Every year after WrestleMania, WWE experiences the hangover for a couple of weeks, but this year has actually been quite frightening. The ratings for Monday Night Raw and SmackDown Live are always lower as the summer approaches, but there is quite the cause for concern as things aren’t bouncing back this year. As a matter of fact, Vince McMahon just learned that this week’s Monday Night Raw had its second lowest rating ever.
It was no big surprise that ratings were falling some for Monday Night Raw as Brock Lesnar was taking his normal hiatus. There was also the fact that the many big names had switched around during the Superstar Shake-Up, and some fans might not have been too thrilled with that.
Add the retirement of The Undertaker to the mix, and many casual fans likely stopped watching since one of the greatest was gone, but still, the second-lowest rating ever?
According to Wrestling Inc., this week’s Memorial Day episode of Monday Night Raw averaged 2.613 million viewers over the three hours for a final show rating of 1.75. The main event saw Seth Rollins vs. Roman Reigns, and there is no secret that a number of fans are not fond of the “Big Dog.”
This year’s Memorial Day episode was down 19.1 percent from last year’s which averaged 3.222 million viewers with a 2.19 rating. Holiday episodes usually draw lower ratings, and that has been the case for years, but this is unexplored territory for WWE.
SmackDown Live had experienced ratings fluctuations for the past two months since WrestleMania 33, but they’ve seen a number of up-weeks as well. Monday Night Raw has seen almost a constant freefall, and the third hour of the show keeps doing the worst each and every week.
Forbes reports that the move to three hours has done really nothing but hurt Raw, and the proof is right there in the weekly ratings, per Alfred Konuwa.
“WWE moved to a three-hour format in 2012, and since then, viewership totals have seen year-to-year dropoffs. Raw‘s negative ratings pattern since moving to three hours indicates viewer burnout, and it just might be time for the promotion to consider moving back to two hours.”
If Vince McMahon needs any further proof that things are very bad for Raw right now, the Wrestling Observer Newsletter pointed out quite the disturbing fact.
By way of Wrestling Inc., this week’s Monday Night Raw recorded a 1.75 rating, and that is a rather significant number. During its entire run, WCW Monday Nitro only had one episode that ever scored lower than a 1.75, and that was on Dec. 11, 2000.
With Monday Night Raw ratings having a falling trend for the last two months, WWE could see next week’s episode fall below that number. If that does indeed happen, it could result in some drastic measures taking place in order to change things.
Looking at this week’s episode of Raw, there were some really big names and matches on the card.
- Seth Rollins vs. Roman Reigns
- Samoa Joe vs. Finn Balor vs. Bray Wyatt
- The Hardy Boyz & Dean Ambrose vs. Sheamus, Cesaro, and The Miz
Take out the horrible “This Is Your Life” segment with Alexas Bliss and Bayley, this really wasn’t a bad episode. It did have the holiday working against it, but something else kept the fans from tuning in yet another week.
It might have been Memorial Day, and there may still be a bit of the WrestleMania hangover for the ratings, but this has to be a cause of concern for Vince McMahon. Seeing the ratings plummet was an issue, but Monday Night Raw recording the second-lowest rating in history has to be completely disheartening. Something has to be done,and WWE needs to figure it out quickly, or it could end up being too late.
[Featured Image by WWE]