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 past week's episode of Monday Night Raw:
- The show opened with one of the biggest quarter ratings in a long while thanks to all the hype created by Brock Lesnar closing last week's show with an F-5 on Vince McMahon. They couldn't sustain that viewership number, however, as Ryback vs. Antonio Cesaro lost a whopping 526,000 viewers, though 373,000 viewers came back for a Rey Mysterio promo and a Shield video.
- Jack Swagger vs. Santino Marella lost 302,000 viewers. The Patriot Act is still a cool name for a finisher.
- The first hour closed with Alberto Del Rio vs. Cody Rhodes and the first hotel segment with Big Show and it gained 243,000 viewers. Not bad but not great for that slot. Rey Mysterio vs. Daniel Bryan lost 93,000 viewers right after it while Bryan and Kane arguing and another Show hotel segment lost another 87,000 viewers after that. Sheamus vs. Kane then lost an additional 187,000 viewers.
- The next big gain was the highest of the evening at the start of the third hour with MizTV featuring Vickie Guerrero, Paul Heyman, and, the big one, Brock Lesnar. The segment gained 600,000 viewers, most of which came from the coveted 18-49 male demographic. Brock still brings them in.
- Naturally, Randy Orton vs. Wade Barrett in the next segment would lose 683,000 viewers. Chris Jericho vs. CM Punk was only able to gain 137,000 viewers and the announcement of Bruno Sammartino to the Hall of Fame gained 34,000 more.
- The main event quarter did terribly, gaining just 255,000 viewers for the overrun that featured The Shield brawling with John Cena, Sheamus, and Ryback.
Brock Lesnar is good for ratings, folks. That's the lesson here.