WWE Raw Ratings Drop Post-WrestleMania: Here’s How Many Viewers Bailed

WWE Raw ratings for the post-WrestleMania 32 show have sent a message that Vince McMahon and company likely don’t want to hear.

Viewers were unimpressed by what they saw in Dallas during the seven-hour mega-event last Sunday night.

The measuring stick for this message is past WWE Raw ratings following the company’s biggest show, which averaged more than 5 million viewers.

On April 4, the night after an event that boasted the WWE’s all-time attendance record, that number had fallen by over 1 million viewers.

During the three-hour broadcast, WWE Raw ratings clocked in at 4.28 million for hour one, 4.17 million for hour two, and 3.81 million for hour three, or an average of just 4.09 million for the entire show.

On top of the average drop, it is worth noting that ratings usually see a dip in the second hour and a bounce back in hour three. This last Monday, the opposite happened, with the April 4 show seeing a consistent decline with more than 470,000 viewers tuning out during the course of the broadcast.

While the numbers were higher than recent WWE Raw ratings that have seen the company struggling to hold a 3 million viewer average, the real benchmark is in comparing to past post-WrestleMania Raw events, and with 2014 and 2015 coasting past the 5 million average, it’s a disappointing apples-to-apples comparison.

It is not yet known why so many tuned out, but the most obvious culprit that armchair analysts like pointing to is the Roman Reigns character and his capturing of the WWE World Heavyweight Championship during WM‘s main event.

Image via Raw screen grab
(Image via Raw screen grab)

His win over Triple H at WrestleMania 32 was long forecast by industry journalists like Dave Meltzer. Fans have not been supportive of Reigns’ booking, noticeably pulling for Triple H in Dallas in spite of the fact that “The Game” was playing heel to Roman’s face.

Beyond the match, which offered virtually no surprises whatsoever from what the rumor mill had determined, there were also questionable booking calls that WWE made, starting with its most well-received — the Zack Ryder surprise ladder match win to capture the Intercontinental Championship.

Ryder would drop the title the following night, possibly contributing to the steady three-hour decline in WWE Raw ratings.

From there, the company had fan favorite superstar AJ Styles drop his first ever WM match against part-time veteran Chris Jericho; Ric Flair interject himself into the Women’s Championship match; the Rock and John Cena bury the Wyatt Family; and Shane McMahon lose the Hell in a Cell match only to end up getting control of Raw the next night anyway.

As Live Audio Wrestling Podcast put it in last week’s post-WrestleMania show, it was as if the show was booking the opposite of what was expected or what made sense in every match but Reigns in an attempt to keep viewers on their toes.

The only problem with that, the hosts claimed, is that with the exception of Ryder, the swerves WWE threw during WrestleMania 32 were swerves that the audience didn’t want to see.

The final verdict, as to whether or not WrestleMania 32 was a creative failure, will be in how the WWE Raw ratings perform on April 11’s show.

If they dip back to or near all-time lows, then it will be apparent that fans did not see enough at the big event or the Raw aftermath to get on board with the company’s storytelling.

One bright spot that could keep last week’s week-to-week viewership increase around could be the AJ Styles-Roman Reigns buildup heading into Payback. Styles bounced back from his loss at WM to capture the No. 1 Contender slot at the end of the April 4 Raw.

Styles in the main event is something most fans wish to see, but with how much the company is pushing Reigns, they likely won’t care for the outcome.

What do you think, readers?

Are the WWE Raw ratings for post-WM an indication that changes should be made? Sound off in the comments section.

[Image via WWE Raw screen grab]

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