ANAHEIM CA - OCTOBER 22: UFC Heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar weighs in at 264 lbs at the UFC 121 weigh-in at the Honda Center on October 22 2010 in Anaheim California. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
I don't want to seem like Cageside Little, running around like the WWE sky is falling but this can't be good news.
Internally, WWE officials were hoping for 1.3 million WrestleMania 28 buys. It looks like they'll be getting about 200,000 less. And while the fallout Raw episode the following evening did a nice 3.43 rating -- averaging 5 million folks throughout the two hour program -- this Monday's episode pulled in considerably less eyeballs.
PWTorch is reporting the April 9 edition of Raw pulled in a 3.1 rating, nearly half a point down from last week.
WWE's flagship show always gets a nice, little post-WrestleMania pop as fans like to see what happens as a result of what goes down at the "Granddaddy of Them All" so that explains last week's decent number. However, it would stand to reason Vince McMahon and company brought in Brock Lesnar to keep those fans watching.
It was assumed the question on everyone's mind at the end of last Monday's Raw would be, "Why did Lesnar attack John Cena?"
It now seems over half a million of those people didn't care to find out.
More after the jump.
This means one of two things, Cagesiders:
- WWE doesn't know what they're doing. They keep bringing back old stars in hopes of capturing lightning in a bottle twice but are getting very little payoff from it.
- Ratings are no longer indicative of how successful a television program can be
To quote Grandpa Simpson, I believe it's a little from column a and a little from a column b.
Less than one percent of American households are "Nielsen families." In fact, it's less than half of one percent. In fact, it's less than half of less than... okay, you get the idea. To conduct any kind of poll -- which is exactly what TV ratings are -- worth a hoot, a decent sample size is needed. I can't go out and ask two people on a college campus what they think of legalizing marijuana and if both say yes, run a story claiming 100% of Americans want to smoke pot with the man getting all up in their grill.
This is essentially what the Nielsen Company is doing. Ratings shouldn't matter all that much. But as long as WWE think they do...
The Rock and Lesnar will provide an initial bump, the "they're back" novelty wears off quickly especially if they are -- in The Rock's case -- only going to show up a handful of times a year or -- in Lesnar's case -- expected to deuce out in a year's time.
This is why I'm so excited WWE is putting Ryback -- formerly known as Skip Sheffield -- back on TV, debuting Damien Sandow and inserting Dean Ambrose into a social media-friendly worked shoot angle with Mick Foley.
The company needs new blood and fresh ideas. Embracing the past is good and well but not at the expense of the future. The Rocks and Lesnars and Batistas of the world are more than welcome to show up on TV if they'd like but they won't be around forever and WWE would be wise to perhaps give the ball to someone new to run with.
By show of hands, Cagesiders, how many of you started really paying attention to wrestling again when CM Punk delivered his "pipe bomb" promo?
I'll let the response speak for itself.