Here's a theory: John Cena absolutely tanked in his final segment promo on this past Monday night's (Jan. 21, 2013) episode of Raw because he knew viewers would be tuning out in droves by the third hour anyway, so why not just go off the rails and have fun the only way he knows how?
Yeah, that probably wasn't the case and the mystery of the awful Cena promo continues but viewers did in fact tune out in droves during the third hour. The show, the go home episode to the Royal Rumble pay-per-view (PPV) scheduled for this Sunday night in Phoenix, Arizona, scored a 3.0 rating and averaged 4.32 million viewers.
Here's the hourly breakdown:
Hour one: 4.37 million viewers
Hour two: 4.42 million viewers
Hour three: 4.16 million viewers
That's a really big drop from hour two to three. Naturally, WWE has adjusted accordingly and the big angles are being shot at the end of the second hour leading into the third when it's getting its peak audience. That means the powers that be knew Cena's segment, which was just a lead in to a Rumble match preview, would die on the vine anyway.
Still, maybe some of that heat is justified. Then again, 4.16 million viewers is still a strong number for a cable show.