And you saw the wrestlers once a week instead of twice. Very disappointed that they panicked and nixed the whole thing.

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  27. This addresses none of my points though.

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  28. Regal has had some great stiff matches, but for the most part the guy has been going through the motions for most of his career, mainly to do with the fact he's been booked as a low midcarder for most of his run, which is why his body is still holding up. If Regal worked like Daniel Bryan where he was having great matches every week then Regal would probably be a mess right now.

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  29. Smackdown should really be it's own little universe, because otherwise, it's always just going to be a meaningless version of Raw.

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  30. What is the "product"? What is the purpose of the free tv shows? Back in the jobber days of the early 90s the wrestling wasn't good on tv and you were much more excited for the PPVs. Then they changed it for PPV matches on TV, but I think there should be a difference between the TV matches and the PPV matches. WCW made the mistake by giving away real ppv quality matches for free like Goldberg vs Hogan, while Russos crash booking could give you even matches like Austin vs Vince which wasn't a match at all in the end BUT it kept the viewers and it did build Austin vs Dude Love the next ppv. I don't think that anybody complained that we didn't got Austin vs Vince, but it was a very good angle to the storyline which made you come back the next week.

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  31. YankeesHoganTripleHFanNovember 7, 2014 at 6:37 AM

    Why is Regal in such good shape? I think we all know that answer to that. He's a man...such a man.

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  32. True, plus unless he does lots of house shows, he's wrestled what, 10 times a year for the past decade? It feels like Vince is afraid of putting him on a full time schedule, for possibly obvious reasons.

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  33. YankeesHoganTripleHFanNovember 7, 2014 at 6:40 AM

    Hey grandma packed a hell of a punch!

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  34. Says Jim Duggan? Who comes from a long line of taped fist champions?

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  35. They had a match on Velocity where Benoit chopped him in the face.


    Let me repeat: Chopped him. In the face.

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  36. Extant1979 - Mr. Cable AccessNovember 7, 2014 at 6:44 AM

    There's no reason for the GLs NOT to get their butts handed to them in this instance. The New Gods are new entities in the New 52 (outside of Orion in Wonder Woman) and there's no way for the rings to know what they're up against. Plus, considering how decimated the Corps is right now, there's no reason why the New Gods shouldn't hand them their asses.


    I didn't expect to like the story as much as I have so far. I picked up the first couple of books and got hooked.

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  37. The best part about Regal is he calls people "sunshine" and it doesn't sound ridiculous. Must be the British accent.

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  38. Wait wasn't the complaint before that people didn't want to see a ton of short matches on raw? Now that they are doing longer better matches every show you want them to go back to short meaningless matches? Wrestling fans sure are fickle.

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  39. YankeesHoganTripleHFanNovember 7, 2014 at 6:46 AM

    I hear Benoit had some real life issues. Can anyone verify that?

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  40. I may be wrong, but a lot of it seems to wanna match the "high" of the attitude Era. And just about everything in rasslin' has been done by now, and it will just never be the same again. Sort of like an addict trying to match their first high, and never being able to. I guess it is what it is.

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  41. The reason for the "meaningless" matches is because it fits in to the story. Taking your Kingston vs Rollins example, if Kingston peon fans would immediately bitch that Rollins is being buried, or complain when the next week kofi loses to someone in a quick throw away match. Wrestling should always be easy to understand and booked logically. Predictability in the week to week is a given in logical booking.

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  42. How real was Regal's pushing going to be in 2008? It looked like they were going to give him a serious shot at the championship.

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  43. Funny thing, I loved Benoit's 2004-2006 style, as it made it look like he was actually trying to win. (Aka, going for his finishers even 30 seconds in.) I thought "great psychology". now I wonder if he was so brain damaged that he really DID think it was real?

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  44. Nobody asked for "short meaningless matches".

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  45. They have a roster to fill the time, it's just that they only use a handful of guys regular while others go to trappings but aren't used.

    When was the last time Fandango was appeared on television, even as a higher?

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  46. I was reading some MMA news yesterday and saw Michael Bisping and Luke Rockhold put their differences aside to bash Vitor Belfort for his history with PED's. Dana White needs Teddy Long to make Belfort and Weidman vs. Rockhold and Bisping! Or not.

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  47. There is no story. Last week's Raw results don't mean anything. Does anyone remember the results of any Raw in September? Nothing progresses to anything else.

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  48. A 3-4 minute squash or tease between two wrestlers qualifies as short and meaningless. It'll wlicit the same complaints that longer "meaningless" matches too including your complaints bout being too predictable.

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  49. It would probably be WAY too dangerous to be sanctioned, but i would LOVE some sort of MMA tag match, or elimination match. Again, would never happen in a million years, but....

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  50. It would be awesome. You could always bring
    the older guys back as partners, guys like Liddell who don’t have any kind of stamina
    or chin anymore but could come in for the hot tag and get the knockout on a
    tired opponent.

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  51. I doubt double teaming would be allowed. Imagine one guy being held, while the other did a kick to the head or something.


    RIP.

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  52. LOL. I take it you aren't aware of "carnie" style or the whole controversy behind that match. Regal lead him through the same kind of style they'd use in the old carnivals where they would grapple with random people out of the crowd, and he would lead them by the hand and get them into position so it looked like they were chain grappling. Goldberg threw a hissy fit after that match because he thought Regal was shooting on him, and just because he was a big clueless baby in general. Trust me though, Regal did all the work. He talked about it on Austin's podcast.

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  53. So you remember the results to a random raw in 97? Doubtful. Do you remember the August 23 199x results from superstars? Definitely not. You might remember an angle or one match but you can't recite to me the results of a whole card from any year really.

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  54. Greg Jackson would distract the ref so it'd be fine.

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  55. But... the story seemed to be that Goldberg was exposed. My point in, whether Regal carried him or not, Goldberg wasn't really that exposed, he still looked ok.

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  56. BISPING IS ON TOP OF THE CAGE! HERB DEAN IS DISTRACTED BY LIDDELL TRYING TO GET IN! OH MY GOD THE TOP-CAGE KNEE STRIKE INTO THE HEEL HOOK!!!!

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  57. After introductions and the rules, have all 4 fighters leave the cage. The bell will ring twice, first to signal for a fighter from each team to enter, second to start the round. Either fighter can come in for each round.


    When it's a main event, make it elimination-style.

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  58. Jon Jones I know I thought you'd be getting into the Octagon with Alexander Gustafasson but you tonight you'll be facing the UNDERTAKER~! HOLLA~! HOLLA~! HOLLA~!

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  59. Never happen... in America. Elsewhere, very possible.

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  60. What amused me was how awkward he looked.

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  61. His insults are the greatest. He's the reason that "toe-rag" is in my lexicon.

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  62. Shut up and hand me that Reddi-Whip!

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  63. If not for Regal, I would be clueless as to how Queensbury rules work.

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  64. Makes sense 80's fans want their squashes and 60 minute Broadway's. 90s fans want their t&a crash TV an cussing. Everyone says they want change but in truth no one does. When things change they complain about it and rebel against it. They want what they grew up on the familiar nostalgia.

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  65. His matches with Benoit are his best work IMO, but tbh regal is a guy I've ever been a big fan. No question he's had good matches but I never really enjoyed his character and most of his matches don't do it for me. The Benoit matches are classics though and I'm not saying regal sucks, just that's he's not my cup of tea (LULZ)

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  66. I thought surviving Regal's mat wrestling gave him credibility.

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  67. Maybe its just me but those Queensbury rules sure remind me a lot of Quebec rules.

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  68. Those Quebec rules exposed to me how dumb the Steiners are.



    They got screwed by these rules that put the champions at a HUGE disadvantage... So when challenging back for the titles, they make it a point, insisting that this time, it will be under American rules... um... WHY WOULD YOU NOT WANT THE SAME QUEBEC RULES?? Heenan and Lawler were right, such dummies!!!

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  69. Theberzerker! HUSS!November 7, 2014 at 7:15 AM

    I thought Regal was the most boring thing that was ever boring back in WCW. Granted I was a dumbass teenager, but I could not haven given less fucks about him at the time. Fast forward to now, and it astonishes me how apparent it is that he's one of the greatest of all time.

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  70. Same here actually.

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  71. Theberzerker! HUSS!November 7, 2014 at 7:17 AM

    Only if you tried to eat any of his chicken backstage. Who'd he snap out on for that again? I can't remember...was it Punk?

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  72. Umm... Miz ate chicken over a ref's open bag (which I agree, was an incredibly dickish move, so I'm glad he got kicked out), but I'm guessing it's another story?

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  73. I'm reading Red Lanterns because Charles Soule is a god who has somehow made me care about the idiotic blood-vomiting version of Guy Gardner, but I jumped off Green Lantern when Geoff Johns basically wrapped up the series in that one epilogue, and New Guardians had been kind of spinning its wheels for months so I dumped that one too. DC is rapidly losing me as a customer to be honest. I'm pretty much down to Batman Eternal, the main Batman title, Red Lanterns, and Swamp Thing as far as stuff I really look forward to every month. And with Soule going Marvel-exclusive, I don't know how much longer I'll stick around his former books.

    Also, I was legit very saddened to read the last Foes of Spider-Man book a couple of weeks ago. I put it off for a while to stretch it out, and I hope they keep doing something interesting with Boomerang.

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  74. Theberzerker! HUSS!November 7, 2014 at 7:22 AM

    That sounds familiar...maybe I'm confusing them, because now that you say Miz I could swear it was him getting chewed out by Benoit.

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  75. I know Benoit harrassed Davairi quite a bit, not sure if that's what you mean? Either way, I wouldn't have wanted to piss him off.

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  76. Theberzerker! HUSS!November 7, 2014 at 7:25 AM

    "Open letter" = "desperate plea for employment". I agree with Alvarez, fucking man up and get another job Vinnie.

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  77. To be fair, his WCW stuff was VERY hit or miss until the later 90s. It's not like he was working a revolutionary style during the boring TV champion era, as he was clearly phoning in all those 10 minute TV draws. Nitro really invigorated him, like a lot of other people.

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  78. Davairi said in a shoot that Benoit was one of the guys that just brutalied Mohammaed Hassan backstage. As for Miz, I've heard him talking about Benoit too and he still sounds afraid of him.

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  79. It was Miz ... he got thrown out of the locker for months. He talks about it with Jericho on his podcast.

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  80. Yep, I remember that his actual gimmick/character as TV champ was to "stall as much as possible to run the time limit". Makes sense, but not exactly thrilling to watch.

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  81. Or "taped fisties" if you're Dusty.

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  82. Theberzerker! HUSS!November 7, 2014 at 7:29 AM

    He's not bad he's just man's man....plus he shaved his head like Dennis Rodman. He's a god man!

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  83. I love the long matches, and I'm particularly a fan of iron man matches, but I recognize I'm in the minority on this. I remember getting all excited for the iron man match between Lesnar and Angle on Smackdown in 2003, but it did a terrible rating. That said, I think a big problem with the longer matches these days is that they don't know how to build the drama on commercial television. The wrestlers start off going 100 mph from the opening bell, WWE randomly goes to commercial throughout, and then there's some quick finish out of nowhere that suddenly ends it. On their specials (formally pay per view) they're doing a better job of taking their time and building the match, giving it an overall story that leads to the finish. It would help them on free TV if they would be less paranoid about someone changing the channel and not throw everything out there the first five minutes - and it would help if they had some cliffhangers going into commercial breaks: like someone getting hurt, someone coming down to the ring, or a manager getting thrown out of the building... something that stops the match temporarily. And then yes, don't do it every match and limit some of them to one segment.

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  84. Theberzerker! HUSS!November 7, 2014 at 7:34 AM

    OK yeah, it was Benoit being Locker Room Leader. I knew I had the details mixed up, thanks.

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  85. Already has, in Japan. May not have been on the up band up, though; who knows there

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  86. Normally, I would agree with you, but I think there's a good point to be made here. I just watched my first full Raw episode since pre-Wrestlemania and it was kinda boring. One of the reasons is matches between two people with no storyline going for 15-20 minutes. This isn't PWG and the audience isn't going crazy popping for everything and making funny chants. The WWE prides itself on storytelling, but outside of the Cena vs The Authority story and the Rusev story, there's nothing. The Big Show/Mark Henry story seemed tacked on and fake; I don't watch often, but since when were Big Show and Mark Henry best buds who always had each other's back? It was hard to get invested in any of the matches because I kept wondering "Why are these two guys going at it?" I think more wrestling is better than less wrestling, but there needs to be some sort of story or it just feels like the audience's time is being wasted.

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  87. Charles Soule rules... and is my personal hero. Lawyer turned comic book writer, as I hope to be some day soon!

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  88. The Benoit-Hassan story that Davari tells is in Japan Hassan tries to buy the boys a round of drinks and Benoit takes his and tells everyon to just pour it out. Davaris is with Jericho and Jericho hustles him out of the bar telling him "you don't want to be apart of this."


    There is another story about Hassan telling Eddie Guerrero not to use the camal clutch and Eddie went ballistic saying his father created the move.

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  89. Agree 100% about shafting Regal on his home turf, but we'll always have this great moment: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vu8MbX88j28.

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  90. Great post, there is a big difference between a long match with some stakes and reasoning and a match with 2 guys going out to fill up time.

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  91. This is an extremely glib explanation for current criticisms of the product.

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  92. Watch me do a hula dance to shake the egg rolls from my pants?

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  93. I think they actually tried to add some intrigue with Ryder's tweet about wanting to join Cena's SS team, and thus a win over Rusev would help.


    Making Ryder look like legitimate competition is infinitely harder than you're making it sound.

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  94. I liked how during Nitros heyday old JCP or WWF guys would just randomly pop up on to do a job. It was fun seeing the Rock N Roll Express or Greg Valentine just pop up on Nitro.

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  95. They have all this TV time and yet there's barely any mic time to go around, especially for midcarders. There isn't nearly as much angle advancement as there used to be, either. Let midcarders on the mic, some of them might actually be good, and if they suck, they suck, and if you let them loose, you just might get a special brand of suck that at least is memorable.


    Sid sucked in the ring and on the mic, but he's a special brand of suck, and that would at least be an improvement over the mostly unmemorable blandness.


    TL;DR: Let midcarders talk, and when you do, cut them loose on it. You never know what might happen.

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  96. Russo believes that every segment should be important. I guess he's still confident enough to think that's possible to do in the long run with 5+ hours of TV to fill every week after the disaster that was 2000 WCW. Which is less relevant to do now since ratings mean little to the company.

    There's far too much TV time to fill. Nothing suggested would work, short of wrestling getting white hot again and there being actual competition to Vince.

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  97. During Russo's first run with Ferrera they were actually getting everyone set up as important players in the show and pushing some new faces. He just went fucking insane and wanted to put the belt on Tank Abbott. His 2000 run is heavily criticized but a lot of people were contributing to the product at that point.

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  98. Gotta get the new heels over so when the faces eventually go over it means something. It's funny that I never got into comic books since they and wrestling seem to have so much in common.

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  99. Just goes to show that doing a few things well does not mean you're doing a good job.

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  100. WWE hasn't had an Unsanctioned (TM) match in a while!

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  101. Is buying drinks bad? And it was his finish, so I get that. I'm guessing both were because he was new and you can't buy drinks and ask for veterans to stop using moves when you're new.

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  102. Go back to implying that there is a championship committee and some loose concept of ratings based on W-L records, and also purse money going to the winner, and suddenly there's no such thing as a meaningless match any more. Every match in the 80s ostensibly meant something, even if in practicality it didn't.

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  103. I'm talking about fans not the product would explain why it's not an explanation of what's wrong with the product.

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  104. I grew up on both but the 80s model is much, much more sustainable. I want a lack of huge lulls.

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  105. Regal bored the hell out of me in 2002 - 2003.

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  106. Totally agree. Don't mind me, I'm just gonna shamelessly leave this here...

    http://placetobenation.com/pro-wrestlings-disease-of-more/

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  107. Even after the reset, Russo did a fair job giving everyone something to do. I always commend him for that. But, the fucking insane part after a month seems inevitable after a month or two of hotshot booking.

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  108. He had major heat for bragging about his pay and push so the boys ragged on him. The camel clutch thing was him being clueless to wrestling history and someone telling him to confront eddie about it. The dummy actually did

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  109. I think his early Mongo matches exposed him more than anything. Awful

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  110. How are you supposed to fill nearly 200 minutes of television with 3 minute matches?

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  111. exactly ... the drinks thing was kind of like a way to apologize and the "boys" were just having non of it. Benoit led the way.

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  112. Hey at least they got Tyson Kidd on TV this past week!

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  113. With Canada having the Queen as their head of state, I can see why the rules would be very similar.

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  114. Biff Kensington IIINovember 7, 2014 at 9:10 AM

    This is wholly fanboy territory talking, but I still think they missed a Hell of a deal not having Regal and Triple H go in a bloodbath brawl in 2004 after the whole Eugene deal went down. I remember Regal being white hot for a short period during that deal, but they just blew it off with no thought.


    Well, Triple H bloodied Regal in a squash, but I meant a bit more of a reciprocal type deal.

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  115. TJ: Im watching family matters right now on Centric (TV for Black Women lol) and its the ep where the Bush Whackers take on Urkel and Carl. Urkel really carried that match!

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  116. Lot's of talking and backstage segments. :)

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  117. My biggest criticism of Russo is that he tries to book everything like it is WWF. WCW had a very different core audience than WWF in 1999/2000. Russo failed to recognize that and also failed to recognize that in TNA. I think he likely would fail again if given the opportunity to write for a company outside the WWE. That being said, I bet he could write a hell of a Raw right now.

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  118. channel 330 for those with directv lol.

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  119. At this point I think they should just give the Smackdown timeslot to NXT.

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  120. Lance Storm actually brought up two really good points about matches that include a commercial break. And they are little things you probably wouldn't think to consider. The first is that the announcer always says, "This match will continue when we're back," which really takes you out of the "realism" of the match. How do you KNOW the match will continue? What if Randy Orton hits an RKO (out of no where, as I understand it) during the commercial break? That was something WCW did right -- they'd say something to the effect of "the cameras are still rolling, we'll show the end of the match if it happens during the break."
    The other thing is that you miss out on a dramatic part of the match. Quite often, the commercial break will kick off with the face in control of the match. Then you'll return, and suddenly the heel has the face in a rest hold. What happened? As Storm pointed out, the transition to the heel taking over the match is an important part of the drama....and you just missed out on seeing it.

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  121. I'm a very biased Regal mark to the point of absurdity, but I've been arguing that too.

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  122. I would like it if they very occasionally came back from the break and the match was already over. as long as they follow with a hot angle after it, no one would complain.

    but it would reinforce the feeling of "anything can happen on a live show", even matches ending during the break.

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  123. The Love-Matic Grampa!November 7, 2014 at 9:50 AM

    Love long matches, just don't like having my time wasted with feuds that go nowhere and then en without resolution. If two midcard guys have a long feud where one guy eventually wins and moves on to bigger and better things while the loser has to start over and rebuild momentum, great. But if those same guys have endless matches for weeks on end and end up in the exact same position as before, what's the point? As WWE constantly points out, they're "telling stories" and not necessarily selling athleticism like in legit sports, so you've got to make sure you actually tell a story.

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  124. you're assuming the core audience of the WWF in 1997 is the same that it is today (which I believe it isn't!).

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  125. the problem was he gave the workers horrible things to do way too often.

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  126. I don't think that Sid wasn't aware of his shortcomings. but after some time him and the bookers had realized what drew the fans to him. it wasn't what he said, but how: his intensity and that you could actually believe he was a nutjob that wanted to beat people up.

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  127. if you "train" the audience to "get" this even things like an extended face-in-peril segment during matches could work.

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  128. Mark Henry still gets sexual chocolate chants, I think a lot of the audience is the same just a bit older now.

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  129. that would only apply if they didn't mostly give away the same matches on the free shows that also take place on the ppvs.

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  130. Maybe I am too simplistic in my thinking, but I don't feel like booking RAW should be all that hard.
    Pre-match analysis and video package - commercial - pre-match interviews - commercial - match (with no commercial breaks) - commercial - post-match interview with the winner and loser - commercial - post-match analysis. Including all analysis, interviews, and commercials, each match could occupy 20-30 minutes. The NFL can somehow turn 11 minutes of action (the average amount of actual action in a game) between two teams with losing records into an interesting 3 hour broadcast. WWE should have no problem.

    Also, I would never have two guys who are upper midcard or above face each other one-on-one on RAW. Save that for the PPV and build it with interviews. If you want to put them in the same ring, do tag or 6-man matches involving guys lower on the card. This promotes the PPV without giving away the match and it helps build the lower card guys.

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  131. it had pros and cons.

    one could argue that it "devalued" the titles because guys who would otherwise hardly ever archieve it would become champions. I agree though that it lead to ppv matches (and maybe even more important: actual angles) for many of the midcarders.

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  132. Remember back in 2004 when people would complain that matches wouldn't go on longer 6 minutes and viewers came to watch some wrestling?

    Now people feel like actual wrestling matches dilutes the product? Wtf. Like why should that even be your concern to begin with? If you're there to watch wrestling, wouldn't you be happy that there's finally longer matches on Raw?

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  133. count argument: wins and losses used to be more meaningful in the past. I highly doubt that the WWE "can't really do anything about" it - if they put more emphasis on the results of the matches the audience will also perceive them as more important after a certain time.

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  134. Didn't they do this with Rusev vs Sin Cara a few months ago? The match started on Raw...and then they came back and it was over. They of course said you could have watched it on the App!

    This is probably it.

    http://www.wwe.com/videos/sin-cara-vs-rusev-wwe-app-exclusive-aug-4-2014-26545361

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  135. also it doesn't sound like it was Regals intention to "expose" Goldberg at all.

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  136. OK yeah, it was Benoit being Locker Room Bully.


    fify

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  137. HHH/Regal in 2004 would've been awesome. That bloody brawl they had that you mention that ended with HHH tipping over Regal's stretcher was one of the best segments of the year.

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  138. I'm from the same town as Regal (Blackpool), so it always put a smile on my face hearing his ring introduction. His book is a great read, too.

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  139. Matches are too long. Matches are too short--too many of them. Not enough different wrestlers on the show. Too many wrestlers no one cares about are on the show. Too much wrestling burns out the home viewers. Not enough wrestling makes the live crowd restless.

    Take every complaint and proposed solution in this thread and it all comes back to THE problem: RAW is too long. I haven't seen it mentioned, but part of the reason they do long matches isn't simply to fill time, it's because they need stuff happening in front of the crowd to keep it up. If matches don't run through a commercial that's a 3 minute stretch where the crowd is sitting there staring at an empty ring. Multiply that by 15 or however many it is a week and that's a lot of down time. Meanwhile that 3+ hour show for us is closer to 4 hours for the live crowd, with dark matches or stuff taped for Superstars or whatever.

    Here's an idea: Make the first hour primarily video packages. Start the show live in the arena, do your angle that kicks off the night's storylines, but then show the home audience pretaped promos, skits on location, maybe cut back to the arena for a short match a half hour in, then at the top of the 2nd hour go back live to the arena for the rest of the show. The live crowd, meanwhile, would have been seeing dark matches, or matches taped for Superstars, so they wouldn't get restless watching the backstage stuff. I suppose they risk losing viewers that first hour, but if they can come up with interesting stuff... who knows, it might work.

    Who am I kidding--an idea that relies on WWE Creative to work...

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  140. I remember WCW at least once trying the 'first hour of video packages' thing and it did not work. At all.

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  141. This idea is awful. I love when people mock WWE Creative only the ideas they propose are awful or not plausible.

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  142. Isn't it all becoming a very dated notion quickly though? I'm sure there are people that watch live now but with the access that most have (or will have in the future) to DVR why bother watching it live at all? This isn't 1995 anymore and at some point there wont be any point to it at all. Plus these guys are generally all products of the WWE style now and working longer matches that are actually interesting just aren't their thing.

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  143. Here's a spiffy little hidden gem from Memphis Championship Wrestling in 2001: The American Dragon vs. William Regal: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b_9l8AgA__U

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  144. Scott should review the Flair- Regal Marquis of Queensbury matches.

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  145. Regal was on his way to a World title run in 2008 with his GM/KOR angle if he did get popped for wellness.

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  146. He peaked at telling the Godfather "My name is Steven Regal, not Elton John. I'll take the broads."

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  147. I remember in one of the early episodes of Tough Enough Regal was a guest trainer and he was telling the contestants that he hits people really, really hard in places where it doesn't really hurt during matches.

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  148. Yeah, I agree with that thought. In general, I wonder how much wrestlers are self-aware of their ability.

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  149. I'm not completely opposed to long matches on TV, you do need to give things away on TV every now and then, but weekly TV shows should be for advancing your angles and teasing matches/pushing wrestlers in anticipation of the big show, and your big shows/PPVs should be mostly wrestling.


    Also, in general, the IWC is not a monolith, people have different concepts on what wrestling should be.

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  150. I was wondering how far they were willing to go with that push. They finally got behind Regal and gets popped juicing. Terrible.

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  151. As he should be.

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  152. It was the next logical step in my opinion. He had a ton of momentum and would have been great as the smarmy technician world champ.

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  153. Agreed. Geoff Johns has retired Hal Jordan for me. I'm not sure I have ever seen one writer do so much for a character. Can't see anyone topping that with Geoff John's Hal Jordan.

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  154. Care to elaborate as to why it's "awful or not plausible"?

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  155. The Fit Finlay feud was a game changer. Regal went from stuffy British guy to undercover badass and I realized that he probably could hang in the upper card. Too bad that match with Sting didn't develop into a larger angle. Once the NWO showed up Regal lost momentum quickly. I'm sure his demons did play a role in that though.

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  156. I remember that too and that's not what I was proposing.

    Look, RAW already starts with an Authority/Cena gabfest that sets up the main event. Fine. You still do that kind of thing, then go to commercial, come back so they can recap it, then cut to a pretaped segment. Let's say an interview with Brock Lesnar taped at his home. The live crowd, meanwhile, is watching a match: Either a match that would gave been done before the live RAW started, or one of the shitty matches like Hornswoggle vs. Torito that they already dump in hour 3 that we all already complain about. The live crowd gets to endure it when they're fresher, and we at home don't have to see it at all. Then around the bottom of the hour we come back for whatever match would normally have followed the opening angle. Then another pretape for the home viewers, while the arena sees another less important match. Then at the top of hour 2 and from there on they stay in the arena. You save more of the "good" stuff for the last 2 hours, less of the random Divas matches or whatever that they already do to pad the show out. The crowd stays a bit fresher because the show is slightly shorter and less downtime mandated by commercials.

    I grant you timing it would be a technical challenge, but if they worked it out I think it would help the show. Not saying it will turn things around, make it the Best RAW Evar. I'm just suggesting something they could try that addresses the real problem--that RAW is too damn long and needs padding to fill out. So why not try different padding?

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  157. Very weird match.. best adjective I've seen here is awkward. Very little selling on either side and nothing really looks like it hits as intended.
    I have a really hard time seeing how Regal could do 85% of what occurs in this match with a random from the crowd. And it's no wonder Goldberg complained about shooting--check out the little kicks and other shots to the face Regal seems to sneak in at every opportunity.


    The match in question: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y4IdelJfk2k

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  158. He's great. I love that during the Cesaro match, they didn't run the ropes once.

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  159. Maybe you've developed a more mature taste since then? I'd suggest going back & rewatching.

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  160. Sure. USA Network is not going to want an hour of just straight video packages.


    You're also telling your audience there's no need to tune until 10 p.m. if all they are getting as a viewer. I would not bother to tune into RAW if all I was getting promos and video packages.


    You also risk getting the live crowd restless if instead of getting RAW they are getting B-matches and squash matches. And how is the live crowd supposed to follow the show if they are not getting all the promos?

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  161. You're basically sacrificing the first hour. WWE can't book in a vaccum, they have a network to cater to. USA didn't make them go to a third hour just to punt away one of the hours.

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  162. They already sacrifice the 3rd hour with filler matches, which the ratings generally reflect. What I'm basically suggesting is shuffling the filler from hour 3 to hour 1, then showing the TV audience pretaped content instead of that filler. The challenge is crafting content more interesting than the filler matches, but also not necessary to the storylines of that night (thus it not being necessary for the live crowd to see it). You'd still be starting off the same way, still have the same 1st hour starting match, and still build to the same top of the 2nd hour content. In theory you're only "sacrificing" one quarter hour, which you might make up on the back end by having a stronger overall 3rd hour.

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  163. As the guy who wrote the email, you'd think they could work one month or so out of Regal saying "They have me down in NXT training the next generation, and then I'm stuck there having to watch them show up on Raw and get money matches and title shots while I sit in the front office and watch. Well if the Authority thinks I'm too washed up to get it done in the ring they've got another think coming, and I'll prove it by challenging Seth Rollins for a one on one match. You may be young, but there's still enough evil left in me to get the job done." etc. But you know, in a Britishy way.

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  164. It definitely looked like he was getting the strap

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  165. Hell yea, I gotta rewatch those myself

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  166. Even if just for a month and losing it the next ppv, would have still been cool

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  167. My great-grandmother, who had a mastectomy real early (back when a mastectomy involved removing most of the muscle of the arm as well) and was basically crippled on one side apparently had a mean backhand.



    But badass is genetic in our family.

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  168. Uh...he killed his wife and child, who wouldn't be afraid of him?

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  169. Something I learned recently.


    The Marquis of Queensbury who wrote those boxing rules was the same dude that called Oscar Wilde a sodomite (because Wilde was boffing the Marquis' son) and led to the libel case that destroyed Wilde's career and his life.


    The more you know.

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  170. Thing is though, it actually does make sense to ask a guy not to use your finisher as a transition move. This is even more true in WWE, where they apparently take stuff like that seriously. I get that he was new, and maybe in some ways out of line to ask, but he wasn't exactly being unreasonable, either.

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  171. Yeah, I think Regal was actually asked to make Goldberg look good, and that was his way of doing it. I don't know if no one bothered to tell Goldberg, or if he just didn't quite understand what was going on. Both, I guess.

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  172. I hear ya but from.what they say, he was really aloof and "demanded to know" why eddie used the camel clutch that night. Eddie attacked him after lol. I wish we heard more about that kind of stuff now, as there are many clueless people backstage now

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  173. Living in Norwich, I get the same kick with Paige's ring announcement.

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  174. Regal is one of the true kings of the sport of wrestling. There are only a few, too.

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