Last night, WWE presented an interesting Raw. The show was good, but Over the Limit was not the primary focus. With that being said, it is time to look at the numbers.
For a reminder, last week's Raw posted a disappointing 3.03 rating. Today, WWE can hope that Over the Limit delivers this weekend.
The first hour drew 4,094,000 million viewers.
The second hour drew 4,321,000 million viewers.
The official number for Raw was a 2.94 rating.
My Thoughts on This News
First, let me point out that CM Punk and Daniel Bryan were in the main event last week (and saw embarrassing low numbers). This week, they were thrown out there in the first 20 minutes and took up of lot of low-rated first hour.
Saying the first hour was low is an understatement. It was scary low this week. I guess some still have last week's bad taste still in their mouth. The carry over from last week was very evident here, as the audience just wasn't there. Definitely a bad first hour for Raw's ratings!
The social media score (Twitter, online trends) was down over 35 percent from last week. Raw posted their second lowest social media score of the year. Again, fans just weren't interested last night.
Also, it is worth pointing out how the second hour viewership grew this week by nearly 300,000 viewers. Not surprisingly, Cena was set for the final segment and teased all night.
Again folks, ratings matter week to week and segment by segment. Just ask Zack Ryder!
As for the number, it isn't impressive. Outside of the NBA Playoffs, WWE did take the top spot on cable last night. It will take awhile to gain the Raw audience back that left a few shows ago. Creating a stir at Over the Limit on Sunday may do that.
As for Raw, I liked how the show was timed out. There were a couple of mishaps, but the two hours went by at a good pace.
Beginning Raw with Triple H and Paul Heyman was the right move. Neither will be involved with the pay-per-view on Sunday, but both will have huge roles going forward.
Thus, it was smart to get their segment out of the way early. Starting the show with a "star-filled" segment is always the way to go.
Then we see Punk and Bryan serve their "demotion" in a tag match...
The top of the second hour belonged to Big Show, Kane, and John Laurinaitis. The company spent a lot of time on this story, but the end justified the means. I expect a nice viewership increase here.
From there, we saw a solid main event match between Chris Jericho and Randy Orton. Sheamus was also out there. Notice the names being used here!
Finally, we get John Cena closing the show with Mr. Excitement. To nobody's surprise, Cena was back in the main event segment (say it with me now) just as he should be!
Opinions are great to have, but numbers don't lie.
Cena is by far the top man in this industry, and that is not changing anytime soon. Title or not, he is one of the few proven draws in the company right now.
The show ended with a nice tease for Over the Limit, threatening Laurinaitis' job. It was an intriguing cliffhanger. Hopefully, it is enough to add a few extra buys to this Sunday's show. With Bryan and Punk headlining, it is going to need all the help imaginable.
Again, the number was not very pretty. The segment-by-segment break-down will tell us a lot more in a few days, but for now, a large increase in the second hour is always a positive sign.
As for Smackdown, they were back down this week. The Blue Brand drew a 1.7 rating with 2,530,000 million viewers last Friday.
That was down a couple hundred thousand viewers from the previous week. WWE has not had a lot of success for Smackdown since their live Tuesday special many weeks ago.
They have yet to rebound from that. As usual, the experiment of moving nights and changing the formats has done more harm than good. Oh well, it's only a matter of time before it happens again.