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 the numbers from this week's (Feb. 25, 2013) episode of Monday Night Raw (estimates come by way of the latest Wrestling Observer Newsletter, which you should have a subscription for):
- After a really strong 3.6 open for the Vince McMahon vs. Paul Heyman fight and Triple H return to brawl with Brock Lesnar, the Ryback vs. Dolph Ziggler match that immediately followed it lost 285,000 viewers.
- The CM Punk promo that came next, amazingly enough, gained 420,000 viewers. That's a crazy number for that particular portion of the show.
- Mark Henry vs. Great Khali turned around and lost 285,000 viewers, all of which were gained back for the 9 p.m. hitter with Alberto Del Rio, Jack Swagger, and Zeb Colter on MizTV.
- Randy Orton vs. Antonio Cesaro lost 430,000 viewers right after, presumably because we've all seen that match a million times. R-Truth vs. Cody Rhodes didn't bleed any further for their match but the Team Hell No vs. Prime Time Players match that featured the blind fold and tied up arm lost 285,000 viewers.
- The 10 p.m. spot featured The Shield cutting a promo and getting laid out by Randy Orton and it gained back all those viewers before Jack Swagger vs. The Miz lost 450,000 viewers.
- The main event saw a monster gain, worthy of the big promotion of it, with just over one million viewers for the 21-minute classic match between CM Punk and John Cena. Essentially, that match was a success in every single way it possibly could have been. An upper deck home run, folks.
It's good to see one of the best Raw matches in history did so well. The more fans see matches like that, the better off we'll all be.