Raw's Real Heel Problem and the 3-Hour Curse

Andy Soucek@Andy_SoucekFeatured ColumnistFebruary 26, 2013

photo via wwe.com
photo via wwe.com

What is WWE thinking?

Do they want their fans to quit watching their shows before WrestleMania 29?

It's an odd business choice, but is there really any other explanation for the most recent edition of Raw?

As we saw, every heel in the company (except Jack Swagger and Mark Henry) was portrayed as a complete loser. 

No matter what kind of advantage the heels had, they failed. They're idiots, and apparently aren't worth our time, let alone our money, to watch them get their comeuppance.

Just take a look at these encounters from the night's show:

Paul Heyman can't beat up a one legged senior citizen.

—Brock Lesnar, a former UFC champion, can't beat up a semi-retired man who is eight years his senior.

Dolph Ziggler (with his fantastic 4-11 record this year) can't beat up Ryback with the help of AJ Lee and Big E. Langston.

—Antonio Cesaro, the U.S. Champion, lost to Randy Orton (for the fourth time in six weeks, as well as his ninth singles loss this year).

—Cody Rhodes (who has won one singles match all year) lost to a man 14 years his senior in two minutes. 

—Damien Sandow can't beat up R-Truth from behind after he already wrestled a match.

—Wade Barrett, the Intercontinental Champion, couldn't even punch Sheamus in the face.

—The Shield was outsmarted by Sheamus and Orton.

—CM Punk lost to Cena cleanly, which isn't a great way to build up a showdown with Undertaker.

—The Primetime Players literally couldn't beat a blindfolded man, and another man with one arm tied behind his back.

Just think about that last note.

O'Neil and Young were completely buried for a joke. Now any WWE babyface who has any sort of back-and-forth match with them look like a chump. Who would want to even see them wrestle now anyway considering how absolutely terrible they are at their job?

Single actions like that have wide-ranging consequences on the rest of the roster. But WWE doesn't seem to care. They have to fill a three-hour show. Movie tickets to sell. No time for long term planning.

Overall, Raw was atrocious. Punk vs. Cena was great, but it took two hours and 50 minutes to get there.

Perhaps more than any other week, they proved that their extended show is just too long and is going to do long-term damage to their company.

We had to watch three movie trailers during the actual show (one that was already shown in its entirety last week), and then we had to sit through a fake WrestleMania trailer from eight years ago, which was a parody of a movie from 1992!

Maybe next week they can just kill more time and show No Holds Barred in its entirety. 

The three-hour dilemma is leading to some serious issues with overexposure. 

Sheamus graced us with his god-awful Oscar speech, he changed his clothes to show up The Shield and then we had to look at his mug again on the Tout screen.

Once was enough, fella. 

Then we get to Zeb Colter who is the freshest act on the show, but is quickly becoming stale.

He did triple duty on Raw by cutting an in-ring promo, cutting a similar promo in a broadcast of his Youtube video and then accompanying Swagger to ringside. 

There's no good reason to overexpose a new act this quickly, but because half of their roster is portrayed as ineffective idiots, they have to rely on the same dozen or so wrestlers and personalities to carry the load every single week. 

Don't forget, three hours of Raw means even more commercials. This doesn't even count the designated breaks—they added more during the actual show. 

Who wouldn't want to watch Jerry Lawler eat some Sonic's fast food when he should be announcing a match?

Imagine if on Monday Night Football, they cut to Chris Berman eating a hamburger moments after the end of the second quarter.

To top it all off, Tout returned and was promoted in an ad for SmackDown more than any wrestler was.

It's good to see that the company has their priorities straight. Random people talking for 15 seconds are now drawing more heat than nearly every heel on the roster. 

At least they haven't been jobbed out with one arm tied behind their backs.