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Will Triple H and Stephanie McMahon return to TV to rescue Monday Night Raw's ratings?

With Monday Night Raw's ratings hitting near rock bottom levels this week, the likely end result will be Triple H and Stephanie McMahon returning to WWE television much sooner than initially planned.

Not the long term solution to Raw's ratings problems.
Not the long term solution to Raw's ratings problems.
Michael N. Todaro/Getty Images

Over the past couple of weeks Monday Night Raw's ratings have slumped to the lowest level of the year. This is especially troubling when Brock Lesnar returned to the show this week, albeit unannounced, and they presented the Slammy Awards on last week's episode, which has traditionally boosted viewership.

In the past, when ratings fell to near rock bottom levels, the solution typically has been to bring the Mr. McMahon character out of the mothballs, as his mere presence after a long absence has been proven time after time to get numbers back to normal and give the WWE Creative Team some breathing space to come up with a longer term solution. Indeed, when faced with the same problem two years ago they quite irresponsibly booked the then 67 year old McMahon in a match with CM Punk, which worked a treat, despite foolishly risking the WWE owner's health.

The circumstances aren't quite so desperate today that they'd pull off such a hot-shot stunt again, especially as Vince McMahon doesn't seem to want to be a regular character on Raw at his age, but they've got the next best thing. Bring back his son-in law, Triple H, and his daughter, Stephanie McMahon, to Raw as soon as possible instead. Indeed, Dave Meltzer knowing WWE's mentality and Vince McMahon's tendency to panic when ratings get below a critical threshold predicted that would be the likely response on his latest Wrestling Observer Radio show.

Such a reaction would be a rather naive and vain way of looking at things. After fifteen months, The Authority angle was played out and it was a good time to blow off the stable at Survivor Series thanks to the interference of the debuting Sting. The problem was the decision to do so was rushed, a late idea to maximise eyeballs during the free month for new subscribers to the WWE Network, and they weren't prepared with the right storyline to hook viewers afterwards to keep fairweather fans tuning in.

Instead of Sting appearing on Raw, which most fans would have expected after what transpired at Survivor Series, we had the return of the Anonymous GM, the lamest possible replacement to fill in the on-screen power vacuum caused by The Authority's departure.

WWE didn't help themselves by doing a terrible job of building towards Brock Lesnar's return, which came out of the blue, rather than being eagerly anticipated. Simply announcing his appearance one week in advance should have kept viewership steady, but instead they got a big surprise pop in the arena, which people will forget about in next to no time.

Clearly, WWE's current ratings predicament wasn't caused by the temporary disappearance from our television screens of Triple H and Stephanie, but due to a combination of poor planning and weak booking. If you don't fix the latter issue, then the return of The Authority will only serve as a temporary Band-Aid, and WWE will be doomed to repeat the process again next year during football season.