A few years ago, WWE dealt with a large number of injuries that started to plague major pay-per-view events. Now, however, they may have much bigger problems, as ratings continue to fall. Ever since WrestleMania 33, the ratings for both Monday Night Raw and SmackDown Live have seen steady declines, and many wonder what could be the reason. Now, it appears as if the blame is being placed on Roman Reigns and John Cena.
Once again, the ratings for Monday Night Raw dropped to a new low for 2017, and that sinking feeling doesn’t appear to be going away anytime soon. This may not seem like a big deal, but as reported by Wrestling Inc., it is actually the lowest audience for a Monday Night Raw episode since October of 2016.
This week’s Raw brought in an average of 2.696 million viewers, according to Showbuzz Daily, with the third hour having a massive 15 percent drop from the first hour. Yes, this show was pre-taped from London and had to compete with an NBA Playoff game, but it is still discouraging.
It may not be totally on Roman Reigns, but it is hard to say that he isn’t a big reason for the falling ratings. He was put in the spotlight as the lead guy on Raw, though, and many fans believe he is why so many viewers are tuning out during each episode — or not tuning in at all.
— LupinBarnabyJones (@ilpalazzo729) April 11, 2017
There is little doubt that Roman Reigns is seen by WWE as the top superstar on Raw right now, and that is especially true with Brock Lesnar out. On SmackDown Live, the ratings are not doing any better, and many feel as if John Cena may be to blame, but for a different reason than Reigns on Raw.
The Wrestling Observer reported last week that SmackDown Live recorded the lowest ratings of 2017, with an average of 2.3 million viewers. It marked the second straight week that the Tuesday night series had the lowest ratings of the year, and the NBA Playoffs are responsible in big part for that.
SmackDown does have Randy Orton as WWE Champion, but there is little doubt that John Cena is the biggest star on Team Blue.
Ever since WrestleMania 33 and his accepted proposal to Nikki Bella, John Cena has taken some time off from the ring. He is filming a movie called The Pact, and he is not expected back full-time until the shoot ends around the middle of June.
According to Cageside Seats, it is possible that WWE could have Cena make a return to one or two episodes of SmackDown Live before his full-time return. His appearance would most likely help the sagging ratings and give them a boost for the following week.
Cena’s absence has had a noticeable effect on the ratings for SmackDown, and it is evident to everyone that he is the main reason.
Smackdown ratings dropped noticeably when people figured out John wasn’t around. Increased when he came back. https://t.co/1fMKWdCKms
— Dave Meltzer (@davemeltzerWON) May 9, 2017
The Superstar Shake-Up was expected to freshen things up and help keep the fans interested in new feuds, but it has actually done just the opposite. With Brock Lesnar, Triple H, John Cena, The Undertaker, and a few others absent, though, fans appear to have lost some interest.
No matter what anyone says, the loss of John Cena on WWE television is a big problem, as many fans love him and those that hate him still tune in to see what he does. On the other hand, Roman Reigns is being pushed as the next mega-star, and the majority of the fans really can’t stand him. Now, the ratings for Monday Night Raw and SmackDown Live are in free-fall, and fans realize that the blame has to lie somewhere.
[Featured Image by WWE]