Welcome to The Hot Tag. The biggest wrestling news broken down into small digestible bites for you all. This week we are looking into is Raw dying? The NXT championship picture and another WWE superstar is banged up.
August is a weird time for wrestling. It’s the end of summer so WWE wraps up their storylines at Summerslam, before going on the journey to Survivor Series. But, we have other things to look forward to after Summerslam. A little thing called All-In in September and even WWE’s Evolution in October.
Before we start, I would like to acknowledge the passing of three very important wrestlers last month. Brian “Grand Master Sexay” Christopher, Nikolai Volkoff and Brickhouse Brown. All were tremendous performers and it is sad to see all three go. Each of these men had an influence on the industry and will be greatly missed.
Is Raw Dying?
After nearly 30 years of being on the air, Raw is limping along at this point and it’s just possible that Raw is dying. Hitting all-time viewership lows recently, it is really starting to become apparent that something needs to change with the WWE’s flagship show. Be it the three hour length, or the innumerous promos that lead nowhere, even veteran fans are wearing thin. It hasn’t been this desperate since the dark days of 07’.
The company has to start tweaking the product to gain traction back. In my opinion, the WWE has to cut back from three hours. It is just so long and tedious, especially with the commercial breaks. Raw needs to borrow from Smackdown and cut back on time, which would cut back on the unnecessary promo’s and should give us more work in the ring. This would help the talent is so many ways. Most the mid and low-card guys on Raw do not have great mic skills, and it shows. Cut the time and give them just a minute to say something, and I guarantee you that more people would get over.
Also, the company should look at the writers room. They have really let storylines go by the wayside. I don’t know who is control or has the majority of ideas, but something is just not clicking. Storylines end abruptly, or don’t start at all, while others go on for far too long and lose all momentum. They don’t look at what the fans want, and seem to just force what they, or the man in Stamford, wants.
Raw will need something to change to turn the tide because the fact we’re been asking is raw dying, means it’s in serious trouble. Or Fox is gonna take Smackdown and eventually run away with it. It’s all up to the company at this point.
NXT Title Picture
Well, things have truly escalated quickly. The Gargano/Ciampa feud has now spun into the title picture, leaving Alistair Black on the sideline with a real groin injury. Now, I want to say Black will be back for the belt, but he is so over it wouldn’t be a huge stretch for him to pop up to the main roster once healthy. Leaving the Gargano/Ciampa feud to be a one on one battle like it should be. Having Black come back and beat either one would just make the outcome of the match at Brooklyn meaningless.
With Ciampa holding the belt, we have went into a logical place with this feud. After splitting their matches, the rubber match is for the belt. I love how this is booked and they have given us almost 2 full years of great work against each other, and now nearly 4 years of great NXT work from both men. I’m happy to see this end up with a title match that really feels special.
Ricochet Misses Events
After missing a few live shows pre-Takeover Chicago, Ricochet appeared at the PPV and performed, but now he hasn’t been seen for 6 weeks. The Wrestling Observer reports that he has been dealing with an injury for quite some time now, and is taking time off up until Summerslam weekend to rest and recover.
He is scheduled to face Adam Cole for the NXT North American Championship, but without him being 100%, the match could be up in the air. That being said, he did appear in last weeks NXT tapings, being involved in a brawl involving Cole’s Undisputed Era. He didn’t participate in a match though, so keep an eye on the card for any changes. If so, you know why.