Starting from this coming Monday's show, Raw will be limited to a three-hour runtime rather than having the luxury of a 15 minute overrun if needed.
Fans have been fighting against it less and less recently, but one of the biggest issues pointed to in WWE used to be Raw's runtime. If you went to watch a movie at the cinema you would likely be put off slightly by a more than three-hour runtime. In a scenario where you can change the channel or just stop watching, it's an almost impossible ask by WWE.
Much of the content on Raw doesn't make it easy to watch either. WWE has more than three hours to fill each week so some of it is going to be bad. It just seems like making Raw a shorter show would work for everyone on every level. Well, apart from Vince McMahon's bank account, of course. The advertising from that third hour is why Raw remains the length that it currently is.
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We have some good news on that front, though, courtesy of Fightful. While we still won't see Raw condensed down to two hours like SmackDown Live, it is going to be shortened a little. The red brand usually has a 15-20 minute overrun at the end of the show. Apparently, the USA Network has now taken that away from Raw effective immediately.
That means Raw will now have a strict cut off time at 11 pm EST. Good news for fans, but not for those in charge of the show. That overrun period gave wrestlers and WWE creative the luxury of segments not being timed too strictly. If a couple of segments ran a minute or two long, no problem. They will still finish on time as the show has no definite end time.
As mentioned above, if the reports are true then the new runtime for Raw will kick in this coming Monday. Sadly, it will only make the show marginally easier to watch. It will still be a full three hours long and the booking will need to improve to make a show that long compelling from start to finish. At least we won't have to endure quite as much filler going forward.