It’s the start of a new year and that gets everyone thinking about positive change and transformations. What could RAW do better in 2017? Here are my five suggestions!
- Rebuild the US Title
Criminal Neglect. That’s how I’d describe the Red Brand’s attitude towards the US Championship. Ever since stripping the gold from Rusev to give it to Reigns, the RAW Creative Team has completely forgotten about the US title. It’s not feuded for and it’s rarely getting defended because Reigns is too busy with the Universal Title to actually care.
The first thing that needs to be done is to get the US title off of Roman Reigns’ hands. It’s quite obvious the WWE doesn’t want to develop the Big Dog as a strong midcard champion. The plans for him aim higher than that. However, the US title deserves better than to be a piece of jewelry designed to make Roman look good.
The title probably should have gone to Jericho because he would have been the legendary equivalent of the Miz on RAW. Jericho would have created hilarious feuds over the championship and would have managed to win them with his huge arsenal of tricks. However, it wasn’t meant to be. At least not this week. I still have some hopes for a future reign of Jericho though.
Whatever happens, whoever defeats Roman Reigns for the gold, the Creative need to invest in rebuilding the US title. If RAW is to have a functioning midcard, the show needs a title with prestige that will call for excellence.
- Women’s Division – Beyond Charlotte
It’s no secret that the RAW Women’s Division hasn’t been particularly balanced. It’s all about Charlotte. Sasha’s been her sparring partner throughout 2016 but the winner always was the Queen.
Don’t get me wrong – Charlotte is great. She has grown into her heel role perfectly. She’s more confident and believable than ever. However, she can’t remain undefeated at PPVs and overall stronger than every other woman on the show. The truth is that the RAW fans are bored with the way the women on the Red Brand are being booked.
Involving Nia Jax and Bayley in the title picture is a good move. Yet, it might not be enough. Charlotte has to stop hogging the spotlight and allow others to take center stage for a while. When Asuka gets called up, it will most probably be on RAW. I’m curious to see whether she’ll be the one to bring change in 2017.
- Develop the Tag Team Division
The RAW Tag Team Division also needs improvements. For more than a year, the tag team glory was all about the New Day. They were great champions but the end of their reign was overdue.
The New Day kept the titles in focus and didn’t drag them down like Roman Reigns is doing with the US Title. However, because the New Day were so great, everybody else looked bad. The rest of the teams got beat so many times that they all lost credibility. This is why the RAW Creative had to resort to bringing two single competitors together, in order to produce a viable contender for the Tag Team Titles.
Naming Sheamus and Cesaro as leaders of the RAW Tag Team Division was a good move. This is the beginning of the change. It falls on them to now produce interesting feuds and help the rest of the division regain some momentum.
At the end of 2017, RAW must have more than one memorable team on the roster.
- Separate the Universal Champion from the Authority
Another major change that must happen on RAW in 2017 is severing the connection between the Universal Title and the Authority.
For as long as the Authority existed, the champ has been somehow tied to it. This creates a certain type of a heavily aided heel champion, who looks weak and needs his hand held through every match. First it was Seth Rollins and now it’s Kevin Owens but regardless of who the Chosen One is, he’s a shielded champion.
Every storyline around the Universal Championship is more about the influence of the Authority and the involvement of extra help for the champ. It’s boring and it makes the champion look weak. Subsequently, the Universal Title suffers and loses credibility.
The RAW Creative must move away from this pattern if 2017 is to be any better than 2016.
- Start Giving Opportunities
Stephanie McMahon was complaining on the latest episode of RAW that SmackDown is perceived as the Land of Opportunity. Although this is just a catchphrase, there is some truth to it. The Blue Brand does provide more opportunities for equal development of talent.
Just look at the closing segment of RAW this week! The champ is a joke and he has a goofy sidekick. The main face of the brand is Roman Reigns, who’s had so many opportunities I’ve lost count. And the two biggest teased storylines are Goldberg vs. Lesanr and Triple H vs. Rollins. One of them features two part-timers with limited move sets and huge checks, while the other one relies on the legend of the Game to pull viewers in.
RAW sells names that have already been made while guys like Sami Zayn get destroyed. Rollins is brilliant but he might be the only indie guy who managed to make it on RAW. He must have some secret recipe for success!
I do hope that in 2017 RAW will become more open to new ideas. You know, more like SmackDown.
What do you think? Comment below with your thoughts, opinions, feedback and anything else that was raised