Three hours in a large time period to fill with fresh content on a regular basis. WWE had a hard enough time completing this task prior to the brand split. Now, a trimmed roster has left visible lulls in the Raw program (since that first wonderful episode, anyway) that are attempted to be filled by Golden Truth playing Pokemon Go, the Dudley Boyz getting pinned easily (for some reason), and the plight of the former Prime Time Players.
These segments are gratuitous, as the same abbreviated group of uber over talent cannot be showcased in segment after segment. Since the incarnation of the latest brand split, the Cruiserweight Classic has been advertised as “coming soon.” This inclusion will inevitably be, as the tournament has indicated, a dynamic addition to Monday Night Raw. However, the aforementioned lulls have conjured the necessity to transition the status of “coming soon” to “coming yesterday.”
WWE needs to take notes from old episodes of WCW Monday Nitro to see how its cruiserweight division not only benefitted its programming, but also produced future stars that would become legendary main eventers in WWE. Once this study is completed, WWE will also see that it has the opportunity to produce programming that can be the best professional wrestling has ever seen.
Let’s face it: R-Truth, Goldust, Titus O’ Neil and Darren Young are to Monday Night Raw as Marty Janetty, Road Block, Jerry Flynn and Barry Darsow were to WCW Monday Nitro; they can be more than serviceable in the ring against more deserving wrestlers, but the overwhelming majority of the fanbase could not possibly care less about the storylines they are involved in. And yet, they are being given valuable television time that could be used to showcase the current contenders in the CWC, and the future members of Monday Night Raw’s cruiserweight division.
Halloween was not on screen playing Magic the Gathering with Blitzkrieg. Eric Bischoff was not giving High Voltage valuable television time to work out the kinks in their relationship. These individuals were simply jobbers; they were there to be beaten by those who did, or who would potentially draw money. The aforementioned members of the Monday Night Raw roster, although there is some talent that is obviously present, will not become bigger stars even if ninjas throw them. They need to be there simply to be beaten, which gives credibility to those who beat them due to their previous individual success.
Still, they need to simply be beaten. Nothing more. Nothing less.
When those who are otherwise jobbers are getting extended television time, lulls take place. This is what the cruiserweight division will solve. The Cruiserweight Classic has already produced ample matches that are worthy of being showcased on a weekly basis on Monday Night Raw, including absolute barnburners between Brian Kendrick and Raul Mendoza (showing that Mendoza is a dark horse to become a future star in the WWE), as well as Johnny Gargano and Tommaso Ciampa. The Full Sail University crowd erupted during and after nearly every match that took place, and this reaction will transition to the Monday Night Raw audience, an audience that continues to become more wise to the quality of programming WWE has been producing.
Not only will the cruiserweight division fill in the gaps being left by glorified jobbers, as well as satisfy the entire WWE Universe, but it will be a proving ground for potential future WWE stars outside of the division. One of WCW’s biggest flaws was the fact that it was unwilling to take a chance on putting cruiserweights such as Chris Jericho, Eddie Guerrero and Rey Mysterio in the main event, and let them slip through their fingers on their way to becoming future WWE Champions. WWE has always been an organization willing to allow up-and-coming wrestlers become stars under its watch. The cruiserweight division solves multiple pre-existing issues, but also allows WWE get back to the business of creating new stars in bulk.
Wrestlers like Rich Swann, Gargano, Ciampa, Kota Ibushi, Cedric Alexander, Zack Sabre Jr., and dark horse Raul Mendoza are pre-made in-ring generals that are going to immediately invigorate Monday Night Raw the second they step foot into the arena.
Young, O’ Neil, Truth, and (especially) Goldust have had their chances to become solid contributors to WWE programming, However, as the tastes of the WWE Universe transition into seeking incendiary in-ring work, their styles simply do not correlate with what the fans want. The cruiserweight division is the living, breathing embodiment of what they want, and it needs to be inserted into Monday Night Raw’s programming to not only improve the current product, but also to progress the New Era, as well as their own careers.