Opinion: 2018: The Worst Year In Raw History?

Discussion in 'Articles & Columns' started by Wildcat66, Jan 1, 2019.

  1. Wildcat66

    Wildcat66 Mastermind of ATV

    Dec 21, 2013
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    2018 has come and gone and now we've moved onto 2019. So many great things occurred during 2018 in the wrestling world. From the resurgence of SmackDown Live, 205 Live and Impact to the rise of LU, ROH and MLW, the continued excellence of NXT and NJPW and the success of All In, 2018 has been overall a good year in wrestling.

    Note that Monday Night RAW was not mentioned. Because out of all the wrestling shows this year, RAW seems to have gotten the worst of it. From sinking ratings, questionable booking decisions and shows so bad that creative had to blow up all of their plans for the show and make changes to how they process the show.

    Things got to a point where Seth Rollins, the de-facto face of RAW since Roman Reigns is out cut a worked shoot promo discussing the pitfalls of the show and the entire McMahon family had to come out and apologize.

    Given this and everything that has occurred of the last twelve months, it does make you wonder: Will 2018 go down as the worst in RAW's history?

    To me: The short answer is no. The long answer is as followed,

    While 2018 has not been a good year for RAW, especially in the last two months, it is not the worst this show has seen.

    Try 1995 when Mabel was stinking up the joint and Diesel was failing miserably as the new face of WWE. When WWE was at it's most bankrupt creatively.

    Try 1996 when HBK was flopping as champion and the company was entering a tailspin until Steve Austin, Bret Hart and many others lit a fire under the show's belly.

    Try 2002 when the show was struggling to find a new identity after the end of the Attitude Era and the beginning of the brand split, when Triple H began his reign of terror and the NWO was brought in only to fail on the first hurdle.

    Try 2003 when Triple H was sucking the life out of everything and experiments like Scott Steiner, Jeff Hardy, Booker T, Chris Nowinski and virtually every women not named Trish Stratus, Victoria or Stacy Keibler blew up in their faces for one reason or another.

    Try 2012 when the show was struggling to transfer their writing ability towards three hours and Brodus Clay, Lord Tensai, David Otunga and John Laurinitus were focal parts of the show.

    Try 2015 when Roman Reigns's rocket push failed to take off with fans and a heatless Sheamus was the world champion. When an unready Braun Strowman and a wrestler in his 40s (Tommy Dreamer) main evented one of the final RAWs of the year and the Authority was everywhere you looked.

    Make no mistake, 2018 has been a rough year for the so called A show of WWE. With Lucha Rules, repetitive booking, Baron Corbin's disastrous reign as GM and the awful handling of feuds like Bayley vs Sasha Banks and Dean Ambrose vs Seth Rollins, but in terms of creativity and functioning as a show, RAW has been through worse than it how it's been the last twelve months. It doesn't help that RAW is three hours long so there's more stuff to go over and a greater chance of certain things being bad or what have you.

    In the end, as bad as 2018 was. I think there have been years in the past that have been much worse.
    Jack-Hammer likes this.
  2. Mike Oxlong

    Mike Oxlong New Member

    Jan 1, 2019
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    Are you kidding me? Is this a serious question? 2018 is easily the worst year in WWE history. EASILY. Let's count the ways:

    1. Lack of stars = no draws
    2. Lack of logic in storylines = not one interesting story the entire year
    3. Repetitive matches
    4. PG violence aka no blood, no headshots, no innovative weapons
    5. Authority figures dominating the show
    6. Womens segments taking up half the show = very boring segments and matches for 90 minutes
    7. Half assed commentary from the worst commentary team ever assembled
    8. Lackluster production style (weird camera angles, lack of pyro, studio style lighting)

    I mean these are just some of the obvious examples. There is so much more wrong with this show that I could write a whole book on, but I'll summarize in the simplest way: RAW IS BORING.

    Aside from the guantlet match that Rollins won, there is literally nothing that stands out in my mind as being entertaining from this ENTIRE YEAR of programming.

    At least 1995 had Bret Hart.
    2018 had nothing.
  3. Wildcat66

    Wildcat66 Mastermind of ATV

    Dec 21, 2013
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    Note that I only said RAW and not WWE. I don't feel you should lump in SD or 205 Live in the mix as both shows have been good to excellent for most of the year. And even then I don't think 2018 is anywhere near the worst when it comes to bad years in the WWE.

    1. Seth Rollins, Drew McIntyre, Mustafa Ali, Becky Lynch and to a lesser extent Braun Strowman would like to have a word with you.
    2. AJ Styles vs. Samoa Joe, Daniel Bryan vs. AJ Styles and Charlotte vs. Becky Lynch are three excellent storylines I can think of at the top of my head, and that's not even mentioning Johnny Gargano vs. Tommaso Ciampa down in NXT.
    3. That one i'll give, repetitive matches are problem in WWE and they have been for a while. Especially when creative has nothing else for them.
    4. Why is PG violence a bad thing? It helps make wrestling safer for the athletes and keeps the wrestlers from suffering major injuries like concussions.
    5. That's been a problem since the late 90s, even with face authority figures so i'll give that one to you.
    6. What's wrong with the women taking up some screentime? Don't you want them to be taken seriously as wrestlers? Doesn't help that match quality the division is the best it's ever been.
    7. 205 Live and SmackDown Live would like to have a word with you.
    8. Outside of pyro, I don't understand why this would be a problem.
  4. Spidercanrana

    Spidercanrana Should've Reinstated The Fox
    Staff Member Moderator E-Fed Mod

    Apr 1, 2010
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    Lowest viewership on record. I'd say a case can be made for 2018 being the worst year.
  5. George Steele's Barber

    George Steele's Barber Advertise Here $9.95/month

    Dec 7, 2010
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    I'm not going to pretend to be some Raw historian who remembers and has documented each year of the show. But here is what I will say, Raw has been pretty bad for most of its existence. Things like repetitive matches and authority figures has been a part of the show for a long time. The biggest difference to me that makes Raw so bad in 2018 compared to other years is that this is one year where I can definitively say that SD is so much better that it makes Raw look so much worse. Since the brand split SD has always had decent writing and put on some very good matches but this year they also added a full roster (Almas, Joe, Asuka, Hardy, Mysterio) that has stayed healthy. Bryan's return and recent heel turn and title win have helped. The obnoxious vegan character is terrific. Becky's ascent has been discussed enough. Something as simple as Rusev Day and his title win last week felt joyous. There was something about the look on his face last week after his win that made me feel like he actually was genuinely thrilled about winning a real title. That doesn't happen often.

    Raw hasn't had much to get excited about by comparison. I've enjoyed Rousey's ascent. I've enjoyed Elias' face turn. Braun was good then he went bad, and things got confusing because he wasn't bad anymore. Alexa Bliss is a star. What they've done with Drew in a short time has been surprisingly good. Those things alone makes me think this can't be the worst year subjectively in Raw history. But mostly I've lost my train of thought and am tired of typing. Interesting topic but one that is hard to argue about.
  6. Spencesc11

    Spencesc11 Getting Noticed By Management

    Jan 30, 2013
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    The problem with Raw is 3 things

    1) 3 hour show (It's just to long)
    2) To many of the same matches week after week
    3) No Universal Champ present on a weekly basis

    How to fix this in 2019......
    1) Get the belt off Lesnar (Use him as a special attraction not the World Champion)
    2) Build some better feuds up and down the card. (Maybe Create a top heel faction lead by Heyman w/McIntyre, Lashley, & AOP). Heyman's presence would definitely help the product for sure.
    3) Move Styles, Anderson, & Gallows back to Raw and combine them with Balor to form "The Club". Merchandise would pop off the charts with this tweener group.
    4) Get the belt off Lesnar. It has become a punchline for superstar promos that he's not there. That is sad.
    5) Move Becky Lynch to Raw after she beats Rousey at Mania and have an epic 6 month feud between the 2. You have the makings of a Rock vs. HHH kind of heat in the feud. Use it for all it's worth.
    6) Keep matches different from week to week. The 2 people feuding don't need to face each other week after week and then at the PPV. Just makes the product way to stagnant.
    7) If your going to keep the show 3 hours long then keep the action moving with more matches so it doesn't seem like 3 hours.
  7. johnnybbad78

    johnnybbad78 Dark Match Jobber

    May 8, 2011
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    Here's how I know it was the worst year for RAW....I've been watching RAW religiously for 20 years....this year I think I watched MAYBE 5 entire episodes....it was THAT bad. SmackDown was WAAAY better.....
  8. OYDK

    OYDK King Of The Ring

    Feb 19, 2014
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    I think 2018 will undoubtedly go down as one of the worst years in Raw history. This year more than most years, they just really seemed like they didn't know what the fuck they were doing week to week and it took serious patience to try and understand a lot of the decisions that were being made. It got so bad that I stopped watching months ago and just reading the reviews nowadays is enough to annoy me. To be fair, the injuries didn't help at all but the way they were managed, like putting the belt back on Brock after Reigns went out, just repeatedly sucked the life out of the show even more than the injuries did. Ratings continued sinking, nobody broke out of the pack, we had an absentee champion for pretty much the whole year, the writing and booking was really, really bad, and it honestly seemed like they were actively trying to sabotage their own show at times just to stick it to the fans.

    Again, I didn't watch most Raw's this year so it's difficult for me to say just how bad it was, but I find it difficult to believe that this year was worse than 2009. At least 2018 had interesting characters on the roster, whereas 09 had a terrible roster and a terrible product. Not to mention it was the year of the guest-hosts, which had to have been the worst cumulative idea in WWE history. Yes, I'm going that far. It was also the year they attempted to break into the mainstream. I mean, they did it relatively successfully but that didn't make their plugging of absolute nonsense any less annoying or any more entertaining.

    I'm sure there were other really bad years, but all in all, 2018 will definitely be remembered as one of the worst years in Raw history. I have no doubt about that.
  9. Jack-Hammer


    Mar 26, 2009
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    If you're going in terms of quality, then I'd be tempted to say that 2009 was maybe the worst year for Raw. I remember that, especially during the 2nd half of 2009, Raw was basically a variety show with one skit after another, usually featuring DX all over the show acting like a couple of middle aged frat boys, and you'd be lucky if you got 5 minutes of wrestling out of the entire show. When you factor in Raw being 3 hours now, however, that might be another point in terms of 2018 being Raw's worst year when you take into account that it was that much longer to sit through.

    But yeah, 2018 was a horrible year for Raw without question; no consistent main event title picture, too much emphasis being placed on the wrong talent for much of the year while leaving virtually all of the rest of the roster to flap in the wind in meaningless programs, Vince hijacking the shows and sometimes writing them himself and severe misuse of highly talented members of the roster are just a few of the problems that plagued Raw in 2018. When all the various "year end awards" come out on various sites and in wrestling publications naming Raw the worst wrestling TV show of 2018, there's no real way to defend against it and sound credible.
  10. pbancroft32

    pbancroft32 Dark Match Winner

    Oct 23, 2018
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    has 2018 been terrible for RAW (not the rest as some has been 1st rate) yes of cause it has anyone that says different im not sure what your watching but is it the worst year in history its subjective but id have to say no 2002 the botched invasion angle for me if it isnt the worst year in WWE history let alone raw history im not sure what is the whole thing was one cluster fuck after another and the worst thing about it unlike now they had a host of talent and just didnt use them.
    I am not for one second saying there isnt talent now but 2002 had full blown established stars where now they have guys and girls that might be stars given the right chance.
    you could argue not giving these people the chance to shine makes this year worse but i dont think so i think when you no you have stars and it still sucks thats got to be worse.
    1995 was a terrible year as well and as much as some would argue but they at least had bret yes they did they had one of the best in ring performers that shouldnt be allowed to hold a mirophone and we all know you are never building a promotion around a guy that cant talk.
    there are other years that were very bad but yeah i think they would be the top three what order you would put them in im not 100% sure

    was 2018 the worst maybe maybe not but even if it isnt the worst its very very close
  11. Dagger Dias

    Dagger Dias Natural 20
    Staff Member Super Moderator

    Sep 22, 2008
    Likes Received:
    I thought about it and there's a strong case to be made for 2018 as the worst year Raw has ever seen. Now there have been points in the red brand's history that have been even lower quality, but when you look at the entire calendar year overall from January to December, 2018 is as a whole worse than other full years and a contender for the worst of the worst. It's easily the worst of the modern era. 2011 in the first half was pretty awful. You don't get much worse than a World Champion who can't wrestle being in a feud for the title on pay per view against a retired old announcer. The year got better with Punk VS Cena and plenty of other things, thus 2011 cannot rank as worse than 2018 no matter how abysmal its first half was. The reverse is true for 2009. I really enjoyed the first half and then things took a colossal downward shift in quality with the guest host concept. I hated that so much. Again though, when looking at the year of 2009 as a whole, it's not worse. Maybe 2003 or 1995, however no other timeframe of 12 months really are as bad as 2018's bad quality. Literally the only good things about Raw all year long were the Ronda stuff (feuds with Trips/Stephanie and with Alexa were a highlight for me) and Seth's Intercontinental Championship reign. The show was a chore to watch the entire year. Thank goodness for DVR's to skip all the stupid things.

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