forgive me if this has been asked and answered, but I always feel that the reason Raw is so stale boils down to using the exact same roster week-to-week for months (if not years) at a time. This could be just me, but it seems that every one of the top 15 or so guys MUST appear on every edition of Raw, be it in a match or a big angle — thus killing any possibility of fresh matchups, because you can only shuffle that deck so many times.
I understand that USA would prefer to have Cena and Rollins and probably one or two others on every week, but surely no one at the network is insisting that Sheamus and Kane and Big Show and Miz and Orton and one-to-two Bellas never miss a show? If you're working on a Reigns story, why not have him go with a lower-card guy just for a fresh look, rather than Reigns vs. Kane/Show/Henry every damn week? Isn't a big part of the appeal of shorter shows that you don't know who you're going to see — that is, you watch NXT and maybe you'll see Balor, maybe you'll see Bayley, maybe not, so why don't you tune in to find out?
Yeah, and the bigger problem besides the repetitive matches is that the matches you do see are all the SAME. Part of the advantage of being able to mix and match any combination of midcard geeks with getting much a style clash is that you never really see anything different out of them. I just an appearance on Ben Morse's Rewind podcast tonight where we were talking about Bash at the Beach 96, and one discussion that came up was the wide diversity of styles that you had. Cruiserweight opener, big man match, garbage tag team brawl, Malenko psychology clinic, Joe Gomez, etc. At any moment they could mix up styles and have, say, La Parka & Disco Inferno v. The Public Enemy on Nitro and it would be a giant car wreck of epic proportions, but maybe it would end up being awesome 2 times out of 10, you just never knew. Now you get a bunch of samesy **1/2 matches up and down the RAW shows and yeah nothing is really a terrible car wreck anymore, but nothing is really great or memorable either. And that's becoming a failing of NXT to a certain degree, because they're so focused on teaching guys to all work the same that it becomes difficult to break out of the pack on that show unless you're an indy guy like Joe or Owens or Balor.