Let's be real: Raw has been bad as of late. The reasons for the stretch of poor shows could be evidence of a deeply flawed product, but WWE does have the luxury of being able to point to a few legitimate excuses as to why their Monday night flagship has been sinking since November.
While the all-time low ratings are worthy of concern, WWE can take solace in knowing that they have several factors working against Raw - let's break them down:
Kevin Owens, Sami Zayn, Jason Jordan, Braun Strowman, Alexa Bliss and of course, Roman Reigns, are all on WWE's disabled list right now. Reigns' absence cannot be overstated, but no Bliss, Strowman, and Owens significantly
While Bliss and Strowman could be back very soon, not being able to use KO, Zayn, and Jordan will continue to haunt WWE's upper mid-card as they are forced to rely on Bobby Lashley and Lio Rush to get heat.
In terms of not wrestling, John Cena just set a personal record. More than ever, the 16-time WWE Champion has been absent from Vince McMahon's ring. While he's been off padding his Hollywood resume, he's been able to demonstrate his value to WWE: when he's not there, the product suffers.
This dependency on Cena is no surprise, but combined with the aforementioned injuries, the lack of Hustle, Loyalty, and Respect makes WWE feel all too empty.
It's not hard to see how Roman Reigns' leukemia has changed the course of WWE. Before the announcement, Reigns looked to have finally rid himself (and maybe WWE) of Lesnar. But after his heartbreaking Raw address, WWE was forced to re-crown Lesnar is in the name of comfort.
While there may be better Champions in the company, WWE has plenty of data with Lesnar at the helm. Unfortunately, the WWE Universe is also familiar with this precedent had has demonstrated for years that they prefer someone else at the top of the company.
Even though he's been missing from this poor stretch of Raw's, his position as Universal Champion is enough for some fans to stop caring until that changes.
For the first time in several years, WWE isn't quite sure where to take aim. Since 2015, the entire company was tied to the future of Roman Reigns. But with him out for at least a year, WWE finds itself speeding towards WrestleMania 35 with thin plans.
At this moment, we'll guess Lesnar takes the Universal Championship into WM35. But who he faces is the real mystery. Considering he'll get his shot at the Royal Rumble, consider Strowman out of the WrestleMania runnings. There have been rumors of The Rock and Seth Rollins, but neither sounds like something we can bank on in December.
In reality, WWE probably does have loose WrestleMania plans. Lesnar's WM35 date will likely be winning the Rumble, but predicting that is impossible at this point.
Anyone still taking swipes at Ronda Rousey's WWE career is either ignorant or trolling. No one could have imagined how natural she would be as a Superstar, how quickly she'd progress, and her regular use on Raw. But as good as she's been, it's still too early to hand her the reigns on Mondays.
While the day may come where she's given the ball, its just too much to ask someone who just started wrestling to be the foundation of the longest running wrestling show in the history of the world.
We'll always bet on Rousey, but with her being asked to carry multiple segments on Raw, some of her flaws will be exposed, and more fans will be inclined to change the channel.
Despite the draft and Superstar Shake-Up aiming to be "fair" in concept, WWE makes sure Raw has the better roster. This is by necessity as it's an hour longer than SmackDown and needs the better talent to fill their show. However, the hottest act in WWE right now lives on Tuesday nights.
While her injury has slowed her down a bit, Becky Lynch is in high demand right now. But thanks to WWE's lines of jurisdiction, she won't be appearing on Raw anytime soon. And on top of all of the
With Lucha House Parties, Alexa Bliss hosting town halls, pee jokes, and Finn Balor main-eventing the show, it's clear that this current version of Raw will struggle to keep our attention. While the writing can certainly be questioned, the fact remains that WWE is giving
The slew of injuries in WWE has exposed the fact that WWE's bench has limited firepower. Maybe this is because names like Balor, Jinder Mahal, and Bobby Roode have mostly been ignored when WWE is at full force, but when WWE has to rely upon them fans don't have a great reason to care.
While they'd never admit it, WWE usually packs it in after Survivor Series. December is an easy month for fans to check out, and WWE honors that apathy with a limited menu for the year's final month.
WWE doesn't have to do much to advertise TLC. With the promises of high-impact weaponry, many fans will tune in just to see the carnage. But other than that, it's destined to be a hollow pay-per-view as WWE quietly ends its 2018 season.
However as soon as January arrives, WWE will begin its march to WrestleMania with the ever-popular Royal Rumble.
Better days are ahead!