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 (July 15, 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 open with Brad Maddox intro, John Cena and Randy Orton promos and Fandango interrupting did a 2.99 quarter, which isn't altogether bad for the open at this point in the three hour era.
- Orton vs. Fandango lost 85,000 viewers.
- Mark Henry's promo and subsequent beat down at the hands of The Shield gained 78,000 viewers, which is pretty good for that spot.
- Alberto Del Rio vs. Dolph Ziggler in a rematch from Money in the Bank for the world heavyweight championship gained 273,000 viewers at the top of the second hour. Not bad but could have been better.
- Bray Wyatt beating down R-Truth and a Zeb Colter promo lost 209,000 viewers.
- The Usos vs. The Real Americans and Christian vs. Damien Sandow lost 253,000 viewers.
- Brie Bella vs. Naomi gained 265,000 viewers, which is insane both because of the match and its participants and the time slot. Not sure if it means anything going forward but at least the Diva's had a good segment on a great show.
- The CM Punk-Paul Heyman segment, featuring Brock Lesnar showing up to put a hurting on the former, gained 498,000 viewers at the top of the third hour. That's a damn good gain for that slot, traditionally one that does well but not this good on most weeks, especially since the move to three hours.
- A couple backstage skits with Great Khali and John Cena talking and Triple H and Stephanie McMahon messing with Brad Maddox lost 497,000 viewers.
- Rob Van Dam vs. Chris Jericho lost 172,000 viewers, not surprising considering the time slot but disappointing if only because the match was fantastic and more people should have been watching it.
- The most encouraging number comes from the main event segment featuring John Cena choosing Daniel Bryan to be his opponent at SummerSlam in a WWE championship match. The segment gained 669,000 viewers, a big hit, and ended at a 3.41 overrun. That's a smashing success.
Bryan most definitely got a nice bump from going over clean on Orton a few weeks back but that match, which was the main event that night, bombed in the ratings. Now, he's involved in a segment with Cena, the biggest star in the company, and was made to look like a mega star while a ton of eyeballs were tuned in.
Dislike Cena all you want, the guy consistently delivers when it matters.