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 1, 2013) episode of Monday Night Raw (estimates come by way of the latest Wrestling Observer Newsletter, which you should have a subscription for):
- The opening promo segment, featuring all the WWE championship Money in the Bank ladder match participants did poorly, coming in at a 2.73 rating. And the rest of the show didn't get much better, really anywhere but the main event.
- Christian & The Usos vs. The Shield lost 28,000 viewers.
- Dolph Ziggler vs. Jinder Mahal gained 90,000 viewers.
- Mark Henry video showcasing how much of a badass he is gained 64,000 viewers.
- Randy Orton vs. Kane gained 217,000 viewers at the top of the second hour. This match also featured Daniel Bryan as special guest refere.
- Sheamus vs. Fandango lost 115,000 viewers.
- Ryback vs. The Miz gained 116,000 viewers.
- Mark Henry's promo and a pre-tape backstage with Vince McMahon stayed even.
- CM Punk & Curtis Axel vs. Prime Time Players gained 21,000 viewers at the top of the third hour, which is one of the lowest gains in the history of that time slot. That's downright pathetic, really.
- Kaitlyn vs. Alicia Fox with AJ Lee's promo and Stephanie McMahon pre-tape lost 123,000 viewers.
- Antonio Cesaro vs. Cody Rhodes lost 98,000 viewers.
- Finally, John Cena vs. Alberto Del Rio gained 567,000 viewers to a 3.25 overrun. That's a good number for the main event segment, especially with the rest of this show doing so unbelievably bad.
For all his perceived faults and shortcomings, John Cena absolutely still delivers in the ratings department. His segments consistently do well and that's still the case after all these years of being a featured talent at the top of the card.