WWE programming underwent a big change several weeks ago when the WWE Draft took place. It was a chance for both brands to start over and finally make a change in what they were doing. Wrestlers needed an opportunity to branch out on a new show and finally get that TV time they couldn’t when the brands were mixed together.
Now, both brands are doing a good job of collectively building up their stars. Finn Balor on WWE Raw is the best possible example. In his debut on the main roster, he became the No. 1 contender to the WWE Universal championship. He’s set to main event SummerSlam with Seth Rollins. Yes, former NXT champion Balor is going to main event SummerSlam with the WWE’s top heel. Every WWE NXT loyal fan has to be smiling after hearing the news.
On SmackDown Live, Dolph Ziggler became the No. 1 contender to the WWE World championship, and American Alpha is already targeted as the best tag team on Tuesday nights. With already three episodes down for both SmackDown Live and WWE Raw, there’s clearly a show that is utilizing their talent better. The blue brand doesn’t have the star power Raw does, but they know how to use it. Especially after August 9, when four of their biggest stars were gone during a European Tour.
SmackDown Live ratings are on the rise, but ever so slightly. It’s still a new idea to a lot of WWE fans, but they are getting used to it. As for WWE Raw, they have no excuse. The talent is there with all the makings of a great program. The first week was phenomenal, though the two following weren’t and it showed in the ratings, according to SEScoops.com.
“The August 8th edition of WWE RAW drew 2.911 million viewers, with all 3 hours drawing less than 3 million viewers. RAW lost over 400,000 viewers from last week’s 3.314 million.
Here’s the hourly breakdown, courtesy of ShowBuzzDaily.com:
- Hour 1: 2,950 million viewers
- Hour 2: 2.974 million viewers
- Hour 3: 2.809 million viewers”
As it was mentioned in the article, WWE Raw has fallen each week since the beginning of the new era. The show had Sasha Banks take on Dana Brooke, and since Banks won, she is banned from ringside. Cesaro and Rusev headlined WWE’s flagship show with a United States title match that was made by Mick Foley in his segment with Daniel Bryan. The invitation by Foley to Bryan seemed a bit desperate, and it seemed to be an attempt to boost ratings.
Clearly, like most weeks, it didn’t work. Not even WWE’s most popular figure could help the ratings on Monday. It’s truly a shame because if it were a two-hour show, it would be a completely different story. That’s why SmackDown Live just feels like the better program on top of its established success. Two hours is easier to sit thru.
The WWE product looked like it was on its way up. Ratings were skyrocketing compared to what happened on July 4 this year. Their ratings were the lowest in 20 whole years even though it was on a holiday. It was fairly obvious the WWE product was in a rut, which is why the WWE Draft took place. They shook things up a bit.
What’s different about both brands is their ability to use talent wisely. These Pokemon GO segments and Scooby Doo product placement spots don’t work, especially after 9:30 p.m. The WWE needs more wrestling despite what Vince McMahon or Kevin Dunn may want their company to portray. They need to look at the blue brand on Tuesdays and follow their act.
[Image via WWE]