Thanks to James Caldwell for the following details:
Monday’s Raw scored a 2.32 rating, falling from a 2.50 rating last week and 2.93 rating two weeks ago after WrestleMania. It was the lowest TV rating of the year, falling below a 2.36 rating for the episode against the college football title game in January. Raw also fell to year-lows in the key demographics of males 18-34 and males 18-49. Adults 18-49 dipped from last week, but remained out of year-low territory.
WWE’s taped, international Raws typically draw the least social media activity of the year, plus the same shows typically dip in the TV Ratings department. Monday’s show took a dive, and then some to year-low levels just two weeks out from WrestleMania.
After some encouraging news seeing the second hour increase, there was a significant drop-off in the third hour…
– First Hour: 3.486 million viewers
– Second Hour: 3.541 million viewers
– Third Hour: 2.980 million viewers
It was the first time this year an hour has drawn fewer than three million viewers. The hour-to-hour decline of 15.8 percent was the second-biggest drop-off this year; the post-Fast Lane show with Shane McMahon’s big return dropped off 16.3 percent from the second to third hour.
Caldwell’s Analysis: Raw definitely felt too long this week. The third hour did not have much going for it until a hastily promoted main event of Kevin Owens vs. Dean Ambrose. But, even the main event felt too familiar using interchangeable parts as WWE tries to sort out the post-WrestleMania feuds and matches. WWE continuing to go week-to-week on who’s running the show is not helping, either.
But, the biggest problem remains new WWE champion Roman Reigns. Both from a viewer turn-off perspective and WWE seemingly afraid to put him out there in multiple segments per show. As a result of the latter, there is not a central, leading star coming out of WM32 since WWE cannot commit to Reigns in that position of true leading man because the audience would even more reject his title reign. Plus, his limitations would be exposed even more if WWE put him out there in multiple segments trying to fill a three-hour Raw.
WWE has put themselves in a spot to keep trending downward unless they make a right-hand turn sometime soon, either going a different direction with Reigns, solidifying Shane (or someone likable) in the authority figure spot, going all the way with A.J. Styles and Bullet/Balor Club, and/or resolving the dark cloud hanging over the show of when The Authority is coming back.