WWE Raw was a good show on Monday night. It delivered a solid two hours and didn't "take the night off" just because of the Memorial Day holiday and extreme tough competition on cable.
For a reminder, last week's Raw drew a 3.0 rating. Even though WWE delivered a nice effort a few days ago to try and top that, it just did not matter one bit.
The first hour of Raw drew 3,918,000 million viewers.
The second hour of Raw drew 3,911,000 million viewers.
The official number for Raw was a 2.72 rating.
My Thoughts on This News
Say it with me, folks...
This was the lowest number since September 2011, when Monday Night Football on ESPN began its schedule of games. It is definitely an eye-opening rating heading into the summer.
I usually do not like using television competition as an excuse. If your show is interesting enough, viewers will watch no matter what else is on. It is that simple!
However, Monday night was a rare exception.
Over 17 million viewers watched the History Channel's Hatfields and McCoys' big special on Monday night. From the original premiere to the encore airing, it broke major television records and was absolutely built up to a huge, huge audience.
That amazing viewership number can not be under estimated. Add on the NBA Playoffs and ther new cable shows airing, and it was never going to be a very successful night for WWE.
Anybody ready to place blame on Memorial Day is incorrect. The holiday means next to nothing for Raw ratings. Once again, numbers do not lie, folks!
The Raw rating from a year ago on Memorial Day was a 3.1 number. Two years ago, WWE Raw saw a 3.2 rating, an increase from the previous week. Anybody looking to blame the holiday does not have much of a case.
It does need to be noted that John Cena did not appear live. Every once in awhile, WWE keeps him off Raw. I approve of that move every so often. This week was a logical time to do it again.
As for the actual show, I enjoyed it.
The viewership drop from the first hour to the second was very small. Basically, the entire two hours stayed steady for a change. It will be interesting to look at how each segment drew later this week.
The opening promo from Big Show was some of his best work in his entire career. He played a perfect heel and made everything with his turn fall in line.
Also, I loved the company picking one new talent and hyping them up. In 2010, Evan Bourne was given a spotlight for one night. He was made to look like a major star, leading up to him pinning Sheamus in the main event.
On Monday night, Brodus Clay was the guy given "the ball." He had a fan following the past few months, but it was time to see how he did in a big role with a more serious story.
If the main event draws well, Brodus may have passed the test. If not, I expect to see him dancing around in the middle of the card once he appears next. That is just the nature of the business.
The top of the second hour "draw" was CM Punk vs. Daniel Bryan. I question giving the match away without much hype, but I can't imagine it is a huge pay-per-view money match anyway.
Either way, it was a great match. Adding Kane to the mix is for casual fans to care about the WWE Title picture. Also, it can extend the feud another month before finally seeing a huge stipulation Bryan/Punk match.
Until we see the quarter-hour breakdowns, it is anybody's guess. WWE may just have to take this huge hit this week and move on as quickly as possible.
As for Smackdown, they got a 1.8 rating with 2.63 million viewers last Friday. As I covered yesterday, since January, the Blue Brand has lost nearly 500,000 viewers. Something has not been clicking with viewers the past few months.