In a meta-promo right out of the WCW playbook, Seth Rollins opened the Dec. 10 episode of Raw with a promo about how bad the show has been. It earned him support from Dash Wilder & Scott Dawson of The Revival, the downtrodden tag team act he shouted out during his speech. The “Top Guys” praised Seth’s knowledge of wrestling.
The Architect also called out WWE’s declining viewership on Monday nights while blaming the Baron Corbin regime for the red brand’s struggles. We can debate whether it’s the amount of time being spent on the General Manager Elect angle, the rash of injuries or just creative complacency - but Rollins deserves some praise for his knowledge of ratings, too. Because his dire warnings came true.
This week’s show represented another record low, coming in at 2.19 million viewers averaged over Raw’s three hours. That breaks the “modern era” record set just last week.
The hourly breakdown shows an increase from Dec. 3 in initial viewers, but steady drops after that:
Hour one: 2.35 million
Hour two: 2.19 million
Hour three: 2.05 million
Monday Night Football featured a game with playoff implications, and despite not being particulary action-packed, it drew over 11 million viewers on ESPN. Wrestling Observer’s more granual numbers say the drops came from viewers over 50 and women, while teenage boys tuned in in greater numbers throughout the show. Maybe older fans wanted to see a return to low-scoring NFL games while younger one were turned off by a defensive struggle between the Seahawks & Vikings? I’m guessing women were just smart enough to believe Seth when he said the show sucked.
Next week brings a pay-per-view (PPV) fallout episode, but also falls on the busy week before Christmas. We’ll see which factor plays a bigger role when those numbers come in.