Considering the fact that the Minnesota Vikings, sporting a 1-4 record prior to the game, went into New Jersey to take on the New York Giants, themselves rocking an 0-6 record, on ESPN's Monday Night Football, it seemed WWE had a prime opportunity to steal back some viewers for Monday Night Raw.
Especially because the USA broadcast was the go home show to the Hell in a Cell pay-per-view (PPV) this coming Sunday night in Miami.
Unfortunately for Vince McMahon and "The Authority" that's not what happened. In fact, the three hour program was incredibly underwhelming when the numbers came in: A 2.7 rating with an average of 3.83 million viewers for all three hours. The hourly breakdown is even worse, showing a sharp decline throughout the evening:
Hour one: 3.91 million
Hour two: 3.80 million
Hour three: 3.76 million
That's not a pattern we see often.
One thing to note is the Vikings-Giants game ended up doing much better numbers than anyone expected, averaging over 13 million viewers for a game that was never really competitive and featured two awful teams playing mostly awful football.
Still, the NFL is a ratings juggernaut that just can't be stopped. Plus, the New York market is incredibly strong, even if the team has gone to hell in a handbasket.
The good news is relatively poor television ratings doesn't necessarily translate to poor buyrates for PPVs. That means Hell in a Cell isn't completely doomed despite the lower numbers. It could be doomed all on its own merits, but that's a story for another time.