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 22, 2013) episode of Monday Night Raw (estimates come by way of the latest Wrestling Observer Newsletter, which you should have a subscription for):
- The John Cena vs. Daniel Bryan contract signing that saw Cena go over the top in his praise of Bryan did a 2.99 open.
- Alberto Del Rio vs. Sheamus lost 191,000 viewers.
- Christian vs. Titus O'Neil gained 85,000 viewers, which is a little weird considering the slot and who was wrestling.
- Mark Henry calling out The Shield and Dolph Ziggler vs. Darren Young gained 373,000 viewers at the top of the second hour. That's a pretty strong gain for that time slot.
- Miz TV featuring the stars of Total Diva's -- not to mention Brie Bella's wardrobe malfunction -- lost 125,000 viewers.
- Pre-tape with Brad Maddox getting into it with Triple H and Stephanie McMahon lost 251,000 viewers.
- Fandango vs. Cody Rhodes gained 4,000 viewers.
- The CM Punk promo and satellite interruption by Paul Heyman gained 201,000 viewers at the top of the third hour, which is fine but certainly nothing special.
- RVD vs. Wade Barrett and Daniel Bryan vs. Jack Swagger lost 295,000 viewers.
- Bryan vs. Antonio Cesaro, one of the better Raw matches this year, gained 150,000 viewers. That's a good number for this slot.
- Bryan vs. Ryback with Cena making the save to set up next week's show, plus Vince McMahon backstage with Brad Maddox, gained 331,000 viewers to a 3.2 overrun. That's not a great number for the main event segment.
There's nothing here to push the panic button about, though one would hope Bryan's segments would do better considering how much he's been pushed and how overly he is at nearly every arena WWE visits.