5 Changes WWE Must Make To Raw On Netflix (2024)

WWE is moving Monday Night Raw to Netflix in January 2025 in a blockbuster switch that will result in even more changes to the company’s flagship show.

Raw has been airing since January 1993, spending most of its 31-year run on the USA Network, and its big jump to Netflix will mark the first time the show has aired exclusively on a streaming service in the US. As record-breaking “cord cutting” continues to revolutionize the TV industry, WWE is rolling with the tide with a $5 billion deal with Netflix that is expected to alter how fans consume pro wrestling programming in the short and long-term futures.

During a recent appearance on The Pat McAfee Show (h/t Wrestling Inc), WWE CCO Paul “Triple H” Levesque himself confirmed one of the first changes fans can expect to see when Raw hits Netflix. Triple H said that WWE won’t have to censor inappropriate or explicit audio or video content, noting that “we won't have those issues [on] Netflix." This issue was particularly noticeable on this week’s SmackDown, when frequent censoring by FOX reportedly upset some WWE officials.

But as Raw prepares to air on a new home, the changes will not—and should not—stop there. Here are five significant changes WWE should make to Raw once it moves to Netflix next January.

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Overall Edgier Content

After The Rock’s not-so G-rated WrestleMania 40 storyline with Cody Rhodes, WWE has unofficially ended its PG era. But for the most part, WWE’s TV product is still reminiscent of a largely PG show.

Of course, that isn’t always the case. Recent segments like The Rock’s bloody beatdown of Rhodes suggest that—when the storyline calls for it—WWE will push the envelope without crossing over into Attitude Era-esque content. When Raw moves to Netflix, one of the company’s biggest challenges will be to strike the right balance between edgy and cartoonish content, the latter of which has defined WWE for much of the past 15 years or so.

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While WWE fans shouldn’t expect to see the company revert back to the purposely shocking tactics of the late 1990s and early 2000s, it’s probably, if not downright expected, that WWE will produce edgier programming for Raw. WWE CEO Nick Khan even hinted last year that such a change was possible, suggesting that WWE is more than open to the idea.

And though WWE’s recent success indicates that wholesale changes aren’t needed, minor tweaks that allow its superstars to break out of their PG shells could make a more entertaining overall product.

More Special Episodes

WWE will assuredly have more flexibility on Netflix, giving the company the opportunity to more frequently make Raw feel like a special show.

Over the past year, Raw has had no problem packing arenas, and with the product consistently delivering, that is expected to continue for the foreseeable future. Netflix, though, should allow WWE to experiment with the format of Raw on a more frequent basis.

Gone are the days—well, gone should be the days—that Raw sticks to its tried-and-true format of show-opening promos or matches at the top of every hour. How about televised specials airing in Raw’s time slot on Netflix? These could be “special” episodes of Raw built around familiar themes like the all-women’s show Evolutuon, King of the Ring, Bash at the Beach, Starrcade, etc. or entirely new concepts.

With WWE consistently holding international pay-per-view events, this would be a great way to deliver special shows in the US without oversaturating the pay-per-view schedule.

Consider Moving Raw To A Different Night

WWE Monday Night Raw could conceivably become Tuesday Night Raw or Thursday Night Raw, perhaps immediately upon the move to Netflix.

Here’s what Khan said about that possibility back in January while appearing on The Pat McAfee Show (h/t Fightful): “At this moment in time, it remains Monday Night Raw. Keep in mind, we have ten and a half months until this deal is up and running. We're looking at what you're looking at and what everyone else is looking at...You have a lot of Mondays where there is stiff competition...If we stay on Mondays, it'll work, if we move to a different day, we think it'll work too.”

Could it work? Absolutely. Wrestling fans have been conditioned to watch Raw on Mondays, but battling the ratings juggernaut that is Monday Night Football, which averaged more than 17 million viewers over the course of 17 weeks in 2023, isn’t necessarily ideal. In essence, WWE is facing a really tough competitor in the NFL—among a slew of others—for roughly one third of the year.

Moving Raw to a different night of the week could feasibly help WWE maintain a more consistent audience, but Thursday might not be the best choice, given that it would still be going head-to-head with the NFL’s Thursday Night Football broadcast.

Stop Cutting Segments Short

It has become quite common for televised Raw and SmackDown segments, even major ones, to be cut short or eliminated altogether. Once Raw moves to Netflix, however, that problem should vanish into thin air.

The benefit of Raw airing on a streaming platform is that the show may not be limited by the strict time constraints that have plagued the company throughout its history. With top stars like CM Punk even falling victim to scrapped or shortened segments recently, WWE officials won’t have to abruptly end a segment in order to rush into a commercial break or ensure that the show ends by a certain time.

Why? Because ad-free Netflix subscribers will have a different viewing experience, one that is commercial free and allows fans to watch an entire episode of Raw without ads.

So, this isn’t to say that every Raw match or segment should suddenly begin running significantly longer than it would have in the past. However, the quality of Raw should be immensely improved if and when WWE is no longer forced to end a segment at the drop of a dime.

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Come January 2025, Raw will be back to being WWE’s “A show,” which it had been until SmackDown moved to FOX in 2019.

In terms of overall quality and talent, one could argue that Raw already is WWE’s top show once again. But a few roster moves could make that change official. One, of course would be moving Roman Reigns back to Raw for the first time in half a decade. Reigns was moved to SmackDown nearly five years ago to coincide with SmackDown’s move to FOX, resulting in the blue brand taking over as the top show in WWE.

Reigns, pro wrestling’s top draw, isn’t a full-timer these days, but as the catalyst of WWE’s biggest boom, he should be on its No. 1 show. That show will undoubtedly be Raw by next year, if it isn’t already, and Reigns—as well as perhaps the entire Bloodline stable—should be moved over to the red brand. The same could be said for Cody Rhodes, another top draw for WWE who has limited opponents on SmackDown.

The bottom line is that WWE can easily shift a handful of top stars around, whether via trades or another draft, come early 2025, loading up Raw with the likes of Rhodes, Reigns and other top stars in much the same way that SmackDown was stacked in 2019.

5 Changes WWE Must Make To Raw On Netflix (2024)

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