July 25 RAW Rating Is Another WWE Disappointment


CM Punk John Cena RAWOne of the more interesting stories of the CM Punk angle has been the WWE RAW ratings. Fans of the angle expected a blockbuster summer of RAW ratings, while the reality is much different. Even the first week of the Triple H era wasn’t enough to get fans running to their television sets Monday night.

The July 25 RAW ratings are in and all indications from World Wrestling Entertainment headquarters are a disappointment. The added drama of the new Triple H era of RAW along with the CM Punk angle, and two WWE championship matches couldn’t move the needle this past Monday night.

According to reports the, July 25 RAW finished with a 3.2 rating. The early reports show a slight drop from last week’s 3.22 RAW rating. The show overall finished with 4.8 million viewers, which was a drop from last week That isn’t what the WWE expected after promising a new WWE champion, in addition to coming off a big company angle.

[adinserter block=”2″]A deeper look into the number does produce some positives. The show which started with 4.5 million viewers in the first hour, finished with 5.1 million viewers for the close of the show. To put a positive spin on this would be to say that fans were interested and stayed tuned into RAW, in addition to others tuning in due to word of mouth, buzz, channel changing, etc.

I hate making excuses for low RAW ratings, yet this show does have a good one. It is not inconceivable to think that Barack Obama’s speech in the first hour took away a big chunk of viewers. It would also be consistent with the growth in the second hour, which theoretically saw fans tune in late after the speech. Quite frankly the ratings pattern makes a lot of sense.

Some are about ready to call the CM Punk angle a ratings flop. I don’t know about that. RAW ratings annually dip in the summer due to the obvious summer viewing patterns. If I was going to play devil’s advocate to the Punk critics, who is to say that the Punk angle is actually bringing in viewers? A 3.2 isn’t terrible at this time of the year. Who is to say that it wouldn’t be a 2.8 or 2.9 without the interest of the Punk angle and Triple H storyline?

Another defense of Punk is that he wasn’t advertised for the show. I wrote about this last week when recapping the July 18 RAW rating. It is kind of hard to expect CM Punk to bring in millions of viewers when he and the WWE continued telling fans that he wasn’t going to be on the show. Maybe the bigger CM Punk fans tuned out the last two weeks with the promise that their Second City Savior wasn’t going to be there?

[adinserter block=”1″]The real number to watch is the WWE Money in the Bank 2011 buyrate. I wouldn’t expect that number to leak out for a week or two, but that is what will make or break this angle. As fun as the last month of the WWE has been, a disappointing buyrate will give this angle a win or fail. A low buyrate could stop this storyline right in its tracks and put CM Punk back into the mid-card spot before the end of the year. Remember how hot Wade Barrett was this time a year ago? Sheamus anyone?

Like many of you, I can’t imagine anyone not being excited about the current direction of the WWE. The last few weeks of RAW has turned the show into must-see television. For me, RAW hasn’t been must-been TV in a long time. I can’t imagine anything other than Steve Austin or The Rock creating more interest to move the RAW ratings.

And the countdown to the Money in the Bank 2011 buyrate begins!

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  1. Yeah, I think the fact they didn't advertise the possibility of CM PUNK showing, people didn't really tune in. They're trying to sell an angle that he left and was going to be away for awhile and 2 weeks later he's back? Smart money was that he was going to be there, but teasing CM with JR and Morrison returning and not Punk, I'd tune out too. Next week, expecting a rebound.


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