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Chris Jericho Continues Losing WWE RAW Viewers

Chris JerichoOne of the hot topics of the week across the pro wrestling blogosphere has been the RAW ratings from this past Monday’s show. While most are talking about Zack Ryder, a further look at the numbers does not look good for the return of Chris Jericho.

Chris Jericho returned to RAW two weeks ago after a lengthy absence with a unique angle. Jericho is penciled in to be a heel, yet anyone with common sense expected he would get cheered. In a brilliant move (or so I thought), Jericho used that as part of his angle by coming out long enough to wear out his welcome after the live audience cheered wildly at seeing the former champion. The idea was by not giving the fans what they wanted (a promo), eventually they would turn against him.

Unfortunately they turned against him before he even had a chance as in tuned out. According to the RAW quarter hour breakdowns for his January 2 return, 82,000 viewers tuned out of Chris Jericho’s segment. While the buzz was certainly down for his return as opposed to his previous return, I don’t think anyone expected fans to tune out and they did.

But hey, that is fine because now RAW had a big week of promotion for Jericho’s second week back. This was the week where the WWE promoted that Jericho would talk. After the big non-promo appearance from the first week, fans were promised that Jericho would finally reveal his intentions. Why did he come back? What happened on Dancing with the Stars? What would one of the best promo men of our time period have to say and why did he steal Jeff Jarrett’s old ring jacket? These are all big teases which should have brought back some of those eyes and some new ones right? Wrong.

According to this week’s RAW numbers, Chris Jericho lost 130,000 viewers this past week. That is over 200,000 in two weeks. I have heard of “go-away heat” but this is just unheard of. I understand that there was a national championship game head to head but that shouldn’t cause 130,000 viewers to tune out should it?

This is really an alarming number to me, more so than the disastrous numbers that tuned out of the Zack Ryder segment. Let’s face it, there isn’t a lot of stock in Ryder right now. Yet for Jericho, this is a guy that likely signed a big contract to return. Additionally, this is also the man rumored to be in the WWE championship match at WrestleMania 28 against CM Punk. This is hardly the kind of momentum you want the first time you come back after disappearing for over a year.

What is happening? I really think there is a major shift going on here that could be real bad news for pro wrestling fans like you and me. This is a kid’s market and the kids don’t care or aren’t smart enough to follow the storylines that guys like Chris Jericho and CM Punk are doing. This was evident with Punk’s Money in the Bank angle, it’s evident with Zack Ryder’s ratings, and it is more evident here than ever.

At some point the WWE will realize this and unfortunately for you and I, start building their big stories to cater to the kids and younger fan base. I can’t say I blame them. I’d do the same thing if I were running a business. It just appears that the older or smarter fan is in the minority.

Maybe Chris Jericho can turn it around. To the kids, they are just watching some guy they saw awhile back get beat or never saw at all come out and say nothing. With more development, maybe he turns into a character they can get behind.

Or maybe they will continue tuning out.

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Eric G.

Eric is the owner and editor-in-chief of the Camel Clutch Blog. Eric has worked in the pro wrestling industry since 1995 as a ring announcer in ECW and a commentator/host on television, PPV, and home video. Eric also hosted Pro Wrestling Radio on terrestrial radio from 1998-2009. Check out some of Eric's work on his IMDB bio and Wikipedia. Eric has an MBA from Temple University's Fox School of Business.

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