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 (May 6, 2013) episode of Monday Night Raw (estimates come by way of the latest Wrestling Observer Newsletter, which you should have a subscription for):
- It should be noted straight away that this was the lowest rated episode of the entire year and not a single hour broke the four million viewer barrier, something that hadn't happened since last year. So there's that.
- That said, as pointed out by Dave Meltzer, interest was there at the outset with the opening John Cena segment with Ryback setting up the Last Man Standing stipulation for their Extreme Rules match doing a 3.29 quarter.
- Then Randy Orton vs. Damien Sandow turned around and lost 725,000 viewers. That's an awful lot, even for this point in the show. Maybe everyone could see how little "The Viper" seemed to give a shit?
- A Chris Jericho interview gained 124,000 viewers followed by Fandango's match with R-Truth and Jericho ringside scoring it losing 146,000 viewers.
- Dolph Ziggler vs. Alberto Del Rio was the match WWE went with to go long at the top of the second hour and it only gained 228,000 viewers. The Shield, who had been hot, vs. Kofi Kingston and the Usos lost 206,000 viewers, though the time slot and choice of opponents likely didn't help matters.
- Antonio Cesaro vs. Zack Ryder actually gained 26,000 viewers. Not sure what to think of that.
- The biggest gaining segment on the show, surprisingly enough, was Brock Lesnar Hulk smashing his way through Triple H's office, which gained 899,000 viewers at the top of the third hour. That's a lot and if you head over to the Observer, you'll see the gains were in the key demographics as well.
- The momentum was gone as quick as it came, as the Divas match that followed lost 921,000 viewers, a staggering number that shows WWE hasn't put the time in to make anyone care about what the women are doing, at least not in actual matches. Mark Henry and Sheamus doing their thing along with Sheamus' match with Wade Barrett gained 146,000 viewers.
- Finally, the main event saw a terribly weak gain for Ryback vs. Kane, gaining only 163,000 viewers. The overrun did a 2.99 rating for John Cena and The Shield hitting the ring.
As noted previously, this was not a good week for Raw in the ratings.