There were some noticeable changes to the presentations of WWE Raw for the Day 1 episode to start the new year.
The Day 1 edition of WWE Monday Night Raw from San Diego featured a surprise appearance from The Rock as well as Seth “Freakin” Rollins successfully defending the World Heavyweight Title against Drew McIntyre.
Behind the scenes, it was the start of a new era as well since it was the first Raw to take place since Kevin Dunn quit the company after spending 40 years as one of the key behind-the-scenes people in the organization. Dunn was WWE’s Executive Producer and Chief of Global Television Distribution, which meant he had a major say in the presentation of WWE programming.
At the start of Day 1 Raw, the commentary team of Michael Cole and Wade Barrett stood in the ring to welcome the fans to the show while doing a rundown of some of the key matches/segments. That’s something that didn’t happen when Dunn was around.
What isn’t known is if that new way to begin Raw will be a permanent thing or just something that the company wanted to try.
WWE’s Presentation Of Raw Featured Changes
As noted by Dave Meltzer in the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, there were some noticeable changes on Raw although some of them weren’t that significant.
“You could see major differences in the first show, the Day One Raw, on 1/1 in San Diego. Immediate changes included two announcers per show, and opening instead of with a long interview, with Michael Cole and Wade Barrett in the ring speaking to the television audience and live crowd and running down the show.”
“In addition, there was far more emphasis in the announcing to talk as if the audience was new rather than regular. There were more descriptive backgrounds of the different characters by Cole, particularly the newer characters, and more video packages building up the matches and telling the stories. Some of this also may have been a mentality that this was the first show with no NFL competition and thus the feeling a lot of the audience that hadn’t been around since September may be coming back and they needed to catch things up for them.”
“We’ll see over the next few weeks if the production and commentary aimed at viewers who weren’t familiar with everyone continues.”
Two announcers on Raw has been the norm for several months now. Smackdown had three announcers with Michael Cole, Kevin Patrick & Corey Graves, so perhaps another change will take place with Cole off of that show.