WWE Monday Night Raw, what has happened to the mighty beast? What has happened to the flagship show of World Wrestling Entertainment? The answers are many and vary from lack of proper talent development, corny gimmicks that outlast their welcome, feeling the need to become PG when a majority of your fan base is vastly over the age of 13, stale repeated main event feuds and celebrity guest hosts who know nothing about WWE except that they’re being given time to promote their DVD, upcoming movie, or upcoming book. These factors are killing Raw to the point where there has to be some decrease in viewers. At some point it’s going to get to the point where Sgt. Slaughter suits up again and tells kids to wash their hands, listen to their parents and eat their vegetables before going to commercial break, after which of course shilling a compilation DVD that WWE has created for him.

WWE, this is my State of the Union Address to you. This is my report to you on what is wrong with your product and how, from a fan’s perspective, you can fix it.

Let us first look at the glaring issue that is the celebrity guest host. I can’t be the only one that notices that almost every celebrity guest host that wasn’t tied to the business has mispronounced or shown a total ignorance of WWE. Be it from calling Summerslam Summerfest or calling Cowboy Bob Orton Cowboy Bob Thornton, the guest hosts lack of any knowledge of your product, WWE, is making you look so stupid it isn’t even funny. How do you mend this? Get actual celebrities that know your product. Don’t just go looking for whoever has a new DVD to shill or for a nobody like Shaq. If you HAVE to have a celebrity/sports player then look for celebrities that have shown an obvious interest in the WWE. Take for example, Chicago Cub’s Alfonso Soriano. How many times have we seen him do John Cena’s “You Can’t See Me” taunt? That qualifies as obvious interest in the WWE. Granted, you have to wait until the offseason but could it really be any worse?

Now, once you get a guest host that actually cares somewhat about WWE…for god’s sake, DON’T LET THEM WRESTLE. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve facepalmed when a match between *random celebrity host* and John Cena/DX combination vs. Randy Orton and Legacy only to see the celebrity actually get the pin and totally destroy any momentum anyone had. No, WWE, no…that’s a bad multi-billion dollar organization. Here is what your formula should look like, grab a pen if you must, Celebrity Host Job = Hosting, Wrestlers Job = Wrestling, and Interchangeability between the two =/= Success. Got it? Excellent, that formula will save millions of wrestling fans a headache and make them maybe want to shill out forty bucks for the same PPV main event.

Onto the next problem, the lack of young superstars to take over the main event when the right now guys get injured or are ready to retire. I will give you credit, WWE, you’ve developed Legacy into potential main eventers. But aside from them, what have you got for the future? The Miz, Kofi Kingston, Jack Swagger and Evan Bourne should be quick and snappy responses. But guess what? While we’re busy watching Cedric the Entertainer run under the ring for a comical moment or Seth Green try to beat up Randy Orton, or even Bob Barker “karate” chop Chavo…your young talent suffers from time that could have been spent promoting them further and building on their feud. Instead, you now have them all in some clusterfuck Hell in a Cell match with an angle that was slopped together at the last second over the theft of the United States Title, a gimmick you’ve been using for ages that isn’t any cooler now than it was ten years ago. You can’t just throw talent like that into a match and expect the fans to give a shit. Because, really, we aren’t. Don’t get me wrong, plenty of people will watch because they know the potential of these guys but they aren’t going to really care WHY they’re in the ring. That, WWE, is the whole point of a gimmick and a storyline. To make me give a shit as to why those guys are beating the hell out of each other for a twenty pound gold belt. If you throw together some last minute scrapjob then guess what happens? People like me fail to give a shit and any hype, storyline, or gimmick those guys had is LOST.  I think the fixing of that problem should be self explanatory. But, in case it isn’t, DEVELOP YOUR YOUNG STARS. How do we make room for such matches and segments to develop them!? EASY! Cut off the celebrity guest host matches and cut the celebrity guest host intros time in half. How many times has a celebrity guest host come out and told fans something they don’t already know? “Hi I’m a celebrity, here is my pathetic attempt to pronounce your PPV in two weeks. Here’s the main event that was probably told to you at the end of last week. Oh yeah, I’m probably gonna have a run in with a heel and be goaded into a match where a face is gonna save my butt.” If it ended there, I’d be fine, but they dredge on for ten to fifteen minutes. Cut them off.

Now, the previous problem of underdeveloped talent falls right into the next category. The stale PPV main event you’ve been cramming down our throats for the better part of 2009. I think I speak for a majority of WWE fans when I say, we’re god damn tired of the Main Event being a revolving door of Triple H, John Cena, and Randy Orton. Get a fresh face into the WWE Title mix and give us something we haven’t seen at every PPV this year. Look, all of them are talented, sure, but I bet if you look at the PPV buy rated you’re seeing a steady decline. It might not be an avalanche yet, but go ahead and keep throwing out that stale main event…see what happens to the buy rates. You’d be surprised how quickly a snowball becomes a city crushing avalanche. Look, all I’m saying is, for maybe two or three Pay Per Views, but a young gun into a feud with the WWE Champion. You don’t have to have him win or anything, but have him put up a good fight where he makes the current WWE Champion, John Cena or otherwise, really have to struggle a bit. Doing this does two things for you; one it makes a potential main eventer out of what could have been a mid carder and two, it give your champion depth if he is face in the sense that he didn’t take the young gun lightly and brought all his guns to the table. If he is a heel and he needs heat, do your usual schtick and have the heel get easy heel heat on the poor kid who put up a valiant effort. Either way, it’s a quick way to make a rising star into a possible main eventer, or at least make it plausible. I swear to God, if I see another Randy Orton/Triple H/John Cena Triple Threat match I’m going to throw my laptop through the television screen.

This ties somewhat into the previous point, the stale gimmicks you have going right now. Namely, John Cena’s gimmick which I know you’ve been taking heat for. Now, look, I know how much money he brings in for you and I am in no way suggesting you should turn him heel. You’d lose too much money on merchandise, I get that. But he needs to change, he really does. On the last Raw during that contract signing he literally made me want to punch him. Maybe it was just a bad mix because Randy Orton had the vibe that he was treating this match as if  his life was on the line. John Cena? He was cracking jokes and making funny faces for the kids. Is that really what he’s feeling going into his first Hell in the Cell match? Or is even his persona sure of WWE’s sure fire championship rematch schtick that he knows he’ll win regardless? Another gimmick that is getting tired, D-Generation X. Yes, I said it. I realize they make you a ton of money on merchandise and maybe it’s not even the gimmick that bugs me. It’s that you bring them in for these little two, three month reunions and then…gone. DX is an entity that needs to remain constant if they’re going to be here or not exist at all. Or at the very least…recruit some new guys for it because Triple H and HBK are way too old to still be running around like they were young punks fighting the powers that be. They’re too old to be cracking the juvenile jokes like they used to. DX and John Cena are two entities that need to see some kind of change. I’m not saying you have to total turn them from face to heel, but they need more depth. DX is living on nostalgia and John Cena…he’s like a 12 year old with super powers that thinks making funny faces makes him funny.

Speaking of 12 year olds, why the sudden shift to PG? You’re a company that has been made famous for brutalizing people with chairs, obscene amounts of fake, or cut, blood and old women giving birth to hands. I know, you’re trying to reach the kids, but look at the majority of your audience…not the PG crowd. Hell, look at the timeslot you’re in for god’s sake. 9-11PM? Really, you’re gonna go PG when the audience you want to reach with the PG mindset is…in bed anyway? I mean I guess they could catch Superstars but I think even you guys realize how much of a joke that “show” is. You put it on WGN…I see you do have a sense of humor, Vince. Look, like the old saying goes, “If it ain’t broke don’t fix it.” Granted, you don’t have to have EVERY match be a hardcore bloodbath, but don’t cut back on it just because you think “going PG” will attract more people. If anything going PG will lose viewers because they don’t want to see kiddie grade stuff, they want to see the blood and chairshots they grew up on. Plus, a Hell in the Cell PPV? Yeah, real PG guys, way to work that one into the gameplan. When Little Tommy asks Mommy who Satan is because your commentary guys keep hyping it as “Satan’s Structure” then we’ll see how well your “going PG” flies.

WWE, this is all from a fan of yours from many years. This is my State of the Union Address for WWE’s Monday Night Raw. You might never see it, but if you do…I implore you to at least glance at it and consider some of what I said. Maybe just because it’s what I’d like, I imagine there are WWE fans out there that completely disagree with me and that is their right and privilege. But from one fan to the company he has been watching for at least two decades…do something. Do something to Raw before you lose what got you all those fans in the first place. Because at the rate you’re going…it could happen sooner than you think.