Opinion: Why the matches for Raw and SmackDown Live should be announced in advance
- Here's how announcing the matches on Raw and SmackDown Live well in advance can help in improving the struggling TV ratings.
Disclaimer: This article is the opinion of the author and doesn't necessarily represent Sportskeeda's views.
WWE is struggling at the moment. Period. Despite being the world's biggest brand in the sports entertainment realm, the company is going through grim times.
This has been depicted in its financial reports for Q1, which show that the revenues have dropped with Raw and SmackDown Live viewership numbers decreasing by the week.
The 'Superstar Shake-Up' failed to make any inroads among the fans, which then led to the new 'Wild Card Rule'. However, the Wild Card Rule has been received extremely poorly by the fans in its first week. With mounting pressure from its broadcasters - USA and FOX - WWE now finds itself in a corner and needs to do something to stem the tide of negativity.
Undoubtedly, WWE needs to improve the content of its weekly shows as there is no excuse for absurd and juvenile storylines that are on display. As sad as it sounds, The Revival and The Usos currently find themselves in one. Professional Wrestling is, after all, about wrestling and storytelling and WWE needs to deliver, on at least one of these fronts on a consistent basis.
This could be a long process and at the moment, WWE can only control the damages it has done to itself. A possible situation to this could be to announce the matches for the coming weeks on Raw and SmackDown Live. To be specific, matches should be announced at least a week in advance.
WWE has, in fact, already been implementing this on NXT, wherein the announcements of matches in the coming weeks are made 1 or 2 weeks in advance. It has proven successful in the yellow brand with big ticket matches getting exactly the right amount of build-up they deserve and require.
Let us take a look at how it could be beneficial for WWE main roster shows, Raw and SmackDown Live.
Appropriate time to create a buzz for the matches
The announcement of matches well in advance is something WWE does only for pay-per-view matches. The intention is to let the audiences know what is in store for them. WWE can, then, lead the storylines accordingly and give the feuds sufficient time to be ingrained in the minds of the viewers.
By letting the fans know what can they expect in the next week's Raw and SmackDown Live episode and what matches they would get to see on social media, it would ensure that all the matches on television would get the right amount of time to be built-up and make them feel like pay-per-view bouts.
Controlling the feeling of randomness
The biggest complaint against the WWE from even its most ardent fans has been the sheer spontaneity on display every week on Raw and SmackDown Live. This means that there has been a lack of coherent and consistent storylines which the viewers could be invested in every week for a total of 5 hours. Matches are put together, it seems, without much deliberation and hamper the flow of the stories that WWE wants to narrate.
As television viewers, the only way we get to know about the wrestlers involved in the next match is mostly when their entrance music hits. Although it does have an element of surprise involved, it has now reached a point of saturation. Dream matches such as The Revival and #DIY can randomly be a part of the show, which leaves the fans less excited and more bewildered.
In a bid to revive the television ratings of Raw and SmackDown Live, we have seen WWE Championship matches being made out of nowhere. But even they have failed to bring about any improvements because viewers simply don't know that something like this is about to happen.