WWE has been grappling with ways to make the third hour of Raw more engaging for viewers, and they're considering a return to edgier content. Previous attempts to revitalize the third hour, such as dimming the lights with Mick Foley and introducing Shane McMahon's personal Fight Club, failed to achieve the desired results.
WWE creative team members have acknowledged the challenges in making the third hour feel fresh and captivating for the audience. As WWE enters negotiations for new television and media rights deals for their flagship Monday night show, the topic of edgier content has resurfaced.
During a recent appearance on the LightShed Live podcast, WWE CEO Nick Khan discussed the possibility of incorporating more mature themes into the third hour of Raw, particularly between 10 and 11 pm Eastern time.
Discussing Edgier Raw Content
LightShed partners and podcast hosts Brandon Ross and Rich Greenfield brought up the WrestleMania match between Edge and Finn Bálor that was stopped due to Bálor's injury and subsequent bleeding.
They also questioned whether WWE might be more open to "blood and gore" after the company's UFC merger. Khan revealed that discussions with NBCU, their television partner, are ongoing about potentially tweaking the content during the third hour.
He said, "We ask, what do we do if we tweak this, that 10 to 11 hour, it is basic cable, it's not broadcast, as you know. We think that NBCU would be supportive, but we're not on a conclusion on that." While some wrestlers, like Cody Rhodes, may welcome the opportunity to incorporate more graphic content into their matches, it could be more apparent if this is the solution for Raw's third-hour conundrum.
A more effective approach might be developing compelling, cohesive storylines that maintain audience interest beyond 10 pm. Regardless, it's clear that WWE and NBCU are aware of the issue and actively exploring possible solutions to reinvigorate the third hour of Raw. Only time will tell if edgier content can boost viewership and keep fans engaged throughout the show.
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