This week’s edition of RAW scored the second-highest ratings for the fall season. After a steady decline throughout the month of October, the show enjoyed a drastic increase this Monday night. There’s one obvious reason that made the RAW of Nov 3rd stand out – the absence of WWE’s top star – John Cena.
Obviously, some could argue that this is simply a coincidence and the world of WWE does not revolve around Cena only. As much as I want to agree with the claim that Cena is not the sole centre of the WWE Universe, for better or for worse, this might not be the case. It’s a well known fact that the Cenation largely consists of younger fans. The reports on this week’s Cena-less episode of RAW show a 30% decrease in the number of 12-17y old viewers.
Another coincidence? Maybe, but if we assume that Cena’s absence is, in fact, behind the increase of RAW’s ratings this week, how did it affect the quality of the show? Does pulling Cena out magically make everyone else better or is it that the fans were so excited to not have Cena on their TVs that they kept watching intently?
I think, the truth is, the show was enjoyable and no one even noticed that Cena wasn’t there. Although I was aware that he wouldn’t be part of RAW, I never even once thought about it during the show. I fully realised that Cena hadn’t been there while I was writing my RAW review.
Although I’ll be disagreeing with Vine Russo’s open letter to Vince McMahon, I and, according to the stats, around 4.040 million viewers actually found RAW to be entertaining this week. A lot of the talent on the roster was involved in the programme and had their time to shine.
I was happy to see Tyson Kidd get a RAW victory moment. I enjoyed the Ambrose vs. Cesaro match because it was good, regardless of the lack of a deep underlining feud between them. Yes, the Ambrose/Wyatt feud didn’t get any development but it just makes me more curious.
The tag-team division was all wrapped up in a big twist, having Miz and Mizdow, Los Matadores, The Cosmic Brothers and the Usos all involved in intertwining storylines. It didn’t follow the traditional plot build-up that features two enemies constantly preoccupied only with each other. In a way, it was chaos and loved it.
Dolph Ziggler was the face of the WWE for the night and he felt real. His struggle and his passion were sincere. The audience was firmly behind him. If it had been Cena saying the same (which actually happened last week), the fans wouldn’t have really cared. Cena’s character of principle, in its wish to remain unstained, has lost its value. A hero without doubts is a devoid of humanity and it disconnects from the fans.
Randy Orton’s hatred and anger felt just. Triple H’s unwillingness to give the order to take him out was the pain of a mini Evolution death. Even though the Game’s a heel, he still had feelings for the friend he was about to sentence to death. And Rollins was just at his best in-ring and as a persona. He makes it so easy to hate him that all the rivalries based on wanting to destroy Rollins become real. And this is why Seth Rollins is the future. What an amazing future that will be!
The lesson to be learned here is, that the WWE is fortunate enough to have the best of the best on their roster. There’re young and fresh superstars, who are full of passion and energy that they want to give and the fans soak it in eagerly. Without taking any respect away from him, it is time for John Cena to slowly fall to the back and give the stage to those who hold the future.
How did you feel about this week’s RAW? Do you agree with me or not? Share your thoughts in the comment section, on FB or Twitter!