Wednesday, September 15, 2021

RAW Bytes (September 13th, 2021): Cashing In On Desperation

Bare with me, kids. It's story time.

You're Vince McMahon. News broke that t-shirt company, Eh-Ee-Dubya, just beat Monday Night RAW in the key demo. You're shitting bricks because this pissant company run by a money mark who's in the business of giving his viewing audience what they want rather than trying to force your creative ideas down your WWE Universe's throat, is more hip with the 18-49 demo than the longest weekly episodic television show in history.

You got to do something to strike back... but what?

Here's an idea: you know that WWE Championship match between Bobby Lashley and Randy Orton you have booked for the upcoming Extreme Rules show on PEA-COCK? How about you move that over to RAW and announce it ahead of time? Yeah... yeah, that'll do it.

What's that? Nobody believes Randy is beating Lashley for the title? Well, okay... how about we announce that Big E intends to cash in his Money In The Bank contract on RAW and we build the whole show to the cash-in... and then Big E beats Bobby Lashley to win the WWE title in the final segment of the show. People will go banana!

Ooh, ooh! How about we book Jeff Hardy in a match against Damien Priest for Priest's United States championship after we had him join the other 24/7 geeks last week? 

What's that? People don't like the magic doll gimmick Alexa's doing? Hey, how about we give CHARLOTTE FLAIR - THE GR8-EST WOMENS WRESTLER OF ALL TIME - a doll of her own? That way, we can sell moar on the Network! Or put Karrion Kross in a suit and have him cut a promo like that Shawn Oh Hair guy! HOT DAMN, THIS IS SUCH GOOD SHIT! SURELY, WE'LL GET THOSE BIG TIME RATINGS TO COMBAT EH-E.... er, I mean, FOOTBALL! IT'S FOOTBALL SEASON, YOU ASSHOLES! WE GOTTA COME UP WITH SOMETHING BIG TO COMPETE AGAINST FOOTBALL!

The end result: 1.67 million people watched RAW, with a 0.43 on the key demo. Both numbers are lower than last week's show, which was the show where AEW beat RAW in the demo. All that hotshotting and advance word to get people to watch apparently didn't pay off... on a show featuring a cash-in and a new champion.

The really sad thing is that the build to the cash in and win were pretty well done. The whole build was around the Lashley/Orton WWE title match for the main event, but Big E was just hovering around there waiting to strike. And when he did win the title, people were into it. Hey, good for Big E. That guy should've gotten a run with the top belt ages ago and it's good to see him get his due. It's just too bad that it had to happen on a show that nobody could possibly care about. And they tried to get people's attention and it still did that number.

I mock the circumstances that led to this, but I have to admit that there is a bit of concern. Given all the announcements and promise of something big that actually took place, I had expected them to do a pretty good number... and they didn't. And if all that effort did was garner that low a number, I wonder what they would've have ended up with had they stayed their usual course.

Not that the rest of the show helped. Everything on the women's side of things is terrible. I'm not keen in this Charlotte vs. Alexa doll fight feud thing, this Eva Marie and Piper Nivens (I refuse to call her Doudrop) feud is the shits, Tamina vs. Nikki whatever is... whatever. Tag matches were short and worthless. The only other highlight is that Priest/Hardy match, but chances are I'll forget about that one before long.

I guess I'll have to pay attention to the ratings this week... and then go back to not caring.

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