WWE has had a dreadful year in the ratings in 2019, with numbers for Raw and SmackDown at all-time low levels.
Fan interest in the shows has dried up rapidly compared to this time last year, leading to WWE creating focus groups at the behest of the USA Network in order to scramble for a solution.
That has resulted in ideas such as the (seemingly already-dropped) ‘gritty’ third hour of Raw (basically, Raw with the lights turned off and the logo changed), the creation of the 24/7 title and Sami Zayn saying the initials “AEW” then management kayfabing its talent and claiming he was not supposed to.
Although the rot has seemingly stopped and the ratings slide has slowed a little, none of these newfangled ideas are going to make any difference to tonight’s show.
Raw will be going head-to-head with a major NBA game between the Toronto Raptors and the Golden State Warriors, with the Raptors able to wrap up the playoffs with a win.
The Wrestling Observer’s Dave Meltzer suggests the numbers for tonight’s show could make for difficult reading for WWE when they come in tomorrow morning:
“Raw tomorrow, unless they have a hotshot angle they haven’t announced, is going to have trouble not being one of the three least watched episodes of the show in at least the last 23 years. Even at worst, it will beat both the Christmas and Year’s Eve shows on 2018, but it could do worse than any other show in history given the ratings down overall and the competition.”
Will WWE chalk this one down to experience and throw in the towel in advance or fight fire with fire and respond with something major?
Maybe we will finally see Brock Lesnar actually cash in after four promised (and not delivered) previous attempts . . . Don’t hold your breath for that one.
With Stomping Grounds right around the corner WWE probably does need to do something and fast to make anyone care about that card.