Jamie Lithgow, Craig Wilson & Brian Damage
In ‘This Week in Wrestling’ Jamie shares what Raw taught him this week, the team preview the Beast in the East show, Craig discusses wrestling TV ratings and finds an amazing video on the WWE’s YouTube page and Brian shares with us the best wrestling related images he’s come across this week. All that and much much more in the latest edition of This Week in Wrestling…
“Hold On A Minute Playa…”
- I wonder how close Seth Rollins was to giving Kane a signed photo…?
- Kane in Hawaii: A Network special if ever there was one
- Roman Reigns is so tight with Dean Ambrose that he has forgotten that he does actually work with his cousins…
- IRS is not a Bray Wyatt fan
- Jamie Noble can’t start a car
- Can’t give the finger due to PG guidelines? Use a different finger…
- Seth Rollins’ private security team don’t travel with him?
- This week’s most thought provoking sign: “Lana backwards”
WWE The Beast in the East show
Craig, Brian & Jamie
Today Tokyo, Japan, will host ‘The Beast in the East’ a show WWE show that is being broadcast around the world courtesy of the WWE Network.
Instead of a traditional predictions post, we thought we’d fold it into ‘This Week in Wresting’. So, here are Craig’s, Brian’s and Jamie’s thoughts on the card itself and the show more generally.
- John Cena & Dolph Ziggler v King Barrett & Kane
- Brock v Kofi
- Owens v Balor for the NXT Title
- Neville v Chris Jericho
- Paige v Naomi v Nikki Bella for the Divas championship
- Cesaro v Diego
- WWE tag team champions The Prime Time Players v The Lucha Dragons
Craig: Some of you may be reading this preview of today’s Japan card so apologies for that. I have to say, the big win for me with this show is the time the event is shown here in the UK. Am sure Jamie will agree with me on that one.
It’s certainly also quite an interesting card. I’m looking forward to Balor vs Owens for the NXT title as that’s been hyped very well on NXT with a look at Balor’s career pre joining the WWE. I’d be quite surprised if the show doesn’t end with him as the champion. Brock Lesnar vs Kofi and Cesaro vs Diego on first look appear to be odd combinations. Why are Lesnar and Cesaro fighting members of tag teams. That said, these two should be solid affairs and part of me is quite intrigued about Cesaro vs Diego.
Cena and Dolph vs Barrett and Kane does very little for me as does the divas match and The Prime Time Players versus Lucha Dragons will be fine, an improvement on original announced tag match. But for me, the match I’m most excited about will pit Neville against Chris Jericho. We all know the outcome of it, Neville will win and defeating a great like Jericho will give him a power of credibility. But I’m most excited to see how these guys gel together in the ring and I’m sure that Jericho will make Neville look like a million dollars.
Brian: Craig, when you say interesting card…do you mean lackluster? Boy, am I the only one of us who thinks this card for the Japan show sounds like a glorified Superstars show? This is Japan we are talking about…a market that the WWE so desperately wants to do well in. I like the fact the show is going live….and I think Kevin Owens versus Finn Balor will be exception (Although it was supposed to have been Hideo Itami in Balor’s spot) and I like that they added a title match to the card….Lucha Dragons are a very exciting tag team to watch.
but other than that…ho hum for me.
Brock Lesnar in a squash match against Kofi…..a meaningless tag match with John Cena and Dolph Ziggler….Cesaro versus Diego?!? You couldn’t make it Cesaro vs Neville instead? I like Jericho…but he’s been out of the ring for a while. Shouldn’t a show of this magnitude and importance be treated like a pay per view? Just my two cents.
Craig: They don’t even treat pay per views with the magnitude of pay per views… But I do take your point.
Brian: Point well taken…but Japan deserves a little better. Maybe they would have been better off making this a strictly NXT show?
Jamie: I suppose the proof will be in the pudding. I like this card because it’s not something I’m used to seeing on Raw, Smackdown or PPV. I do understand Brian’s pessimism though. I’d love to see Kofi get some offence in and have a competitive match with Lesnar, but I fear it will just be a meaningless squash. As we mentioned in last week’s Sunday Sermon; there’s nothing wrong with wrestlers wrestling each other for wrestling’s sake… so long as the matches are good. Loving the 10.30am start time for UK viewers too!
I’m Transfixed by this Gif of Big E Clapping
Raw Ratings A Huge Cause of Concern
In fact, that is, according to the wrestling observer, the second lowest non-holiday number for a Raw show since 1997 and lower than when they go up against the NFL.
Raw averaged just 3.46 million viewers for all three hours, down from 3.67 million the week before and a staggering drop from the 4.11 million viewers the week before.
A full breakdown of Raw viewers by hours is as follows:
Hour one: 3.36 million
Hour two: 3.48 million
Hour three: 3.54 million
To put it simply, those numbers are akin to those during hte football season when the NFL proves more of a draw than Raw. However, there was no major sport proving competition for Monday’s episode of Raw. So can we chalk it up to a distinct lack of interest in the show and a need for it to be freshened up – something we talked about previously.
Vince Russo tweeted a possible explanation:
It certainly got me thinking, particularly when it comes to TV ratings for wrestling these days. To many, it won’t be a massive surprise how relatively poor the WWE Raw rating is the poor performance of TNA won’t really surprise anyone.
It hasn’t always, obviously, been like this and for the WWE it should cause a great deal of concern at Titan Towers.
The corresponding episode of WWE Raw from 1999, broadcast on 28 June and headlined by Stone Cold Steve Austin pinning The Undertaker to win the title, drew a 6.8% share of the viewership while Nitro got a 3.6 rating. A year on, Raw drew 6.35 and Nitro a 2.8 share.
Those were big numbers, a huge amount of viewers and an enormous audience that made the likes of WWE and WCW very attractive to advertisers – particularly brands that targeted an audience in the 16 to 24 aged bracket.
That means there are millions of people that used to watch Raw or Nitro – sometimes both – every single week that have fallen off the wrestling radar. There is probably no simple fix to get these fans back on board or to stop the current haemorrhaging of viewers. What is becoming abundantly clear is that it might not be that long until the WWE are really only reaching out to their very core fanbase.
It will be interesting to see how the company reacts to this in next week’s Raw. Does the show get freshened up? Are several big matches announced ahead of the show and/or does Vince McMahon – traditionally a big ratings booster – make an appearance?
The creepiest advertisement for a wrestler who has been deceased for over two years now ever….Kids stay away!
Sofia Vergara was spotted at a recent Pro Wrestling Guerilla event in Los Angeles. Before you wonder if this pic was Photoshopped…it’s not. Vergara’s boyfriend is a huge pro wrestling fan.
Good job WWE magazine….good job….
This was a legitimate sign at a music festival in New York this past weekend….
NXT: The Future is now! A couple of former NXT stars making the most of it….Seth Rollins (WWE Champion) Derrick Bateman aka Ethan Carter III (TNA Champion)
Since we are on the topic of Sofia Vergara’s boyfriend Joe Manganiello…here is doing a spot on impression of the ‘Macho Man’ Randy Savage…
Greatest Video on WWE’s YouTube Page?
Why has it taken till now to see the video of The Great Khali urging fans to visit wweshop.com before he breaks out with a Yes chant and tries on John Cena’s merch? Why?
The Most Honestly Named Wrestling Show Ever?
Fair play to Squared Circle Wrestling for this poster to advertise their show later on this month. Interested in attending? You can buy tickets, which range from $15 to $40, on their website here.
This Past Week on the Blog
On Monday we had part 41 of ‘Wrestling with Sin’ featuring amongst others Ludvig Borga, Bull Nakano, Andre the Giant, on Tuesday we looked at the sad demise of the Pontiac Silverdome, Wednesday saw us ask ‘Whatever Happened to Big Bully Nick Busick’, Thursday we completed our ‘Mount Rushmore of Wrestling’ while on Friday we covered The Legacy in the latest ‘Great Ideas That Didn’t Last’.
Next Week on the Blog
We’ll list the superstars we wish we’d had the chance to see live during their prime, we ask Whatever Happened to The Barbarian, explain why “Make a Difference” Fatu didn’t work out and much much more.
All previous ‘This Week in Wrestling’ columns can be read here.