(Update: Our friend Eric Schreiber is back for more WWE Raw rumblings. He was gone for a couple weeks for reasons he will explain.)
I decided to group all three of these Raws together with the hope of it getting better, but unfortunately I find myself a little more than slightly disappointed in this “New Era” of Raw. The first Raw after the draft was full of excitement, anticipation, and Surprises (Balor becoming the #1 Contender for the Universal Title and Sasha becoming the Women’s Champ). After such an awesome show, Raw has once again become stale.
Up until this morning, I was going to title this column, “The Hypocrisy of WWE’s New Era.” What followed was going to be a lengthy tirade about how the “New Era” was nothing more than a shiny paint job covering the same product that WWE has been cranking out for most of the decade: an authority figure running Raw (usually a McMahon), cliche storylines being favored over quality wrestling matches with stakes and the wrestlers that the smarks preferred constantly being cast aside and buried in favor of the “face” of the company. I had intended on being wonderfully cynical and brutally sardonic.
But then I woke up the other day and heard about the upcoming brand split. Heard how Smackdown is going to be a live show now and will feature its very own roster of superstars. Supposedly, this will help make Smackdown relevant for the first time in years, a move that many fans have clamored for since… well, for a pretty damn long time. It also suggests that maybe WWE isn’t just spewing out empty promises when it refers to the New Era and that it actually plans on capitalizing on its talented and promising roster.
Of course, there’s always the chance that WWE could blow this. They have an uncanny knack for doing just that.