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Low Raw Ratings

Hey Scott, with the most recent Raw (6/29/15) getting a 2.5 rating, the show is getting perilously close to matching some of its lowest ratings ever. My question is, will we ever get something similar to that infamous moment where Vince McMahon declared the beginning of the Attitude Era on Raw when ratings were in the toilet and attendance was down back in 1997, or is that an impossibility now? I don't necessarily mean that they would turn back to raunchy content again, but maybe a declaration that they are going in a different direction and having a reboot of the current product? Surely McMahon is, if not necessarily panicking, then is at least putting a lot of thought into these low ratings.

​Well, I can't claim to be a close personal friend of Vince McMahon or anything, but I'm pretty sure he's not dealing with this very well given that he already panicked and brought Brock back to TV a month early as it is.  

No worries though, he has a plan that probably is to push Reigns to the Rumble win again and have him win the title at Wrestlemania, so clearly ​that will fix everything.  

Comments

  1. Dave said in the latest Observer that he thought Vince would react to this. No idea what that means but it usually means more McMahon's, so yay?

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  2. At some point, they are going to need to take things in a different direction -- their shareholders will demand it if they aren't making enough money.

    I don't know that it would be raunchy style though. What is their strongest demographic right now?

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  3. Men over 40, if I remember the numbers right.

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  4. More cena is always the answer

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  5. The plan is for DX to invade the Impact Zone with a tank, as a tank invasion of a rival promotion is the international sign for "the beginning of a new era in sports entertainment"

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  6. I hate to be that guy but they could easily have a whole interesting year of storylines and matchups if they would just turn Cena heel already and go really over the top with it.

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  7. Well, it does pop ratings.

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  8. It doesn't need to divert from the PG direction, just fucking book guys as guys we want to see. IF THEY BECOME BIGGER THAN THE BRAND, THAT IS A GOOD THING, YOU FUCKTARDS

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  9. Low Raw ratings = more McMahons (born & married into) on TV.

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  10. Reigns' push is hardly the reason why ratings are in the toilet.

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  11. but what about the merchandising? Remember Cena beat Owens because his merchandise went down.

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  12. Further: Since hell has yet to freeze over, and Punk won't be Shane's champion, they can use whoever in NXT as the muscle. (Which behind the scenes wouldn't make sense since it's HHH's baby, but go with a "We were trapped down here by the doofus son in law and we're not going to take it anymore" kayfabe reason)

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  13. Didn't say it was, but I think Vince believes that his push is the thing that will save the ratings.

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  14. I'm not saying the low ratings are meaningless, but haven't TV ratings declined in general in the last ten years? I've heard of shows that were canceled in the 90s that would be considered hits if they pulled similar numbers now. Is a 2.5 now the same as a 2.5 in 1996?

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  15. The concern is more that viewership numbers have plummeted year to year recently. Same time last year they were doing over 4.5 million viewers for RAW, and this year they're doing 3.5. There's no way to spin that in a positive light.

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  16. No. The 2.5 of today is more viewers than the 2.5 of then. But they are down almost a million viewers from not too long ago.

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  17. ... and they know the yearly ratings patterns means a guaranteed dip to that 3 million viewer mark come this fall and the return of the NFL. They already completely blew any ratings bump Lesnar returning at SummerSlam might have given them going into the fall. They have to be in near-panic mode at this point.

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  18. If WWE are still heavily relying on Cena's merch, I don't understand why they don't continue making him the top guy.

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  19. This really is a dangerous time for WWE, and a potentially scary one as a fan, because they will try lots of things to pop ratings, with little patience to see if any of them actually work. This is a company far more likely to point fingers of blame at new talent, and go back to the well of more McMahons on TV, John Cena as champ: basically all the stuff we joke about. At its core, though, WWE is still wrestling, and every old-timer will tell you when a wrestling promotion goes cold, it could take an act of God to get the company hot again.

    At the same time as ratings are becoming a headache, WWE has a Network to make profitable, and investors, sponsors, and a TV conglomerate partner to answer to. That's a lot of pressure, and history has shown Vince McMahon doesn't always react sanely to pressure.

    Scary times.

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  20. The relationship between USA (NBCU?) and WWE will be pretty interesting to watch over the next few years. While RAW boosts USA's primetime average, Tough Enough and the Tuesday Raw Replay both drew ratings under the average. It's not the best indication for when Smackdown eventually moves to USA too.

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  21. Because the fans boo him. John Cena is WWE's Vietnam War: they have no exit strategy.

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  22. They are making him the top guy. Who else gets 20 minute matches every week?

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  23. Let's call a spade a spade, though: Their long-drawn, thought out stuff isn't exactly setting the world on fire either. When they're doing something like carefully building up a wildly popular and talented new main eventer like CM Punk and Daniel Bryan, only to abandon that altogether to go back to the tried and true John Cena or Randy Orton or whoever, that's one thing. But what are they doing now that is worth holding onto? Crazy things to pop ratings may be a good thing, scary as it sounds.

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  24. Reigns hasn't been booked that strongly or protected that much since WM, which makes it possible that Vince may have gotten bored with trying to push him as the savior of the company.

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  25. The ratings dip obviously has to do with Owens beating Cena. I hope Vince is scalding HHH right now and yelling at him "you told me this guy was great!"

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  26. Exactly. And their booking can be reckless. They have this huge roster and don't even use half of their Superstars. They've clearly written off Jack Swagger, who at least has the resume to sound impressive, so why not feed him to Bray Wyatt instead of Dean Ambrose? They go through all of this trouble to build up Ambrose and to protect him in his loss to Rollins, only for him to take pinfall losses against Kane, Rollins, Kane and Rollins, and then Bray Wyatt. Makes no sense.

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  27. There's no alternative direction. At least with the Attitude era they were dipping their feet in it slowly before fully committing to it.

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  28. That's an interesting point. If they just go cold turkey and replace Cena with another guy completely, what would change?


    Also, considering how much time Cena gets. Could you split that in half and give two guys that time, would their combined merch sales beat Cena's?

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  29. Actually, in capitalism, it's all about getting the biggest slice of pie, not having the biggest pie.


    So if CM Punk makes them 1 million dollars but asks for 700k, then you'd rather have a guy like Sheamus who makes 800k and asks for 400.


    That's why they want to prevent any single star from dominating, you get a Brock Lesnar situation and he earns more than he brings in.

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  30. It's strange that they are so concerned about losing more casual fans, they shoot very broad and bland, but it seems those fans are easy to please. My dad, for example, will watch Raw almost every week just because he likes the general idea of wrestling. Even if they make changes to appeal to more niche audiences (18-24 year old college kids etc.), I seriously doubt they lose on those mainstream fans they are so concerned about.

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  31. Don't forget the patience issue. Crazy might include something like debuting Finn Balor as a challenger for the US Championship, having him win, then having Cena win it right back when ratings don't improve after a week or two. We already saw this with Owens when ratings didn't improve (and Cena merch sales immediately dipped). They might panic and burn through half the NXT roster calling them up, then giving up on them right away if ratings don't pop.

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  32. It's so baffling that they are somehow struggling in a time when American culture seems to obsessed with serialized shows/narratives.

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  33. A very fair point. I guess what I'm saying is, we're already seeing that and we have been seeing that for years. Crazy things to pop a rating could conceivably lead to something exciting, at least. Of course, so would logical booking that is designed to make the fans happy....but since THAT'S not a road they've chosen to take, their current attitude of "this is what we're giving you, like it" isn't doing much for many people.

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  34. Well Vince is too stubborn to admit that turning Raw into a 3 hour overly produced variety show killed half his audience. Book it organically with overly scripted segments to a minimum and let guys react to each other like in an improv setting.

    The robotic cookie cutter wrestlers and the 50/50 booking is killing guys left and right.

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  35. Oprah NoodlemantraJuly 2, 2015 at 9:45 PM

    Lance Von McMahon

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  36. Oprah NoodlemantraJuly 2, 2015 at 9:47 PM

    Pope... what are the Voodoo Kin Mafia doing in the Impact Zone!?

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  37. RVD https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CIjZYtOUMAAmxrt.jpg man, now I feel old :(

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  38. Would it be such a bad idea to do a little focus-testing, and just send out a massive survey? Ask questions like "Rate the following wrestlers on a scale of 1-10" or "What do you think the main-event of WM32 should be?"

    "Which wrestler would you most like to see as WWE Champion? Dean Ambrose, Roman Reigns, Randy Orton, Dolph Ziggler, or Neville?"

    "Which wrestler most deserves to get their butt kicked? Seth Rollins, Kane, Kevin Owens, Sheamus, or Rusev?"

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  39. The other thing to look at with ratings is where they stand in the 18-49 demographic. A year ago they were in great shape--usually in 1st place. This week they tied for 2nd place. Often they're in 3rd or 4th place on Mondays now, usually just ahead of Family Guy reruns. While WWE & USA will point to them having the most viewers overall, it's that 18-49 number that the industry pays the most attention to. It's the number advertisers look at in seeing where their target audience is. A drop in the 18-49 numbers will likely line up with that average viewer age increase WWE keeps seeing. Then instead of Mountain Dew Kickstart sponsoring shows it'll be Jerry Lawler shilling for erectile disfunction pills.

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  40. WWE does this, and every time they get angry at the results.

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  41. I don't think anybody's current merch sales approach half of Cena's.

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  42. Because most serialized narratives have cohesive plots you can follow. Can you imagine if Game of Thrones just dropped a thread from a previous episode and acted like it never happened?

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  43. A complete set redesign and filming direction would do wonders to start a with. Maybe someone flipping channels will be like "Wow what's up with Raw?" I thought the new logo would've been the perfect time for a change. I mean Jesus Christ even the format is always the same. Knock it off with the 20 minute opening segments. Reserve those for after a PPV or title change.

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  44. Probably not, but It's worth a thought.

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  45. According to 411 it was bad week across the board with TNA and RoH taking a big hit on Weds was well.

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  46. For real. Would it be so terrible to start raw without a 20 minute promo once in a while? I lasted about 10 minutes into Rollins giving gifts on Monday and turned it off for good. Just give me wrestling.

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  47. This is what Vince will be reduced to if the ratings don't improve.

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  48. Your math doesn't add up. I smite thee.

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  49. Adam "Colorado" CurryJuly 2, 2015 at 10:52 PM

    ROH had the same rating but less viewers.

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  50. Adam "Colorado" CurryJuly 2, 2015 at 10:53 PM

    If it means those terrible Kickstart ads go away I'm all for it.

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  51. Adam "Colorado" CurryJuly 2, 2015 at 10:54 PM

    "Which wrestlers don't you want to see on TV at all?"

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  52. Adam "Colorado" CurryJuly 2, 2015 at 10:56 PM

    Or if it started with one of 2 (or both) characters talking about the same shit for 20 minutes at the beginning or every episode.

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  53. Adam "Colorado" CurryJuly 2, 2015 at 10:58 PM

    Who the fuck is Ashley? Stupid cunt.

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  54. And by "they", you mean "Vince and Dunn".

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  55. And change nothing, See WCW.

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  56. "and this week, playing the role of Tyrion Lannister is The Big Show."

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  57. I laughed at this probably a little harder than I should have.

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  58. Time to bring in Scott Steiner.

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  59. Oh I agree for sure. Baffling that they can't figure out how to take advantage of it.

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  60. That can't even work too...if people actually care about what they are talking about.

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  61. that's a sadly a dream I don't think will ever be realized

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  62. Why own WWE when you can make twice as much sitting at home?

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  63. Adam "Colorado" CurryJuly 3, 2015 at 12:21 AM

    Last thing WWE needs is more McMahons.

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  64. There is no reason to watch RAW, none at all. The basic storyline leading to a match is summarised perfectly via video package before the PPV match starts.

    RAW is a tired routine and has been for a decade, the idea of tuning in and seeing something captivating or wild is over.

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  65. if you ignore the fans long enough, what happens if they actually don't stick around?

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  66. but the show needs more Stephanie, only solution

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  67. PG has NEVER been the problem.


    I may be wrong, but I don't remember Steen or Generico bleeding in their 4-year feud on the indies.


    In PWG, blood is rarely used, and the swearing isn't imperative to what they're saying.


    A good story is a good story. You don't need swearing or blood to write it.

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  68. But that's a McMahon we like.

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  69. Everyone liked all of them 15 years ago. You miss him because he's gone.

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  70. You obviously don't watch Game of Thrones.

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  71. Vince can lose BILLIONS! As long as Cena sells merchandise, everything is fine. ;-)

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  72. Raw just isn't must see programming. When was the last time something major happened on Raw? It's been 4 years since they've had a World Title change. No reason to watch.

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  73. But there are also more viewers than in the 90s.

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  74. They just can't write/book more than 1-2 interesting shows between PPVs... so why not make weekly PPVs or network specials? So they would have only two shows to build the events which is plenty for todays writers.

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