On Monday night, WWE presented a very below average Raw. Being the go-home show for Over the Limit, I expected a little bit more buzz.
Well, there was not much for the Red Brand.
In the same breath, WWE Raw saw a disappointing 2.94 rating. The one positive from that number was the large increase from hour one to hour two. That is always considered a plus.
Here are the break downs of each segment:
Opening Segment With Triple H and Paul Heyman Drew a 3.32 Rating
As usual, the beginning of every Raw starts with a nice number. Beyond a few exceptions, it really does not matter who is highlighted. It certainly can only help to have these two in the ring though.
Triple H and Heyman did a nice job out there. With this story set to go for awhile yet, promos are going to be normal. Do not expect to see either man in a match on Raw!
CM Punk and Santino Marella vs. Daniel Bryan and Cody Rhodes Lost 601,000 Viewers
Anybody shocked by this hasn't been reading my articles for the past 10 months. I am a fan of Punk, but his ratings failures are getting ridiculous.
I understood the "give-it-time" excuse last year, but I no longer care. How much longer do we have to ignore his faults as a television draw before we just move on? It has been nearly a year since his big "shoot" promo.
Time and time again, television numbers are against him. Punk came out for his entrance, so everybody knew what was up next.
People didn't care, tag match or not.
As for Bryan, he is nearly in the same boat. When he was a champion, he had a nice audience on SmackDown.
But this is now the main show. No longer can he be a big fish in a small pond.
It is time to step up! His next chance will be Sunday on pay-per-view. I sure hope all of the Punk and Bryan fans are ready to purchase Over the Limit. If not, I suspect the illegal streams will have tons of traffic.
Surely, WWE will listen to those fans!
This segment also included Beth Phoenix defeating my "it" girl, Alicia Fox. The divas have been hit or miss for awhile now. The only constant ratings grabber for their division has been Kharma.
Video Promos and Backstage Segments Lost Another 370,000 Viewers For a 2.64 Rating
There isn't much to discuss here. Highlight packages and Big Johnny recaps are not exactly "must see." The huge drop seemed to coincide with the dead zone before the top of the second hour.
Kane vs. Big Show/John Laurinaitis Firing Aftermath Gained 1,033,000 Viewers For a 3.37 Rating
Read that headline again.
Now go back and read everybody whining and complaining about that segment. Once again, the Internet fan base is a small minority of the WWE Universe.
What interests casual fans is nearly the exact opposite of what many online will think. It is a harsh reality, but it needs to be repeated because some never get it.
This was one of the best segment gains all year for Raw.
Kane and Show are two legends in this business, and the top of the second hour is the perfect spot for them. Johnny firing the big man was also very well done and that drama will be part of a much bigger picture.
Clearly, a lot of viewers saw it all go down. Now, that large audience is invested in where it goes.
Once again, read the headline. Then read a few headlines above that.
Brodus Clay, Truth, and Kofi vs. Miz, Dolph, and Swagger Lost 996,000 Viewers
The Funky Crew usually does well. It certainly did not on Monday night. There really isn't much to discuss here. Like the above tag match, viewers clearly had nothing to grab onto.
The only difference is this match is filled with a bunch of talents in the middle of the card doing nothing. The opening tag match is supposedly a WWE Champion and challenger that fans think can "draw" and be the future of the business. Big difference!
Randy Orton vs. Chris Jericho Gained 108,000 Viewers
I expected a little bit more, but this does not surprise me. It is a big match with two future WWE Hall of Famers, but it was not presented as being "special."
It was just there. Sheamus coming out first for commentary may have played a small, small role, but I doubt it. Either way, the main event match was fine.
John Cena Promo With John Laurinaitis Gained 990,000 Viewers For a 3.43 Rating
Once again, anybody shocked by this number hasn't been paying attention. Cena is, by far, the biggest draw in the company and Big Johnny has done well inside the ring.
I can't say how many people will pay to see them wrestle on Sunday, but the intrigue is there. The promo work from them was great, and the live crowd (paying audience) enjoyed every second of Cena.
How big a draw is he? With Cena nowhere in sight, last week's main event slot lost 105,000 viewers. This week gained nearly 1,000,000 viewers with Cena advertised to close the show all night.
There really is not much more to add.
That's why I just laugh every time somebody wants to turn Cena into a heel—or contend that he is hurting more than helping the company and that he should leave the main event scene.
It just never ceases to amaze me. Just check out these figures!
*The overrun six weeks ago (night after Wrestle Mania) with Brock Lesnar and John Cena gained 1,036,000 viewers for a 3.9 rating.
*The overrun five weeks ago with John Cena vs. David Otunga gained 301,000 viewers for a 3.4 rating.
*The overrun four weeks ago with John Cena vs. Lord Tensai gained 319,000 viewers for a 3.4 rating.
*The overrun three weeks ago with Brock Lesnar and John Cena gained 873,000 viewers for a 3.8 rating to close Raw.
*The overrun two weeks ago with John Cena, John Laurinaitis, Lord Tensai, and Sakamoto gained 578,000 viewers for a 3.5 rating
*The overrun last week with CM Punk vs. Daniel Bryan and Lord Tensai lost—yes, lost—105,000 viewers for a 2.9 rating.
Numbers don't lie folks.