WWE's flagship show is tanking.
Monday's WWE Raw, which featured Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins vs. Samoa Joe and Bray Wyatt in the main event, drew only 2.615 million viewers. The number is down 5% from last week's 2.751 million viewers and reach a new low for 2017.
This marks the fourth straight week that Raw has averaged below 3 million viewers. According to 2xzone.com, the lowest rated Raw ever drew a 1.8 on October 14th of 1996. Most pre-Attitude Era Raws hovered just above the 2 range.
If you're wondering how today's WWE compares to the Attitude Era, it's not even close. From 1998-2000, the average rating hovered around 6 with some episodes even topping 8.
Say what you want about the McMahon family, but the absence of Stephanie, Triple H or Vince from Monday Nights has caused some fans to tune out. Of course, it doesn't help that Brock Lesnar and Raw's top prize, the Universal Championship, have also been missing since WrestleMania.
Raw was 5th in the coveted 18-49 demographic, falling behind such shows as behind Street Outlaws and Basketball Wives.
The time has come to point fingers. With as much talent as is currently on the roster, its unacceptable not to have a must-see program each and every week. WWE's main problem could be that they are simply spreading themselves too thin.
With NXT, SD Live, 205 Live, and The UK division, the cream of the WWE's crop is spread out all across the board – both in the ring and behind the scenes. In Raw's hey day, everyone in the WWE was working to make it the absolute best program it could possibly be.
They had to.
If they didn't, they would lose the war to WCW. Now, without a competitor anywhere near (sorry, Impact Wrestling), they are resting on their laurels.
I don't believe for a second they've gotten complacent, just that they don't have the sense of urgency that comes from someone pushing you to give fans something bigger than they could have imagined.
It's been nearly 5 years since Raw switched to a 3 hour show and we all know how much it would benefit from dropping back to 2. Also, the gray area in which WWE believes heels and faces now live in does not create the right kind of drama.
It creates frustration with fans for seeing live actors not reacting in a natural way to fan reactions. Like any other show on television, Raw needs clearly defined characters and compelling stories, not just guys reading a script that says it's their yard.