WWE has made the decision it is going to build the majority of its programming around Daniel Bryan and turning him into a main event level star on the same level as John Cena. That was made clear when Cena himself, the WWE champion, called everyone who thinks Bryan isn't on that level a "dumbass," including his own bosses.
But here's the thing about those dumbass bosses who have always worried so much about Bryan's ability to draw money: the ratings have yet to reflect much increased interest since his big push.
Indeed, the latest episode of Monday Night Raw last night (July 22, 2013) in Austin, Texas, averaged 4 million viewers -- down from 4.1 million one week ago -- for a 2.9 rating.
The hourly breakdown:
Hour one: 3.92 million
Hour two: 4.16 million
Hour three: 3.93 million
That ends the streak of each hour gaining more viewers as the show moved along and that's especially disappointing this week with nearly the entire last hour being dedicated to Bryan working his ass off in matches against Jack Swagger, Antonio Cesaro (one of the best free TV matches of the year), and Ryback.
Notably absent was Cena, the proven ratings star.
Still, it's relatively early in the process and WWE is not showing any signs of giving up on him just yet, thankfully.