The shocking truth: CM Punk does not equal ratings
CM Punk turned the wrestling world on its ear with his brilliant worked-shoot promo on Raw two weeks ago, but while wrestling websites and social media outlets have been buzzing, viewers for Raw have been bailing.
Last week’s lowly 2.4 rating (3.7 million viewers) for Raw was explained away by the fact that it aired on July 4. However, this past Monday’s show only did a 2.9 (4.3 million viewers), which is a disappointment no matter how you look at it.
That’s a significant decline from the June 27 show (the night Punk cut his much-talked about promo), which did a 3.1 rating and 4.9 million viewers. The special three-hour episodes the previous two weeks each did 3.1 ratings and 4.5 million viewers, while the June 6 Raw did a 3.2 and 5 million viewers.
The numbers seem to indicate that the Punk angle, which is geared toward hardcore fans, is not resonating with the masses. Either that or casual wrestling fans would rather watch the sluggers on Home Run Derby than the bruisers on Raw.
I think a lot of people in the wrestling community (including me) have been thinking that Sunday’s Money in the Bank pay-per-view – which is headlined by WWE champion John Cena’s title defense against Punk in what is being billed as Punk’s last night with the company – is going to do a better-than-usual buy rate, and it still may, but the ratings dip suggests otherwise.
That would be unfortunate, because it would send a message to WWE decision-makers that “insider” angles such as this one aren’t good for business. It also would give some ammunition to the Punk detractors in the company who don’t think that he’s a draw.