WWE Raw Ratings Decrease Despite Shawn Michaels, Randy Orton and SummerSlam Hype

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistAugust 18, 2020

FILE- In this Sunday, April 3, 2011 file photo, WWE Superstar Randy Orton celebrates defeating CM Punk (not pictured) during WrestleMania XXVII at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta, Georgia on. World-famous WWE wrestlers such as John Cena, Shaemus and champion Randy Orton are in Saudi Arabia for three days of matches in the capital Riyadh. (Paul Abell/AP Images for WWE, File)
Paul Abell/Associated Press

Ratings for Monday's go-home episode of WWE Raw prior to Sunday's SummerSlam pay-per-view were down compared to last week.

According to Showbuzz Daily, Raw's three-hour episode on USA Network averaged 1.643 million viewers, a decline from last week's 1.722 million.

Monday's Raw was the final one to take place at the WWE Performance Center in Orlando, Florida, for the foreseeable future. Beginning with Friday's episode of SmackDown, WWE's events will air live from the Amway Center in Orlando.

WWE's setup inside the Amway Center is being called the Thunderdome, as it will feature rows of LED boards showing fans watching the show from home in an effort to simulate the look of fans actually being in attendance.

The main event segment of Monday's Raw saw WWE Hall of Famer Shawn Michaels address Randy Orton only to get hit with an RKO and a punt. WWE champion Drew McIntyre ran down to scare off Orton, but The Viper slithered back in and hit McIntyre with an RKO as well.

At Sunday's SummerSlam event, McIntyre will put the WWE Championship on the line against Orton in a highly anticipated match.

Raw also featured the return of Rey Mysterio, who had his eye injured at the hands of Seth Rollins at Extreme Rules last month. Mysterio and his son, Dominik Mysterio, laid a trap for Rollins and Murphy that resulted in the father-son duo beating them down with kendo sticks just as Rollins and Murphy had done to Dominik the previous week.

It was an effective final segment ahead of Dominik's first career match against Rollins in a street fight at SummerSlam.

More build for SummerSlam occurred in the form of a tag team match pitting Asuka and Shayna Baszler against Raw Women's champion Sasha Banks and SmackDown Women's champion Bayley. Asuka is set to face both Sasha and Bayley in separate matches for their titles at SummerSlam.

Baszler was taken out for much of the match when Nia Jax attacked her, but she returned later and forced Bayley to tap out.

Later in the night, Baszler and Jax had an altercation on Raw Underground when Nia attacked Baszler's friend, Marina Shafir. Jax backed down and walked out, however, which suggests the Baszler vs. Jax rivalry is far from over.

Next Monday's Raw will emanate from the WWE Thunderdome at the Amway Center, and it will feature no shortage of fallout from the SummerSlam pay-per-view.

Listen to Ring Rust Radio for all of the hot wrestling topics. Catch the latest episode in the player below (warning: some language NSFW).