This week’s episode of WWE Raw started real hot, but then ended up being a lot more of the same, culminating in a main event featuring The Miz and Dean Ambrose, which is basically the pro wrestling fan’s version of a Groundhog Day situation.
In theory, this was supposed to be the first real episode on the road to SummerSlam, and indeed, that hot opening segment on Monday set up the actual main event of SummerSlam. But since so much of the episode was based on rehashes of matches and feuds we’ve seen before (including the third straight week with a Finn Bálor vs. Elias Samson singles match), it might have gotten the SummerSlam build started with a stumble right out of the gate.
And according to ShowBuzzDaily, fans weren’t as interested to tune into more of Bálor vs. Samson or Ambrose vs. Miz as they were last week … when they already saw those matches.
Raw was Monday’s second-highest-rated cable show, behind Love & Hip-Hop, and their total viewers were down three percent from last week. The average for the three hours of the show was 3.067 million viewers, down from last week’s 3.153 million. The much-desired 18-49 demographic rating was down even more, with an eight percent drop, down to 1.01 from last week’s 1.07 rating.
The dip wasn’t bad, and certainly could have been a lot worse, based on how much of a retread this was from start to finish. But that hot opening segment certainly helped, as Raw’s first hour was its strongest. The first hour pulled in 3.156 million viewers, but of course that isn’t where Raw ends. Two more hours! And those hours pulled in 3.129 million viewers and 2.917 million viewers, respectively.
The moral of the story: maybe don’t put Ambrose and Miz on opposite sides of a main event. We’ve seen it.