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WWE Raw rating drops despite great wrestling and good storytelling

The ratings for the critically acclaimed September 23rd episode of Monday Night Raw are in, and they're probably not good news for those of us who like the kind of show we got last night.

Despite a week's worth of buzz from the well-received Night of Champions fallout show and a relatively soft edition of the main competition for eyeballs on Monday nights in the fall, the overnight rating for WWE Raw was down 7% from last week's 4.1 million viewers. The September 24th episode on USA Network drew 3.74 million.

That equates to a 1.3 rating in the 18-49 year old demographic, which is also down from the 1.4 the show received last week.

According to TV by the Numbers, there was some good news for the glass-half-full types among you. The show held and increased viewership over each of its three hours, and the 10PM Eastern hour had the most viewers. The hourly breakdown follows:

Start Time Millions of Viewers Rating
8PM 3.603 1.2
9PM 3.795 1.3
10PM 3.820 1.4

The negative nancies among us might point out, however, that the football game also got farther and farther out of reach as the night went along, so the uptick may be attributable to fans growing bored with Denver Broncos' quarterback Peyton Manning picking apart the Oakland Raiders' secondary just as much as they were compelled by the prospect of an 11 - 3 handicap match.

WWE would also have been hoping for a stronger showing based on the lack of a competitive match-up on ESPN. Monday Night Football won the night as usual with almost 14 million viewers and a 5.6 rating.

As our fearless leader is fond of saying, it doesn't matter if we think ratings shouldn't matter. It's clear that the powers that be in Stamford do. Combine these results with the disappointing buyrate for SummerSlam, and we might want to start bracing ourselves for a steady diet of John Cena come the Spring.

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