The January 15, 2024, edition of Raw brought significant visual change to the show, diverging from the typical stage setup that fans are accustomed to. However, the decision to alter the stage was not solely WWE’s choice.
During this episode of Monday Night Raw, the red brand continued its journey towards the Royal Rumble, scheduled for January 27. The show featured the return of GUNTHER and Xavier Woods, as well as Becky Lynch’s determination to win the Women’s Royal Rumble match and challenge Rhea Ripley at WrestleMania 40.
In the main event, Seth ‘Freakin’ Rollins successfully defended the World Heavyweight Championship against Jinder Mahal. Leading up to the match, there was considerable buzz, partly due to Tony Khan’s social media comments about Mahal’s booking. However, Rollins appeared to suffer an injury during the match and required assistance backstage.
The noticeable change in the Raw stage setup was not merely cosmetic; it was a necessity. According to The Wrestling Classic, WWE had to ground rig everything for this particular Raw episode. This decision was made because there was a risk that attaching the usual stage to the venue’s ceiling might have exerted too much pressure.
The episode was held at the Simmons Bank Arena in North Little Rock, Arkansas, an area that had recently faced severe weather conditions. There were concerns that the standard stage, suspended from the ceiling, combined with the heavy snow on the venue’s roof, could have posed safety risks for the fans in attendance.
What are your thoughts on WWE’s decision to change the stage setup for Raw to prioritize safety? Let us know in the comments.