Monday Night Raw. The flagship show of the largest wrestling promotion on the planet. Whether you like the show, love the show, or hate the show, it's the most widely discussed wrestling vehicle anywhere on the internet. Everyone has an opinion about it. We're nearly halfway through 2017, and a full two months removed from WrestleMania, which many view as the "end of the season" for the WWE product. This is a good time to take a look at the entirety of Raw, and see how things are going, both positively and negatively. I've been watching the shows, looking at stats, and forming my opinions on ten things about the direction of Raw these days. The key word, of course, is "opinions", so your mileage may vary. Here are those ten opinions, in no particular order:
1. If they're not "Broken", I merely view Matt and Jeff Hardy as broken. The nostalgia of seeing the Hardy brothers back in WWE was fine while it lasted. They got a huge pop at WrestleMania, and fans have been enjoying their act since then, but the obvious is missing... the "Broken" shtick. It's why everyone wanted to see them in the first place. I don't know anyone that wanted to see the "normal" Matt and Jeff again. No, folks were licking their chops over the idea of seeing "Broken" Matt and Brother Nero on a much bigger stage than they had in Impact Wrestling. We wanted to see the promos, the vignettes, the over-the-top campiness of the entire thing. Let's keep it real right now... without the gimmick, Matt Hardy is merely a near-43-year-old wrestler who can barely walk these days. As long as Jeff is alive, he'll always be the same Jeff that can pop a crowd with his daredevil wrestling style, but Matt needs this. I get that there's a legal battle taking place (or no legal battle taking place, depending on which side you believe), but it's time to do something already. At some point, the crowd pops will die out (more so for Matt than for Jeff), and then you're stuck with more dead weight on the roster. Think it won't happen? Remember when The Dudleys returned? Their pop was one of the biggest you'll hear in the last decade, but then things began to fade away, and they were gone from the company in a year. Don't think something similar can't happen to the Brothers Hardy. It's time, WWE. Make a move.
2. Goldust deserves one final push. The extent of that push is up to a lot of factors, but he deserves something. He has been winning his battle with his personal demons for the last few years, and has found himself in, arguably, the greatest physical shape of his entire career. He's 48 years old, so he doesn't exactly have time on his side anymore, but he can still "go" in the ring. I'm not saying to make him the top guy on the Raw brand or anything (he isn't Jinder Mahal, after all), but an Intercontinental Title reign would be nice if they can build him up a bit. Have him come out on top in his feud with R-Truth, then have him go through another midcard feud or two before giving him the title shot. It would be his fourth time winning the IC strap, and would be a good cap on a Hall Of Fame career. The key is the build to it. He hasn't exactly done anything worthy of a title shot in a long time. It needs to be a slow build, especially since he's a heel and the current Intercontinental Champion is also a heel. It wouldn't be the end of the world if his Truth feud was the end of his career, but I do feel he deserves a little something before he hangs the boots up.
3. I'm so sick and tired of Bray Wyatt. If you've been reading my columns, you'll know where I'm going with this one already. Since his main roster debut in 2013, there isn't a single person on the WWE roster who has been as poorly booked as Wyatt has. Every week, he delivers a promo that sounds good on the surface, even if it's a little vague and on the rambling side. He follows those promos up with loss after loss after loss after loss after loss. It's impossible to take him seriously anymore. You just can't view him as any sort of dangerous threat, because everyone knows he won't be able to back up any of his words or promises. Even when it looked like he had turned the corner by winning the WWE Championship, he followed it up with one of the worst title reigns in recent memory, dropping it seven weeks later after some asinine story writing. He has gone back to his losing ways yet again, and it has gotten sad now. What makes it even worse is that he still gets a good reaction from live crowds. In fact, a lot of them are actually cheering for him. They want him to succeed, and apparently as a face, but WWE just isn't willing to give them that. They seem content to let him continue being random... attacking random opponents to start random feuds, which lead to random promos where he doesn't always make sense, which leads to random losses that also don't make sense. If they don't care, I won't, either.
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