Sports

WWE Raw Ratings Drop to Lowest Number in 18 Years

It’s bad news for WWE Monday Night Raw, as the year of record lows continues.

The ratings for WWE’s flagship show cratered this week, hitting its lowest ratings in 18 years. According to PWTorch, this week’s Raw earned a dismal 2.21 rating, the lowest since the 2012 Christmas Eve episode. On the plus side, the overall audience increased by two percent, but the hourly breakdown for the three-hour telecast showed a 13 percent drop in viewership over the course of the night.

The worst part about this news for WWE is that the rating still plummeted despite hyped appearances from legends like tone Cold Steve Austin, “The Nature Boy” Ric Flair, Shawn Michaels and The Undertaker. Even Brock Lesnar was on the show! It was a desperate hot-shotting, as WWE loaded up the show with major names in the hopes of popping a big rating. Of course, the problem here is that WWE went back and forth on actually promoting Austin, arguably the biggest name of five special guests. Austin hadn’t appeared in a WWE ring in well over a year, yet WWE couldn’t commit to whether he’d be ON the actual show, or if he’d just be around backstage to record the Stone Cold podcast with Brock Lesnar after Raw went off the air. By the time WWE finally did commit to promoting an Austin appearance, it was three hours before the show. And three hours early is still one week too late if you’re trying to hype up an appearance from the man who is, arguably, wrestling’s all-time biggest star.

WWE Raw Ratings Drop to Lowest Number in 18 Years

Credit: WWE

When asked about the number on Twitter, Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer offered his insight:

Of course, there were other mitigating factors in the low rating. For one, the Monday Night Football game did incredible numbers, due in larger part to the debut of the new trailer for Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens, as well as the marquee match-up between the Philadelphia Eagles and the New York Giants. The second, and perhaps most important factor, was that…well, nothing really happened on Raw.

No, seriously. We got a bunch of pointless six-man tags, a pseudo-Shield reunion that got hot-shotted in the third hour, and a bunch of legends strolling out to say heaping mounds of nothing. How do you get Ric Flair for your show and have him do nothing but crow about how great Roman Reigns is? How do you get Shawn Michaels out there and do nothing but have him cut down your WWE World Heavyweight Champion? And how in the hell do you bring “Stone Cold” Steve Austin on only to have him introduce The Undertaker and leave? This is without even getting into the tiresome match-making and general lack of plot advancement for this Sunday’s Hell In A Cell event.

So while the show may have started off strong with 3.6 million viewers in hour one, it wasn’t that surprising to learn it fell down to 3.1 million by the third hour. Ultimately, Raw is as bad now as it’s ever been, and nothing will change unless WWE starts booking with purpose. That said, Vince McMahon and company have to understand that turning the ratings around won’t be a one-week fix either. It’s going to take patience, which I’m not sure is their strong suit. Here’s hoping that changes.

What did you think of this week’s Raw? Sound off in the comments!

And for more on WWE, find out the latest about Randy Orton’s shoulder injury here.

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