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 (March 18, 2013) episode of Monday Night Raw (estimates come by way of the latest Wrestling Observer Newsletter, which you should have a subscription for):
- The show didn't start very hot and it spent much of its three hours in decline. John Cena vs. Darren Young and Ryback vs. David Otunga lost 36,000 viewers before the Fandango schtick and non-match with Great Khali lost 104,000 more. R-Truth vs. Damien Sandow provided no relief and went even further by losing 128,000 viewers.
- The first gain didn't come until the top of the second hour with Undertaker and CM Punk showing up and Team Hell No defeating Primo and Epico. That segment gained 111,000 viewers to a 3.7 rating, which was the best they would get to all night.
- Alberto Del Rio vs. Cody Rhodes, the long match of the night, lost 184,000 viewers. Booker T's Hall of Fame announcement lost another 124,000.
- Sheamus and Randy Orton vs. 3MB gained 58,000 viewers at the top of the third hour, which is an insanely small gain, though the segment wasn't exactly strong. Dolph Ziggler vs. Kofi Kingston right after it lost 302,000 viewers. Wade Barrett vs. Chris Jericho vs. The Miz for the Intercontinental title and the most heavily promoted part of this show lost 54,000 viewers, which is odd.
- The final segment, the Triple H vs. Brock Lesnar contract signing, gained 494,000 viewers to a 3.1 overrun.
Overall, this was an incredibly rough episode of Raw for the ratings.