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Amélie and I had been wanting to see wrestling for several years. But whether in Paris or Geneva, there were always constraints that made it impossible for us to go. Now that we live in Quebec City, we’ve been lucky enough to have a Monday Night Raw less than 30 minutes by bus from our apartment. So it was without hesitation that I booked our two tickets.

Unfortunately, the event was a real disappointment.

Are we wrestling fans?

To put our opinion in context, it’s worth pointing out that we’re not wrestling fans. We watched it regularly as children and teenagers, and nowadays we hardly ever watch it.

However, wrestling matches, a mixture of agility, speed and stunts, don’t require a great knowledge of wrestling to enjoy them. We were eager to discover an event like Monday Night Raw.

The positives of our wrestling experience on Monday Night Raw

Before going into the major drawbacks, I’d like to highlight the positive points.

As previously mentioned, the wrestling reunion we saw was Monday Night Raw in Quebec City during the summer.

As is often the case, the event was held in a beautiful, large hall (the Vidétron center in Quebec City). The atmosphere was pleasant even before you entered the room. You’re among wrestling fans, and they know how to set the mood. Once the fights start, they react to the wrestlers’ entrances, victories and speeches.

centre videotron quebec
We saw Monday Night Raw at the Centre Vidéotron; a big, new and pretty venue.

The fights are obviously the highlight. Between television and the view from the stands, I found real differences. The blows seem more real, stronger. The fighters are fast. Admittedly, the exaggeration still bothers me a little, but the fights should appeal to everyone. The fighters are top-class athletes who give their all in the ring. They’re also excellent for entertaining and interacting with the crowd.

In reality, if the meeting lasted 1h30 without a break, it would have been an event we would have loved. Unfortunately, it wasn’t, and we got so bored that we left an hour before the end, something we’d never normally do.

Why didn’t we like Monday Night Raw?

3 hours is (too) long!

A Monday Night Raw is the longest weekly wrestling show. It lasts 3 hours. That’s a long time, especially with its breakdown of short sequences.

Arrive in good shape. We came 1 hour before the event started. It began with a non-televised short bout to warm up the audience, then Monday Night Raw started at 8p.m. If you stay until the end, you leave the room after 11p.m. Counting the drive home, be sure you’ll be tired the next day.

But, between you and me, I wouldn’t have complained if the only concern for such a length was the next day’s fatigue. The big problem with Monday Night Raw is the difference between its length and the number of minutes of entertainment.

Incessant commercial breaks

Of the 3h show, less than half is wrestling or entertainment (videos of previous fights, speeches…). Most of it is empty, as the TV broadcast is in commercial break.

Very often, you have one wrestler provoking another for 2-3 minutes. Then, stop: it’s over. She goes backstage. You wait a similar amount of time. Then another comes along and does the same thing.

I don’t like North American television, because the broadcasts are constantly interrupted by commercials. But at home, I can stand up or zap. In the theater, you just sit in your seat and wait.

An event for television rather than viewers

Having already seen Monday Night Raw on TV, I knew there would be a lot of breaks. But I was confident that the people in the room wouldn’t suffer them too much.

During our Lakers games, for example, we were never bored during the commercial breaks. The mascot and cheerleaders provide entertainment. The giant screen shows which spectators dance best or displays a kiss cam. You don’t notice the time passing. We also had a similarly fun experience at the Raiders NFL game, which lasted over 3 hours.

But at our WWE Raw event, it wasn’t like that. For most of the breaks, it was dead quiet. And when there was something, it was commercials on the big screen.

I felt more like I was in a TV show audience, there to look good on screen, than a spectator pampered by the organizers. It’s a shame, especially after paying 80€ per person (and our seats were among the cheapest)…

Too much talk, not enough action

So out of 3 hours of Monday Night Raw, you’ve got half which is TV advertising. Don’t think that the rest is dedicated to fighting. In fact, the fights are minor compared to the discussions.

The wrestlers get on stage, make speeches, threaten their opponents more often than they fight.

If you’re an enthusiast who follows all things wrestling, you might enjoy it. For us, that wasn’t the case. Announcing for three minutes a fight scheduled for two months from now, or threatening another fighter about what’s going to happen in an hour’s time, sounds more like a desire to “fill” the event than to create a credible narrative.

Overly predictable match scenarios

It’s my criticism that seems the most questionable. Without being a wrestling expert, you quickly understand who has to win and who has to lose in the evening. The end of the fights lacked suspense.

Nevertheless, I agree that cartoonish match scenarios are part of wrestling history. I didn’t like this aspect, but it’s a criticism that won’t necessarily resonate with all viewers. On the other hand, I imagine that everyone will share my other negative points.

The atmosphere diminishes as the evening progresses…

The Quebec public impresses me. When I go to see university sports, thousands of them are enthusiastic. In just a few months, they’ve convinced me that anyone who thinks fan passion is absent in North America doesn’t know what they’re talking about.

The quality of the video is, unfortunately, poor. But it gives you an idea of the atmosphere at the moment of Sami Zayn’s entrance.

The crowd was on fire at the start, especially when Quebec darling Sami Zayn entered. It was the highlight of the evening. The music, the wrestler’s palpable emotion at being in his province, the Quebec flag on display – you really had to be insensitive not to have your hair stand on end.

But we weren’t the only ones bored by the length of the event, the commercial breaks and the long speeches. As the evening wore on, the atmosphere began to wane. The first departures from the stands took place after 1h30 of entertainment.

Having heard about the last fight (we left after about 2 hours), I know that the atmosphere has been turned up a notch thanks to Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens. However, the middle of the show was hollow. It’s not the fault of the large crowd, wrestling connoisseurs eager to make noise, but of the overly long production…

Will I return to a WWE Raw event?

I’ve been to boring sports matches before, especially soccer. But that’s never stopped me from going back.

However, don’t count on us to assist again to an event of Monday Night Raw. Not all the criticism is about the sportsmen. They’re charismatic, impressive, powerful, fast… And even more than I thought behind my TV!

But it’s all spoiled by the desire for maximum TV advertising revenue. As soon as your adrenalin kicks in again, there’s a break. During this break, it’s either dead calm or a commercial on the big screen to remind you that you are, after all, a consumer rather than a fan.

So that’s a definite “no”. I’m not going to WWE wrestling anymore. The next time I attend wrestling matches, it will be an amateur event to enjoy the sporting prowess without untimely stoppages.


As a professional blogger, I take advantage of my flexible schedule to travel a lot. I haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on my list!