Raw ratings went up this week, and Cena was not on the show. Instead they focused on Orton/Rollins, Ambrose/Wyatt, and god help me, the two midcard titles. The match quality and pacing seemed better. Is there something to keeping Cena and his stale act off the occasional episode?
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Nope. Clearly what happened was that people were expecting Cena to show up and kept tuning in while waiting for whatever wacky exploits he would get up to next. Plus the show was heavily advertised around him picking his team, if you're looking for legitimate and not just snarky made up reasons.