The WWE TV YouTube Experiment
Monday Night RAW/ August 5, 2019/ Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
I’ve decided to do things differently this week. Instead of watching the YouTube clips, I’m watching the Hulu version of RAW. It’s an hour and a half long, there are no commercials, and they generally trim the fat, so stuff that’s not very important doesn’t show up. I’m still going to be checking the YouTube views to see what’s popular online, but that’s the only bit of this that I’m keeping, really. I bet the Hulu versions from a few weeks back had all of the AJ Styles, Gallows, and Anderson segments that YouTube didn’t have.
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I missed last week due to some extenuating circumstances, although I did write about the majority of the show. To recap briefly:
- I really enjoyed the 24/7 stuff (as usual) and Maria becoming the champion was a funny bit. I’m glad they seem to have dissolved that angle into the 24/7 stuff instead of keeping it on its own.
- The wrestling was good overall, although the Hulu version cut out the US Title number one contender’s match. Never got a chance to check it out.
- Dolph coming out to HBK’s music with some HBK inspired gear was a nice touch and added to what they ended up doing on RAW this week. The match was short and fine, and I thought the angle with Brock killing Seth was fantastic. Too bad the crowd was glad to see him get an ass-kicking, and it got even worse this week.
- The final segment with Roman, Joe, and their respective bunch of fellow friends was awesome. It was chaotic in all of the right ways, and Cedric Alexander getting that chance to shine was unbelievably great. He’s not the best talker in the world, but he has a ton of natural charisma and knows what to do to get/keep the crowd in his corner.
- In all, I pretty much wouldn’t have changed anything about the show. It was really, really good. Plus, the big thing they cut from the Hulu version would have made the show even better. This felt like the best RAW in the two months I’ve been working on this project. Huge thumbs up.
This Week’s Episode
Monday Night RAW/ August 5, 2019
Week 8 of 9, the SummerSlam Go-Home Show
I’m going to start off by saying that my glowing review of last week’s episode of RAW is not going to be mirrored by what I’ll be talking about here. This week was, for the most part, the antithesis of last week’s show.
- The opening tag match with the women was awful. Not the wrestling — that was fine. I’m not quite sure why Trish didn’t have any physical involvement whatsoever, though. That was weird. In the end, the segment made everyone by Charlotte look terrible. Trish did absolutely nothing, Natalya spent the majority of the match getting beat up by the heel in the other marquee women’s match that’s happening on Sunday, and Becky got beat up by Natalya. Only Charlotte was booked strong. Plus, why put the heels on different teams? It’s not like they even played it up at all. The whole thing was baffling and bad.
- Hulu skipped the Mysterio/Andrade match. Here’s the clip from YouTube. Looked good.
- As usual, the 24/7 Championship stuff was great. Mike being the one to take advantage of his wife and winning the title was a nice surprise (I assumed it would be Drake or Carmella) and I’m oddly looking forward to seeing what Maria does to punish him. Damn them for getting me interested in that stupid angle. And Truth is back on track to overtake Raven as the winningest champion in WWE. He sits at 11 as of now, just 17 away from passing Raven’s 27 Hardcore Title reigns. He can do it!
- Man — that Brock/Seth stuff was BRUTAL. The crowd was dead silent and it was hard to watch, and not the way they were intending. Seth’s promo afterward garnered silence followed by “What?” chants. Not good. In fact, actively bad. Very, very bad. This was awful, and the exact opposite of what they did last week. Seth didn’t look brave, he looked stupid. And the live crowd in Pittsburgh agreed.
- Bray’s Fiend taking out another legend was a good move leading into the match with Finn, keeping The Fiend in the spotlight on RAW and the Firefly Funhouse on SmackDown. However, the fact that they used what was supposed to be the follow-up to Cedric Alexander’s heroic dive from the stage last week is mind-blowingly stupid. They could have come up with a hundred different ways to put Kurt in harm’s way without making Drew and Cedric become afterthoughts. Fucking pitiful.
- The stuff with Ricochet and The OC isn’t lighting the world on fire, but it’s not bad. I just hope that post-SummerSlam they push AJ and the gang to the main event spotlight because otherwise, they’re going to be Just Another Midcard Stable. They should be taking over! It should be a big deal!
- I don’t even know what to say about the Roman near(ish)-death stuff. I don’t get it. It looks corny, it feels corny, it is corny. I love the idea of a ‘whodunnit’ story, but the way they’re going about it isn’t fun at all. And what the hell are they doing with Joe? Is he going to turn out to be the mastermind? Is he just a random body? Why would they start building to a match with him and Roman only to seemingly completely abandon it? I’m hoping the endgame overshadows everything that has been leading us to it.
- Bliss and Cross becoming the new Women’s Tag Team Champions was absolutely the best possible outcome. At least with them as champs, the belts are guaranteed to be on TV because Alexa is a mainstay whether she’s involved in a major angle or not. The match itself was okay until the final two teams. Once it got down to Bliss & Cross vs. Sane & Asuka, it was really quite good. They got the crowd, which spent the majority of the night sitting on their hands, involved in the outcome. That was impressive. The titles have been a giant bomb thus far. Hopefully putting them on Bliss and Cross will point them in the right direction.
- As I said at the beginning, this was a mostly bad episode of RAW. They did nothing to get me excited for SummerSlam (6 days away from the show) and the show felt absolutely lifeless. However…
- The final segment was freakin’ great. I loved it. I fully believe that the plan all along was to do Ziggler vs. Goldberg. HBK was the red herring, Miz was the catalyst, and Goldberg is the endgame. It’s actually quite brilliant. It sucks for the people who really wanted to see Ziggler vs. Michaels, but is that really a dream match now? 5 years ago, totally. Now? Eh. Instead, the whole thing was a giant troll on Dolph. First, he gets antagonized by The Miz. Then they throw a curveball at him by getting Shawn involved, and make it look like HBK is going to step up and be his opponent. But nope, the next pitch was a knuckleball. Ziggler has been attacking Goldberg on social media for weeks, fully assuming there would be no response or comeuppance. Boy, oh boy, was he wrong. In my mind, Miz and Michaels were in touch with Goldberg from the start, and it all led to the closing segment of this week’s episode of RAW. It was short and sweet and did exactly what it needed to. As of right now, it’s really the only match I’m interested in seeing at SummerSlam. I’m looking forward to seeing how they handle Finn vs. Bray, but otherwise, eh. It’s a show.
I didn’t like RAW this week. Everything was either bad, disappointing, or just there. The obvious exception, to me, was the closing segment with Goldberg. Outside of that, I could have missed the whole episode and not felt like I missed anything at all. That’s the opposite of last week. I have nothing else to say. I hope the post-SummerSlam episode, my final one of this experiment, is better.
YouTube Viewership Stuff
Not doing any heavy-duty number crunching. I’m not really a numbers guy. I got into it for a few weeks, but it gave me a headache. Simple facts coming your way.
- In about 48 hours, almost 2 million people watched Seth Rollins get beat up by Brock Lensar inside what sounded like an empty arena. The two segments from last week’s show, after a week and 2 (ish) days, are at about 2.7 million for Lesnar interfering in the Ziggler/Rollins match and about 3.1 million for the rest of the destruction.
- People continue to not care about the Viking Raiders stuff. Under 90,000 views for both last week and this week’s clips. Please figure out something to do with them. They’re too damn good to be having sub-2-minute matches against 150-pound guys.
- Roman Reigns nearly getting killed in the parking lot is at almost 1.5 million views, while the other two segments with Joe/Roman involvement were just under half a million each. The tag match where Trish stood on the apron is just shy of half a million views as well. Last week’s insane brawl is over 6 million views, which is should be. It was great.
- The 24/7 Title stuff at the OB/GYN is at a little under 800,000 views, and the Goldberg return segment is just a smidge below 900,000 views. I honestly expected a much higher number for Goldberg.
- The Fiend is sitting at around 830,000 for the attack on Kurt Angle. Nothing from last week. I feel like I recall the lights going out at some point, but that might have been last week’s SmackDown, not RAW.
In a nutshell, everything is performing essentially the same as usual. The guys who are supposed to be getting the most hits are, the people in the middle are middling, and everyone else exists for posterity’s sake. No change in 8 weeks. That’s a simple observation, not a judgment of it being a good or bad thing. It’s like Roman Reigns in 2015. Something like that.
Welp, next week is my last week doing this. I’m not sure what I’ll be doing going forward, but I’ll try to keep a presence here on the site. I feel it’s only right. Hopefully, someone cares. As I mentioned earlier, drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org if you read this or any of the other stuff I’ve written here in the last two months. See ya next week.
Nick Marsico/ Writer (kinda)
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