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June 23, 2009

Donald Trump’s commercial-free Raw does big rating

Whether it can be attributed to the publicity WWE received from the Donald Trump story line, the commercial-free format, the advertised main event of a Last Man Standing Match for the WWE title between Randy Orton and Triple H, or some combination of the three, one thing is for sure: Monday’s episode of Raw was a huge ratings success.

Raw drew a 4.5 rating (4.3 first hour; 4.8 second hour), a significant increase from last week’s 3.7. The show’s 6,813,000 viewers made it the most-watched episode of Raw since March 25, 2002, according to

You have to hand it to Trump. WrestleMania 23, which was built around his hair versus hair match against Vince McMahon, did a company-record 1.2 million pay-per-view buys in 2007, and now he is the central figure on the highest-rated Raw in more than seven years.

Based on the rating, I wonder if the Trump story line, which appeared to end on Monday after just one week, might continue at some point. A story on about Trump’s appearance on Raw said “this may not be the end of the feud between these two world class promoters.”

Posted by Kevin Eck at 7:39 PM | | Comments (10)


I made a point to make sure I saw this weeks RAW specifically because of the no commercials. They happen so often now during matches that it can be very frustrating.

Either way, I enjoyed myself!

Kevin, hope this gets to you in time. Tori id in the final of that TV show, she needs our votes. You can call 1-877-keep511 uo to 10 times to vote for her and you can vote for her at up to 10 times, so thats a minimum of 20 votes, even more if you have more then 1 phone.

Figured the numbers would be high, but wow, didn't expect that high of a rating. Besides the refund, a show without breaks is a nice treat for the fans in attendance.

wondering how wwe actually went about refunding?

Kev, keep up the good work.

Kev, do you think there's credence to the internet rumors that the SEC might investigate Trump/WWE/USA for the whole "sale" thing? And if so, do you think that's why the story line died so suddenly? I'd love to hear thoughts on this from an internet source that's, you know, credible. Thanks.

RESPONSE FROM KE: I certainly think it's possible that the SEC would look into the matter. As to whether it's why the story line ended so abruptly, your guess is as good as mine.

You do realize the other half to that hair vs. hair match and the RAW ownership battle is Vince. He could very well look at the ratings and think it was all because of him - so if we don't get more of the Donald, we'll get more McMahon!

I read somewhere online that the main reason the storyline came to a sudden end was because WWE's stock dipped lower than it had in a few months.

I don't expect any action by the SEC. If you invest in a stock, then you are responsible for understanding a bit about the company's product. This was as clear-cut as wrestling angles get, so if anyone sold out of the stock thinking that Donald Trump had bought a portion of it (or however they envisioned that sale of RAW ... I'm still confused that Vince could lose money through Trump's RAW), then that's largely the stockholder's failure of understanding the product.

Ditto for the USA Network's press release; it's the nature of the product. You cannot elicit interest for a TV show by reminding viewers that it's just a storyline.

I'm also not surprised about the big rating but was a little surprised that here in the UK, Raw was also shown commercial free on Sky Sports....A rarity.
Personally, I love these Trump/McMahon storylines as its so over-the-top. I really hope that its not the end of the storyline as the guest celebrity hosts is a great idea.
Celebrities who are looking to promote something (a film, etc) could be guest GM and it would generate huge publicity each and every week. I hope WWE considers this idea again as after the slap, the storyline doesn't seem finished.
Trump said former WWE champions would also guest host, it would be great to see the likes of Flair, Hogan, Austin and maybe even The Rock back on Raw.
Anyways, great blog Kevin (as usual lol).

Incidentally, I believe March 25, 2002, was the initial WWE Draft for RAW and Smackdown! brands. I remember WrestleMania X8 was on March 17th and the next day was when the announced that there would be a draft. Of course, April 1st was after the draft had taken place because Stone Cold was going to sign to one brand as a free agent, so I think the dates work out there.

Considering how huge the draft was (remember, it crashed for an extended period of time with people wanting to see which brand all of the WWF SuperStars were on), I am going to attribute the majority of this number to the commercial-free aspect; notwithstanding the "combination of the three."

Regardless, congratulations to WWE!

I don't think it had anything to do with Trump. I think it had to do with the great action from last week. I think a lot of fans said to themselves if RAW was anything like this next week, we'll keep watching. Not to mention I'm hearing a lot of people didn't bother to DVR the show but rather just watch it live which brought up ratings. Most people DVR RAW because of the obnoxious commercials so this week there was no point in doing that. Trust me! If I were a fan that only watches occasionally (which I'm not / pretty regular viewer) I wouldn't decide to tune in one day to watch Donald Trump predictably play babyface all the time. Maybe if it were something unpredictable like Trump going heel and Trump getting his butt beat, but Trump is to arrogant to ever agree to that!

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About Kevin Eck
The Baltimore Sun's Kevin Eck blogs about professional wrestling.
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