Last night, WWE delivered a below average Raw. While nothing was terrible, not much was very spectacular either. That is simply my opinion, but it is time to look at Raw's numbers.
For a reminder, last week's Raw drew a 2.94 rating. That number showed a very low first hour with a nice gain during the second hour.
This week, WWE saw a small ratings increase.
The first hour drew 4,168,000 million viewers.
The second hour drew 4,144,000 million viewers.
The official number for Raw was a 3.0 rating.
My Thoughts on This News
First, let's get the competition excuse out the way. A lot of new cable shows returned with new, original episodes last night. Obviously, those will earn more viewers than re-runs.
Also, a couple of big sports (playoffs) games were going on. WWE has beaten them a few times in the past month, so this does not carry much weight. However, viewers are still watching something else.
With that out of the way, WWE is still in the same spot as the last few weeks. As seen above, the second hour did a (barely) lower number than the first hour. That trend is never good.
Over the Limit did not have major buzz, but Sunday created a nice hook to watch Raw the next night. Big Show turning heel is something "new" to a lot of new fans in 2012.
The show starting off with John Cena also likely helped a lot. Him being seen in a promo, a quick match against David Otunga, the main event, and a backstage segment was a lot of one man though.
Top star or not, there is a limit. Cena is the biggest draw in the company, but he can't be in every other segment.
The quarter hour ratings may tell that story.
Another interesting point to make is the top of the second hour had a Daniel Bryan and CM Punk promo segment. Of course, Kane was added to the mix for a match later on.
As many recall, Punk and Bryan have not had success in television ratings for Raw as of late. Both are very talented, but numbers have painted an ugly picture. Looking at the hours, the second hour average viewership did drop but just slightly.
The good news is that I do have confidence that they drew a nice number last night. You can mark that down! I do believe we will see a quality number from them when the segment ratings are released in a few days.
As I will detail then, Punk and Bryan had a lot of factors going for them Monday night. As we should see on Thursday, it will show in the ratings.
Finally, the WWE Universe was treated to a main event of Sheamus and John Cena vs. Dolph Ziggler, Jack Swagger, and Tensai. There was the "lumberjack" stipulation, as well as the heels being kept a mystery all night.
The night ended with a huge brawl in the ring, and Big Show knocking out Cena backstage. Next week does not have any advertisements for Triple H, Brock Lesnar, Paul Heyman, or anything else set up.
WWE's official website has been hyping up the idea that a "revolution is coming" next Monday. The problem is that none of this has been shown on live television for millions to view.
Only a few groups of fans have been following this latest viral tease from WWE. Also, nobody even knows what this is about. It is unknown if the videos are for Raw, Smackdown, WWE Network, or something else. It is interesting that the date is a Monday though.
I will leave the "revolution is coming" topic to all the WWE "fantasy bookies" out there.
As for Smackdown, they saw a nice ratings increase on Friday. The Blue Brand drew a 1.8 rating with 2.80 million viewers. That is up from recent weeks, but Smackdown was bringing in 2.1 and 2.2 ratings with over 3 million viewers a couple of months ago.
For one reason or another, the Blue Brand has stalled the past month or so. Sheamus vs. Randy Orton was a major match to give away, but it did help the ratings last week.
With all the new talents being brought in right now to Smackdown, it will be intriguing to see if ratings go up any higher. There just aren't a lot of amazing stories or talents to tune in for. Right now, it just seems like WWE is stuck in its current form.