Seth Rollins has hit out at Monday Night Raw’s current three hour format describing it as “obnoxiously long.”
Since Monday Night Raw aired for the first time back in January 1993, it has been in a constant state of evolution That evolution saw the show move to a two-hour run time in February 1997, and eventually to a permanent three-hour format in 2012.
The move to three-hours was met with criticism from fans at the time, and has continued to be criticised right up until the present day.
Speaking during a recent appearance on the Sports Illustrated Media Podcast, Seth Rollins admitted he isn’t a fan of the current format either. Rollins said that he feels everything gets stretched out to fill three hours, where as SmackDown being two hours is much different.
The former World Champion added that three hours is a “lot to ask” of a viewer.
“I think a three-hour show is just obnoxiously long every week,” Rollins admitted. “Everything gets stretched out, you know, and you’ve got to cram — you got to fill three hours of television, there’s just nothing to be done. You know, that’s just how it is. So I think two hours is a beautiful kind of number for a pro wrestling show. And I think it’s easier to make everything mean a little bit more.
“You know, on SmackDown when I was there last year, I hardly ever wrestled on television and so it was kind of a big deal. You look at Roman, he hardly ever wrestles on television, I think maybe a handful of times in the last year. So when he has matches at these pay-per-views, they feel like big deals and on RAW I’ve wrestled in like 26 five-star matches in the last two months.
It’s just been wild the amount of actual wrestling that I have to do and I’d love to avoid that but it is what it is. I like the fact that I get a lot more screen time on Mondays because you have the extra hour but yeah it’s a apples to oranges type thing.”
In recent years, WWE has also shifted away from presenting WrestleMania as one long show, instead holding the super-show over two nights. Rollins explained that he was in favour of the move to two nights, pointing to WrestleMania 35 which lasted over seven hours in total.
At the event, Rollins’ wife Becky Lynch claimed the Raw and SmackDown Women’s Championships in the main event, as a women’s match headlines the show for the first time ever. However, by the time that the match began, fans were already exhausted having been in the stadium for more than six hours.
“Well, the longer it got, the worse it was,” Rollins said of the previous 1-night WrestleMania format. “And the one in question is the New York WrestleMania which literally, from the pre-show to the finale was like seven straight hours and that is obnoxious, that is way too much wrestling. And mind you, my wife won the main event that night. They didn’t go to the ring until after midnight. It’s just asinine and the crowd was tired. It caused such a catastrophe because the subways had shut down and no one could get back to where they were going.
“It was such chaos because we were out of MetLife in the Meadowlands. That is a whole bag of worms that opened up from that so yeah, man it’s no fun. And that main event which was awesome and super historic suffered from just the crowd being drained. They wanted to be there for everything but you only have so much energy. You know what I mean? You can only put so much caffeine into your body before your heart explodes.”
Seth Rollins continued, “I think seven hours is just too long. You know, I think WrestleMania four hours is solid. That’s a solid number once a year four hours, I can live with that. Seven hours? I don’t know, pick your poison.”
At WrestleMania 38 Seth Rollins squared off an mystery opponent who was revealed to be Cody Rhodes. After being defeated by Rhodes at the spectacular, Rollins confronted his rival again on the following episode of Raw. However, the situation was resolved without incident as the pair shook hands at the behest of the American Nightmare.
H/t to Wrestling Inc for the transcription.