We don't normally worry much about the segment-by-segment ratings for Monday Night Raw each week, though WWE largely makes a lot of its decisions based solely on these numbers. Usually, the numbers are never too far gone in either direction, so looking at the overall picture is just as effective as looking for the trees through the forest.
This time it's different.
In looking at the segments that did well and those that didn't, a few things jumped out at me. They are:
- After the opening match with Randy Orton, Kofi Kingston, Dolph Ziggler and Alberto Del Rio lost 74,000 viewers, the dreaded Claire Lynch recreation angle with John Cena, AJ Lee, Vickie Guerrero and Ziggler gained 468,000 viewers. As the Wrestling Observer notes, that's really good for its timeslot, immediately following the opening segment. Sorry, Cagesiders, this angle actually has ratings to support it.
- Jerry Lawler's return gained 745,000, a solid gain the company fully expected. What no one likely expected was that the angle they ran with CM Punk's promo on Lawler and Paul Heyman faking a heart attack would have such a drastic effect on viewers. This angle has been discussed to death and the numbers show that a lot of fans were turned off by how WWE handled it as the segment lost 876,000 viewers by the time it was over. That's a lot.
- Brad Maddox's big match against Ryback, with a $1 million contract on the line, gained 755,000 viewers in its timeslot at 10 p.m. ET, a really good number for that slot in the three hour Raw era. Ryback has never really drawn good numbers in the segment-by-segment ratings during his big run at the top, so this could have just been the angle itself. It's just too bad this may have been a blowoff for Maddox's character, seeing as he got squashed and sent out in an ambulance.
- Finally, Sheamus vs. David Otunga, which came after the Ryback-Maddox match, lost a staggering 910,00 viewers. That's right up there with the biggest drop off all year long, and we're into November now. I'm not sure what this says about Sheamus but considering the fact that he's challenging for the world heavyweight title at Survivor Series this Sunday, it's not a good thing.
By the time Raw got to the main event match between Cena and Punk, the show had hit its lowest point. That's likely just the viewer fatigue factor they've been fighting for months now but it's still alarming to see such numbers for so many main event level players.
For more on Raw's ratings click here.