After a few months of record-low television ratings, it seems that WWE Raw has gained a substantial number of viewers in recent weeks. It doesn't take a genius to figure out why ratings have rebounded. WWE has featured The Rock in some of its post-Royal Rumble shows, and it has also re-introduced Brock Lesnar to the mix. Many analysts attribute the rise in ratings directly to appearances by Rock.
According to PW Torch Assistant Editor James Caldwell, WWE's use of Rock and other luminaries is creating mainstream buzz.
Excellent rating for this show. There is so much anecdotal evidence out there that The Rock is creating exposure for WWE, which means people are flocking to Raw to see what's happening, even if he's not on the show. Rock appearing in three Super Bowl commercials the night before, plus people tuning in for Bruno Sammartino's Hall of Fame announcement helped drive a strong rating this week.
Caldwell notes other trends in his piece, including the fact that this week's Raw outstripped the ratings for the same show a year ago.
Since Rock and Brock are both scheduled for a number of TV appearances leading up to WrestleMania 29, it seems safe to say that ratings for the next few months should stay at a decent level.
The problem for WWE is that Rock will most likely leave for several months following WrestleMania. Lesnar, though under contract for two years, will only make sporadic TV appearances. Once Brock and Rock are gone, how will WWE manage to keep ratings from tanking again?
The following slides depict a plan to re-book the three-hour Raw in order to prevent a post-WrestleMania ratings hangover.