There's a certain segment of the pro wrestling fanbase who couldn't care less about television ratings. And while I can understand why that might be the case, we know WWE often makes knee jerk decisions based solely on the numbers they get back from Nielson.
That alone makes them important.
So let's look at a few of the more interesting numbers from this past week's episode of Monday Night Raw, featuring the return of Vince McMahon:
- The show opened to a 2.57, which is really nothing special. Any growth at that point would be expected, and sure enough The Shield attacking Team Hell No gained 126,000 viewers. That's also the segment with the AJ Lee vs. Tamina Snuka match.
- Here's an interesting note on what came next. CM Punk and Paul Heyman gained 24,000 viewers during their interview but once The Miz came out and started doing his schtick, the show lost 214,000 viewers. So I'm not the only one who finds him nearly unbearable.
- The main event of the first hour bleeding over into the second, which should see a lot of growth, gained only 138,000 viewers. That's with John Cena and Sheamus teaming up against Big Show and Dolph Ziggler. Bad news for two of the top programs on Raw and SmackDown right now.
- Damien Sandow vs. Santino Marella lost 226,000 viewers, which sucks but is to be expected for what they were doing, I suppose.
- Alberto Del Rio vs. Sin Cara lost 126,000 viewers.
- Vince McMahon's return to goad Vickie Guerrero into adding matches and stipulations to matches gained 493,000 viewers, the highest rated point of the show not including the overrun. Even after all these years, Vince is still a draw, even if he's not at the level he once was.
- Randy Orton vs. Brad Maddox lost 167,000 viewers. That includes The Shield attacking Orton and leaving him laying.
- The Raw Active four-way U.S. championship match between Kofi Kingston, R-Truth, Wade Barrett, and Antonio Cesaro lost 169,000 viewers.
- Finally, the main event segment with CM Punk taking a lie detector test before The Shield attacked and Kane, Daniel Bryan, and Ryback all got involved gained 509,000 viewers.
Not a lot to be happy about here for WWE. The competition was stiff, of course, with Monday Night Football on ESPN dragging away a ton of viewers for the Washington Redskins vs. New York Giants game but it's entirely possible we'll get some panic reaction to this for next Monday's show.
The question is, what?