Simulcasting the 25th anniversary edition episode of RAW both from the Manhattan Center and the Barclays Center in Brooklyn should’ve been relatively easy to pull off from a booking standpoint. Get as close to 50/50 as you can with regards to legends and crowd-pleasers at each arena, do the same for current performers and matches, and it’ll take away the sting of the crowd having to watch half the show on TV like the audience at home.
So why did the Manhattan Center get as screwed as they did?
Anyone who couldn’t see the main screen to watch the Barclays broadcast had to watch on wheeled-out TVs. The only legends they saw in person were The Undertaker, DX, Scott Hall, and Ric Flair only after the show had ended. They did get Wyatt/Hardy and the main event match, but other than that, it was basically a glorified 205 Live house show.
I ordinarily wouldn’t complain on behalf of a crowd I wasn’t a part of, but the reported “bullshit” chants starting around the Peep Show (no, they didn’t get Edge and Christian either) indicated a discontent.
The Manhattan Center paid for the pleasure of looking at The Undertaker (worth it) and watching RAW on TV (not worth it). I genuinely have no idea why there had to be such a disparity, unless WWE were really insistent on having most of the action happen in the bigger arena for more explosive pops. There might be backstage reasons I’m not privy to, sure – but when half of the paying audience gets shafted and the viewers at home aren’t all that impressed either, it doesn’t really matter.
Trying to go all-out and do something special is commendable. Botching it in such an easily-preventable way is just kind of embarrassing for an industry leader. Nostalgia understandably took the lead at RAW 25, but if it should’ve taken a backseat to anything else, it would be planning.
Written by Bobby Murphy (@RobertJMurph)
Image courtesy WWE.com