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 (April 8, 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 particularly strong thanks to curiosity stemming from WrestleMania 29 the night before. That's usually the case, and this opened to a 3.74 quarter for John Cena's promo and interruption by Mark Henry.
- There was a quick drop, of course, that spanned the next two quarters. Daniel Bryan vs. Big E. Langston lost 461,000 viewers before Wade Barrett winning the Intercontinental title back from The Miz lost 222,000 more.
- The first gain came with Randy Orton and Sheamus both backstage trying to get a match with Big Show, which gained 92,000 viewers.
- The 9 p.m. hour saw a gain of only 151,000 viewers for the Alberto Del Rio vs. Jack Swagger and Zeb Colter match. It got better in a hurry, though, as Dolph Ziggler cashed in his Money in the Bank contract to win the world heavyweight title and Undertaker did an angle with Team Hell No and The Shield that gained 460,000 viewers. It ended up being the highest rated segment of the show at 3.76, even higher than the open. Considering its time slot, that's amazing.
- Santino Marella, Zack Ryder, and R-Truth vs. 3MB lost 329,000 viewers. The backstage skit with Orton and Sheamus, plus an interview with Big Show, and Orton and Sheamus making their way to the ring for a promo and a poll lost 110,000 viewers.
- The actual Orton vs. Sheamus match, now infamous for the increasing insanity of the live crowd chanting for everything under the sun that had nothing to do with what was going on in the ring, gained 329,000 viewers. That's at the 10 p.m. hour, which is about right these days.
- Big Show coming out and beating every down while taking his sweet time lost only 70,000 viewers. Fandango, who got over huge live, had his match with Kofi Kingston and interaction with Chris Jericho lose 207,000 viewers.
- The biggest loss of the show, and it was shockingly big, was for the match that was cut from WrestleMania 29, Tons of Funk & Funkadactyls vs. Rhodes Scholars & Bella Twins. A staggering 665,000 viewers were lost for this quarter. That's a lot. Like, a ton.
- Finally, John Cena vs. Mark Henry in the main event with Ryback presumably turning heel gained 887,000 viewers to a 3.54 overrun. That's a very good end for the show.
This was without The Rock, who was advertised, not to mention Brock Lesnar, who was also supposed to be there to run an angle with Rock to set up a match between the two at a later date, possibly WrestleMania 30 next year. Solid numbers for the big angles and usual prime time slots.
For complete results and the live blog click here. For reactions to the show click here. And for a playlist of the entire night click here.