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 (April 29, 2013) episode of Monday Night Raw (estimates come by way of the latest Wrestling Observer Newsletter, which you should have a subscription for):
- It was a bizarre decision to start the show with Ricardo Rodriguez vs. Zeb Colter vs. Big E. Langston and it opened to a 3.10 rating. Randy Orton vs. Cody Rhodes, a fantastic television match, only lost 10,000 viewers, which is really good. Brie Bella vs. Naomi made up for it by losing 136,000 viewers.
- The Shield's promo and interaction with 3MB and Team Hell No gained 431,000 viewers at the top of the second hour. That's pretty good, although not necessarily great.
- Dolph Ziggler vs. Kofi Kingston lost 326,000 viewers before the Triple H vs. Brock Lesnar promo video, as well as some backstage stuff, lost 175,000 more.
- Jack Swagger vs. Zack Ryder and the tug-of-war segment gained 270,000 viewers, which is somewhat of a surprise all things considered. Then again, Mark Henry vs. Sheamus in a tug-of-war only gained 102,000 viewers at the top of the third hour, which is utterly abysmal for that time slot.
- Alberto Del Rio vs. Antonio Cesaro lost 408,000 viewers, so it's nice to see that the Latino babyface act still isn't getting over and the wider audience isn't fully appreciative of one of the best acts in the company just yet. Luckily, WWE booked the Fandango vs. Great Khali dance contest in the next segment to get those viewers back. Oh, wait, they only gained 44,000 viewers for what can only be referred to as the dumbest idea in history.
- Finally, The Shield vs. John Cena and Team Hell No gained 513,000 viewers to a 3.32 overrun. Again, that's good but not necessarily great. Still, it shows The Shield is catching on.
The Shield, who have been pushed pretty hard as of late, are definitely finding their groove and while they aren't blowing anyone's doors off the hinges as far as the ratings go, they're holding up rather well considering this is post-WrestleMania season.