WWE News: Low RAW Ratings Prove Fans Are Bored with Current Product
Wednesday, May 16, 2012
WWE Bleacher Report
Every year the WWE receives an audience boost leading up to WrestleMania as more mainstream fans start tuning in for the year's biggest event. Getting those people to keep watching for the long run is always the company's main goal, but fading ratings are a troublesome sign.
Mike Killam of WrestleZone.com reports Monday's RAW telecast received a lackluster 2.9 rating despite the return of Triple H. It's the lowest number the show has received since January 9, ending a strong run over the past four months.
The return of Brock Lesnar last month was able to help ratings stay reasonable for awhile, but his loss to John Cena at Extreme Rules and quitting storyline has caused numbers to tumble. A clear sign fans have become bored with the current product.
John Laurinaitis has been featured more prominently and, while he's made improvements since becoming the general manager of RAW, he simply can't replace superstars like Lesnar or The Rock. Those guys draw an audience all by themselves.
It's impossible to maintain WrestleMania-level ratings all year, but the WWE could do a lot better job of not losing the audience so rapidly by producing more interesting storylines.
The best way to make that happen is pushing younger talent before WrestleMania. A lot of time was spent during the build on guys like The Rock, Undertaker and Shawn Michaels—who all left right after the show—leaving virtually no time for future stars.
While those guys helped push the event to new heights, they would have been able to do that anyway, even with less camera time. Instead of extended promos every week featuring those established veterans, the WWE should have focused more on showing the mainstream audience some rising talent.
At least that would allow fans to get a nice glimpse at some of the superstars that will be helping carry RAW and SmackDown once the big names leave.
Instead, aside from CM Punk, John Cena and the other top-flight guys, a lot of wrestlers get lost in the shuffle for a while. So when they start being featured more prominently in the months to follow, the mainstream audience doesn't have much reason to keep tuning in.
With so many character builds starting from scratch, the product tends to become boring and monotonous while the fresh faces attempt to get established. And sure enough the ratings take a nosedive.
That's definitely been the case this year and Laurinaitis isn't somebody who can save the day, making him a poor choice to get placed in a main-event PPV match.
Hopefully, the WWE finally gets the message and gives more young talent a chance to shine before WrestleMania next year. Not only will it add more depth to that build, but it should go a long way in making sure the product remains solid after it ends, therefore keeping the audience interested.
That should be the ultimate goal, not just a set of great shows followed by months of average ones.
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