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Methasteron Reports: WWE's Realistic Options To Improve Sinking Raw Ratings

Edit: Shenzhen OK Biotech Technology Co., Ltd. (SZOB)    Date: Sep 25, 2015

Methasteron reports: WWE's Realistic Options to Improve Sinking Raw Ratings

WWE Raw is dropping into a ratings sinkhole and needs the company to throw it a rope now.

Real, doable fixes exist. WWE needs to signal a change and show that it's ready to embrace the future. The less Raw feels like a repeat of the past and the same script playing out each week, the better.


Welcoming back a kick-happy warrior, making a change at the top and pushing a dominant regime to the background are among the realistic options WWE has in front of it. 


And Raw needs those changes in a hurry. The ratings continue to dip.


The start of the NFL season always makes it tough to draw as many viewers on Monday night, but things are especially bad in 2015. ProWrestling.net noted that Monday's Raw drew a 2.47 rating, a slight bump from last week's paltry 2.42. According to Gerweck.net, the year as a whole hasn't been much better: Raw has not hit the 2.9 mark since the night after WrestleMania.  


It's no wonder that Vince McMahon is reportedly fuming about the situation. According to Wrestling Observer Live (h/t Wrestle Zone), he is "freaking out" over the low ratings.

How then does WWE get Raw viewership back up again? 


Pat McNeill of Pro Wrestling Torch proposed that WWE cut Raw to two hours again and have an episode of NXT provide the third hour each week. Wade Keller of Pro Wrestling Torch threw out some ideas on his website to turns things around including trying to sign Jeff Hardy, doing an NXT invasion angle and turning John Cena heel.


Don't bet on McMahon doing any of those. As entertaining as some of those developments would be, they are likely too drastic for his taste.

Raw can convince viewers to come back by rearranging its structure. The change needs to come with the characters on screen.


De-emphasize The Authority

Monday's Raw was the first time in recent memory that the show didn't kick off with someone from The Authority addressing the crowd with a lengthy promo. 


Since Triple H turned on Daniel Bryan two summers ago, The Authority has dominated airtime. That's especially true in the first 20 minutes of so many shows where Seth Rollins, Triple H or Stephanie McMahon comes out and rants to start the show.

This is a key time to get folks hooked. The latest speech from the corporate regime is not the way to do that.


Begin with more brawls, a title match or a major storyline development. Be more creative in how things begin, and fans will be more curious to how everything turns out.

And lessening The Authority's role as a whole is the right move. The story has long lost its luster. As great as Stephanie McMahon and Triple H are as performers, something obviously isn't clicking with fans about their current angle.


The fact that it hasn't progressed much in months is a part of that.


The evil empire has no real threats. No antihero has stepped up to challenge The Authority. And the ratings speak to the fans being bored of that.


Have Triple H and his crew take a step back and let the active wrestlers grab more of the spotlight.


Crown a New Champ

Rollins has a tremendous future ahead of him. He's among the top in-ring performers working today. He's bolstered his mic skills in a huge way. All that being said, he needs to drop the title.


WWE has booked him so poorly as champion that he has no electricity.

It feels like the company is trying its hardest to convince fans that Rollins isn't worthy of the spot he occupies. He loses frequently, tapping out to the likes of Sting and John Cena. He is scared of his opponents instead of instilling fear in them.


Take the crown off the damaged king, and move on for now.


He can return to the title picture later. For the moment, the audience is making it clear it's not buying into Rollins as champ.

This is where WWE can shake things up. Should the company take a chance and surprise us, Raw would suddenly get more interesting. Have Dean Ambrose or Dolph Ziggler dethrone The Architect and see how the crowd responds.


Fans seemed to be thrilled with the idea of The Lunatic Fringe even just hijacking the world title.

If the buzz around the new champion never picks up, WWE has an emergency tool in place to move the title once more—Sheamus with the Money in the Bank contract in hand. 


Clear Daniel Bryan

WWE has an MVP sitting on the bench. Being cautious after Bryan's concussion earlier this year, the company has refused to bring him back into action despite the fact that at least one doctor believes he can compete again.


Bryan told Maggie Gray of Sports Illustrated that an Arizona doctor has cleared him. The WWE doctors have yet to do so.


If he is healthy, let Bryan get back in there. With his injury history, WWE isn't going to want to put the world title on him, but his return will energize the product.

Match quality will go up with him around. He will give WWE's writing team more options to work with, providing a great potential rival for guys such as Kevin Owens and Rusev. 


Bryan makes Raw fun. He has a way of making crowds erupt. More "Yes!" chants on TV are good for business. The same goes for the kind of top-notch bouts he puts on.

Advertising over Surprising for Now


The Raw before Night of Champions saw WWE bungle a major debut. Sting was set to wrestle on the show for the first time ever.


WWE didn't use that to boost ratings. It sat on the news until airtime. Jim Ross is among those who were baffled by the move.


Ross wrote on his blog, "Still curious as to why WWE did not heavily promote Sting's first ever match on Raw in advance especially going up against the Monday Night Football doubleheader." 

There's no good reason for that. It's a waste of a major development. When a sitcom is set to feature a celebrity guest or a major plot twist, the network is going to make sure viewers know that it's coming.


It certainly didn't help that WWE then decided to pit him against Big Show, a man he has battled again and again when they were both part of WCW.


Major surprises often power Raw, but the company should focus more on building hype right now. If there's a big comeback ahead or a major title match will occur on the show, WWE has to tell folks early.


Entice fans to make plans to watch on Monday. Don't just expect them to show up.


Real Pushes


If the NFL season somehow ended with every team going 8-8, there would be far less excitement heading into the playoffs. Dominance intrigues. Streaks sell.

Goldberg going undefeated at WCW and Undertaker becoming immortal at WrestleMania are examples of that.


WWE too often has its wrestlers alternate wins and losses. It doesn't allow anyone to stand out. It makes everyone feel mediocre.

Take Cesaro's last six SmackDown matches, for example. On July 30, he teamed up with Ambrose to knock off Kevin Owens and Rollins. He followed that up with a loss to that same team two weeks later. The King of Swing then went win, loss, win, loss in his next four contests.

This is far too common. And it's hard to invest when no one on the roster is allowed to look like a real contender.


WWE has to decide who the top tier is for the next generation and roll with it. Start having Cesaro or Ambrose (or both, really) pile up wins, and force us to take notice.


Give fans an indication that change is on the horizon, not the status quo. If the future feels far off, the audience isn't going to wait around for it. Raw needs to start feeling like the place where the next megastar is being born.


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