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 (June 24, 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 opened to a 2.82 rating for Daniel Bryan's promo and initial match with Randy Orton. That's not a very good number, so Bryan's big show got off to a bad start.
- Sheamus & Christian vs. Rhodes Scholars and Kaitlyn vs. Aksana lost 124,000 viewers before AJ Lee's segment making fun of Kaitlyn and a couple video packages lost another 198,000.
- Chris Jericho vs. Alberto Del Rio gained 333,000 viewers, which is a damn good number in the segment just before the top of the second hour. That segment, featuring some post-match stuff including Dolph Ziggler and the big reveal of the WWE "2K14" video game cover, gained 361,000 viewers. Damn good numbers there.
- Ryback vs. Great Khali, unsurprisingly, lost 217,000 viewers.
- John Cena's interview gained 235,000 viewers, another good number for its time slot. In a bit of a shocker, Tons of Funk vs. Usos vs. 3MB gained 19,000 viewers right after it.
- The start of the third hour segment between CM Punk and Paul Heyman gained only 117,000 viewers. That's a low number, though it should be noted the rating hit a show high 3.21 here. Punk's match with Darren Young and Curtis Axel making the save to run off the Prime Time Players lost 598,000 viewers, though.
- Stephanie McMahon's announcement of the WWE title Money in the Bank ladder match participants and some backstage stuff, including the making of Chris Jericho vs. Ryback at Money in the Bank, gained 136,000 viewers.
- Finally, and this is some seriously damning stuff, but the Daniel Bryan vs. Randy Orton No Disqualification match that featured Bryan getting his big main event victory over one of the most protected stars on the roster gained only 104,000 viewers to a 2.92 overrun. That's downright awful, and it represents one of the worst main event numbers in a very long time.
Bryan may be doing some of the very best work of his career and fans in arenas may be responding to him louder and with more vigor than anyone else on the roster but a show built around him did not do a great rating and his segments all bombed.
Not good, and we'll see if this affects his push at all.