WWE Raw was a very dull show Monday night. It wasn't bad, but it certainly wasn't very good either. While that was simply my opinion, the cold, hard facts were not much better.
Here are the breakdowns of each segment and my thoughts:
Raw Began With a 3.50 Rating
This is no surprise. The show always, always, always begins with a nice number. With a big cliffhanger last Monday night, viewers tuned in to see what was going on.
Sadly, they saw a bland CM Punk and John Laurinaitis promo. We have seen that many times over the past year, and the WWE Champion has had much better nights on the microphone.
The key point here is the main event was announced. Mr. Excitement made Punk vs. Lord Tensai for later on, and as you will see, not many people cared.
Big Show vs. Cody Rhodes Lost 367,000 Viewers
The Intercontinental Championship was on the line, but it had no build up. Fans didn't care about the belt, as it has been an after thought for the past few months. The count out ending probably didn't help things one bit.
Kofi Kingston vs. Dolph Ziggler Lost Another 465,000 Viewers
In about thirty minutes, over 800,000 viewers were gone.
Fans wonder why WWE is bringing back big names from the Attitude Era. Look no further than a steep drop off in two short segments.
Kofi and Dolph are great, but who really cared about this match taking place? We have seen in a dozen times, and it is almost always the exact same ending.
Kelly Kelly and Layla vs. Natalya and Maxine Lost Another 207,000 Viewers
From the opening segment to this match, over 1,000,000 people were gone. Again, fans wonder why WWE has to do crazy antics and bring back past stars?
The divas have done great numbers in the past, but nothing has been positive for a few weeks. Kharma performed well in the ratings last year, but it was only a few weeks. Her return should help the division again any week now!
Sheamus and Randy Orton vs. Del Rio and Jericho Gained 191,000 For a 2.9 Rating
This was at the top of the second hour.
That is a poor number for the "main event" slot. I don't like comparing, but Undertaker, Shawn Michaels and Triple H's segments at this quarter hour a few months ago were bringing in well over 1,000,000 (one million!) extra viewers.
A simple 191,000 viewer increase may seem nice, but it isn't. The audience was going away all night, and even a big tag team match did not excite them enough to turn back.
Brodus Clay vs. The Miz Gained 55,000 Viewers
Another win for the Funky Crew!
The man has delivered in the ratings. Right or wrong, fans are still intrigued by his act. I am entertained, but I also recognize his need to eventually evolve his character. Miz being there likely helped as well.
Paul Heyman Returning Gained 123,000 Viewers
Maybe Punk spoiling this moment on Twitter worked?
I don't know. I am not on the Internet during shows, nor do I follow any WWE or TNA talents. Either way, Heyman produced a nice little number in his return.
The only advertisement for this moment was the commentators promising an update on Brock Lesnar and Triple H. Well, fans certainly got a big segment to tune in for.
CM Punk vs. Tensai and Bryan Lost 105,000 Viewers For a Final 2.9 Rating
As the report states, it is nearly impossible for the main event segment to be this low. People turning on the USA Network for the next show must not have been enough to make up for all the viewers who turned Raw off.
Again, for a final segment of Raw to lose viewers is nearly impossible. In the near 20 year history of Raw, I can't ever remember this happening. That is some serious (bad) history making numbers there.
For some quick history, check out these figures.
Last week's Raw ended with a 3.5 rating with Cena, John Laurinaitis, and Tensai.
The week before ended with a 3.8 rating with Cena and Lesnar.
The two weeks before that with Tensai vs. Cena drew a 3.4 rating.
Before that, Cena vs. Otunga received a 3.4 final rating. Yes, Otunga!
The excuse surely to be used this week of "the opponents for Punk were boring" is invalid. Sorry folks, weak heels seemed to draw just fine against Cena a few weeks ago!
Thus, save all the finger pointing at Punk's opponents on Monday. If a star draws, it does not matter who he is facing each week. Sorry, the constant "standing up for Punk" is going against the figures.
It doesn't apply.
Back to the terrible rating to end Raw, this number seems familiar. It is nearly identical to last year's lowest over run (2.7 rating) of the year.
We all remember that great main event of Daniel Bryan, CM Punk, and Zack Ryder winning. All of them had gold and were on top of the world. Until ratings came out...
Ask Zack Ryder about his ratings history. If you can find him on Raw anymore, let him know how important quarter hour numbers are. Thanks!
Once again, Punk does not do well in the main event segment. It isn't his opponents that are at fault. It was not other television shows on. It was no other excuse you want to throw out to try and defend him.
I love him as WWE Champion and expect him to hold the title for a long time. However, I am not going to blindly ignore his faults and ratings failures this past year. Opinions are fine, but numbers don't lie!
I cringe just thinking of the buy rate for Over the Limit next week with Daniel Bryan vs. CM Punk for the WWE Title in the main event. I hope everyone skips the illegal streams and supports their guys. They are going to need all the help they can get.
In conclusion, do not be surprised to see Triple H or John Cena in the closing segment next week on Raw. At this point, nobody can argue against that decision...