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Michael Cole outdraws The Rock & Cena on RAW

Michael Cole was a big RAW Ratings drawUnlike a lot of wrestling blogs, I never found stories on television ratings very interesting. However, there are a lot of stories coming out of the March 14 RAW ratings. Snooki and the champ are ratings losers while Michael Cole is a bigger ratings draw than The Rock, Randy Orton, and John Cena!

The quarter hour WWE RAW rating breakdowns for the March 14 show are a clear indication of what I have been saying for three months and that is The Miz as WWE champion is a failure. That may be an unpopular thing to say as he has a big fan base on the Internet but the ratings don’t lie. Nobody cares about The Miz and if the idea of a heel world champion is to generate enough heat so that fans will tune in to watch him get his butt kicked, then he is a failure.

The Miz vs. The Great Khali lost 386,000 viewers this past Monday night. Granted that is a terrible match, but the idea of seeing a giant the size of Khali shut the big mouth of someone like The Miz should keep viewers tuned into RAW. It isn’t as if this was just one bad week for The Miz. With the exception of one good week lately, The Miz has lost viewers every week over the last several episodes of RAW. The idea of the number one WWE heel losing viewers week to week in the midst of WrestleMania hype is practically unheard of at this time of the year.

I have blogged about the horrendous booking of The Miz as WWE champion a lot lately so I don’t want to be repetitive. The fact that The Miz has bombed as champion is not entirely his fault. He has been booked as an afterthought, worse than CM Punk was booked during his first WWE title reign a few years back. The audience has been programmed not to care about The Miz and they don’t. Compound that with the fact that his WrestleMania foe is more interested in cutting promos with the Guest Host of WrestleMania 27 than his opponent and you have a recipe for disaster.

At least the Jersey Shore remains a consistent pro wrestling ratings loser. Appearances on TNA Impact by current and former Jersey Shore cast members lost ratings every time they jumped in the Impact Zone. Snooki would not be outdone. She snooked up RAW by losing close to 600,000 viewers in two segments with the mental midget. In all fairness she did gain about 406,000 viewers once she hit the ring but overall you would have to call her RAW appearances a disappointment.

I also have to wonder whether Alberto Del Rio cost himself a WWE world title run this past Monday. Again, Cena is generally the biggest ratings draw on RAW. The idea of seeing the top heel on SmackDown vs. the top babyface on RAW should have been a ratings hit. Instead Cena vs. Del Rio lost viewers as pointed out earlier and I can’t imagine anyone is blaming Cena in Titan Towers.

Daniel Bryan vs. Sheamus gained 226,000 viewers. The demotion of Sheamus is one of the most disappointing booking decisions in a long time. Hopefully the trend will continue and these two will knock it out of the park at WrestleMania. Maybe with a few more weeks of increased ratings and a great match at WrestleMania, the WWE will be forced to elevate both of these guys and give the fans stars they actually want to see unlike the ones who are tuning out the WWE Universe in droves.

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So who was the big ratings draw on RAW this week? Was it The Rock meets John Cena? Was it John Cena vs. Alberto Del Rio? Nope, Michael Cole was the biggest draw on the March 14 RAW. Cole’s segment with Brian Lawler, Jim Ross, Jack Swagger, and the King gained 928,000 viewers and a peak rating of 4.11 for the entire show. To put this into perspective, the opening segment with The Rock did a 3.80 rating. Think about that one for a second. More fans are interested in the Jerry Lawler vs. Michael Cole feud a few weeks before WrestleMania 27 than The Rock vs. John Cena or The Miz vs. John Cena.

I think Michael Cole has been tremendous during this feud. He was far and away the most entertaining WWE character on RAW this past week and previous weeks. As I watch him strut his stuff I can’t help but imagine that Vince McMahon has a huge smile on his face in the locker room. I can’t help but think that this Cole angle is a Vince McMahon pet project because Cole has Chairman of the Board written all over him between the way he walks and the way he talks. At this point maybe Miz vs. Cena and The Undertaker vs. Triple H should be opening up for Michael Cole.

If there was one negative and it is a huge one about Michael Cole it is the fact that he has played his role so great, that he has lost all credibility as a WWE announcer. During Cena vs. Del Rio Cole told the fans in a serious voice that The Rock was in the building. I cringed when I heard it because it was a reminder of those “fun” Nitro swerves I watched in 1998. Well he was full of it and either the fans knew it or didn’t care. One would think that the announcer telling fans that The Rock was coming out would draw viewers in droves to RAW. Nope, as a matter of a fact viewers tuned out. The entire segment lost 270,000 viewers. To put that into perspective, Cena is generally the biggest ratings draw on RAW as is the final segment and this week they all lost viewers. Once again, this is a terrible sign a few weeks before WrestleMania.

This is the big problem with Michael Cole. He is too good in his role that I have no idea why the WWE insist to keep him in this quasi announcer role where he flips back and forth from heel to straight announcer. If Jerry Lawler or Jim Ross said that The Rock was coming out, I can’t believe that anyone would tune out. It just seems odd to me that at this stage in the game the WWE still expect fans to buy Cole as a credible broadcaster. He traded in any shred of credibility he still had weeks ago when he cost Lawler the title in Philadelphia and interfered in the match.

Hey, if this ends with Jim Ross back on RAW and Cole as a full time heel personality than we all win!

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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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