FOLLOW Mr. Tito on Twitter: @titowrestling
MR. TITO STRIKES BACK - RAW Viewership Drop for Daniel Bryan 3rd Hour... Here Comes Randy Orton!
By Mr. Tito
Jul 23, 2013 - 10:40:35 PM
UH OH Daniel Bryan fans... Did you see the latest Monday Night RAW viewership numbers? Specifically the 3rd hour where Bryan was the main focus of the last 30 minutes of the show?
DATA SOURCE: Zap2It.com
- Hour 1: 3,922,000 viewers
- Hour 2: 4,162,000 viewers
- Hour 3: 3,933,000 viewers (5.5% decrease)
Viewership down from the previous week, though that was the post-Pay Per View show... However, it was announced last week that Daniel Bryan would face John Cena at SummerSlam 2013... If naming Daniel Bryan as the SummerSlam #1 contender was a big deal, why did the drop in viewership occur? I thought he was supposed to be a draw?
Watch out for Randy Orton! I warned all of you about Orton LAST WEEK. He wouldn't have won the Money in the Bank WWE Title shot, which actually causes him to switch rosters, if the McMahons didn't have big plans for the guy. The 2011 parallels heading into a SummerSlam are there. You, the fans, want Daniel Bryan to be WWE Champion, much like you did during 2011 with CM Punk. However, the McMahons have handpicked someone else to become champion in Randy Orton, once again, which mirrors the focus by the McMahons on Alberto Del Rio to be champion.
The more things change, the more they remain the same...
From last night, I could argue that Daniel Bryan had to wrestle 3 "damaged goods" opponents. Certainly, as President Harry Truman would say, THE BUCK STOPS HERE with Bryan. It could easily be argued that if Bryan was truly a draw, he could draw with anybody. That's a fair point... But who has the WWE actually let Daniel Bryan beat? He had some back and forth with Randy Orton, but his big win against him was supposed to occur during the June 17th RAW that was called short due to injury. Bryan did defeat Sheamus, but Sheamus had his number in 2012 and Sheamus has been on the receiving end of a depush recently. There were those many matches where Daniel Bryan got pinned against the Shield. Yes, the United States Champion and the Tag Champions owned Bryan, repeatedly.
Bryan is yet to be established as a WWE Main Eventer. Wins and losses do matter, especially when your resume consists of beating almost nobody at the top. Just go back to Bryan's late 2011 through Wrestlemania 28 World Heavyweight Championship reign. What a joke... WWE Creative Team has certainly given him no favors yet Bryan has overcome it. Fans, in attendance, are cheering "YES!" loudly and it has convinced the WWE management to give him a SummerSlam 2013 WWE Title shot. But if he actually wins the WWE Title, how long does he hold the WWE Title with Randy Orton lurking with the Money in the Bank briefcase? Despite Orton's repeat failures to draw as World Champion, he's a next generation wrestler from a father (Bob Orton) who played a role in Vince McMahon's first Wrestlemania. Bryan is 5'10" and from that dreaded Ring of Honor promotion that the McMahons personally dislike by the way they aggressively attempt to reform ROH wrestlers with the "WWE way" in the developmental territories.
Looking at today's reported RAW viewership numbers, I worry... Vince McMahon is reactionary and keeps rewriting scripts on the days of the shows. Losing 5.5% or over 200,000 viewers from Hour 2 to Hour 3 with Daniel Bryan as the featured wrestler is trouble. I personally believe that the McMahons created those matches up as a test balloon for Daniel Bryan as a drawing wrestler. Unless the 3rd hour was weighed down by the first 30 minutes, which the Quarterly Breakdown may show, the odds of Randy Orton cashing in the Money in the Bank at SummerSlam keeps increasing... The Daniel Bryan vs. John Cena match could morph into a TRIPLE THREAT match or the WWE will have Randy Orton cash-in the Money in the Bank briefcase to quickly defeat Daniel Bryan to put heat on Orton. The odds have increased greatly! When the WWE is in doubt, they always throw the ball to the old reliables of the Ohio Valley Wrestling "Class of 2002" in John Cena and Randy Orton. Their title reign counts are getting ridiculous.
Seriously, WWE... Give Daniel Bryan matches against 3 "damaged goods" wrestlers and expect him to draw? First, he wrestled Jack Swagger. Swagger remains one of the worst World Champions of all time and his 2013 title push didn't matter. With the way the WWE jobbed him out during 2011-2012, how can you expect him to be a legitimate threat to any main eventer in 2013? Next, it was Antonio Cesaro. This is a guy who should be the biggest heel in the company... He has the look, the incredible in-ring ability, and a good personality... Yet, the WWE gave him the United States Title and had him job repeatedly in non-title matches. Huh? Now, they've thrown him in with Jack Swagger for the "We the People" crap. Come on!! Hopefully, the AWESOME match of Cesaro vs. Bryan opened some eyes about Cesaro. And then there's Ryback. Here's a guy whom the WWE forced down everybody's throats as a Bill Goldberg clone until being quickly turned him into a pussy heel to wrestle John Cena for 2 throwaway Pay Per Views following Wrestlemania 29. Granted, wrestling Ryback was Bryan's third match of the night, but what are Ryback's long term prospects with the WWE and the WWE Title? Didn't look great during the last 2 Pay Per Views.
So... In his first true night on his own in the Main Event, the WWE gives Daniel Bryan 3 "damaged goods" wrestlers and expects him to draw?
Buck stops here... OK, if the McMahons want to hold Bryan's feet to the fire for one 30 minute segment, then let's be consistent here... John Cena is the top draw of the WWE. Go look at the Merchandise numbers and Houseshow attendance. No doubt about it... However, those are numbers driven by kids who adore John Cena. The fact is that the WWE has featured John Cena repeatedly during the 3rd Hour YET the 3rd hour has consistently been less in viewership than the 2nd hour of RAW for the past 2-3 years. Better yet with John Cena, he's headlined some of the poorest drawing Pay Per Views in WWE history. But but but but but he's the top draw, right?
Of course he is... But who stays up for the 10pm hour? Who has actual income to BUY Pay Per View events? ADULTS. Adult fans can't stand John Cena. The mixed chants that you repeatedly hear at WWE events are children chanting "Let's Go Cena" with high pitched voices versus adults cheering for the other guy (or chanting "CENA SUCKS"). While the kid demographic is important because they (a) buy more merchandise and (b) drag their parents to events, they have bedtimes. Most parents, myself included, just look at their Cable bills and cringe... It takes a lot to be willing to buy an expensive Pay Per View when you're paying over $100.00 for monthly Cable bundle bills. Sorry, but I have no interest in buying ANY Pay Per View headlined by John Cena vs. Ryback when it's well know that Ryback has NO CHANCE IN HELL of winning, like many other John Cena Pay View matches.
Give us John Cena vs. CM Punk, we'll buy the Pay Per View. Go see the Money in the Bank 2011 and SummerSlam 2011 numbers. Cena vs. Brock Lesnar at Extreme Rules 2012? Hell yeah, we'll buy that! Absurd numbers for that show. And now, we've elected Daniel Bryan to wrestle Cena at SummerSlam 2013. YES! YES! YES! We'll buy! Why? Because we're ADULT WRESTLING FANS who want to see QUALITY Main Events instead of old Hulk Hogan extended squash matches imitated by John Cena. We reject the handpicked McMahon family wrestlers like Alberto Del Rio, Sheamus, Jack Swagger, or Randy Orton. None of those guys, when given the chance, have drawn anything above existing numbers. I'd argue that they caused the WWE to lose fans when on top. And with Orton, we've endured 10 years of this non-stop push despite his shortcomings.
John Cena is NOT a draw with Adult fans. Stagnant overall ratings, declining 3rd hour RAW numbers, and weak Pay Per View numbers validate that as a fact.
WWE needs to read the tea leaves. Adult fans are backing Brock Lesnar, CM Punk, and Daniel Bryan. That's our guys... WWE should actively try to bridge the fanbases of kids who love John Cena with the wrestlers that the adult fans love. Until you find a Steve Austin or a Rock who can transcend the ages and are adored by all fans, the WWE can't show complete bias towards one age group over the other. For the most part, John Cena has dominated the WWE scene since Wrestlemania 21 during 2005. What has happened to the business since? DECLINE.
DO NOT kneejerk on Daniel Bryan, WWE. Give him ONE Pay Per View to prove himself. Sure, the credit of SummerSlam 2013 will probably go to CM Punk vs. Brock Lesnar as the true drawing point of the show, but imagine the fan satisfaction if fans get a great match and outcome out of Bryan vs. Cena. Heading into SummerSlam 2002, there were questions about Brock Lesnar as a contender... Then, the Rock did Lesnar a favor and put him over bigtime. 100% clean. Better yet for Brock Lesnar, he didn't have to worry about a stupid Money in the Bank briefcase owner cashing in after his match. Thank GOD for that or else we wouldn't have enjoyed Brock Lesnar being awesome on Smackdown for the next year to make the brand extension a success. Smackdown during 2002-2003 outdrew RAW, by the way, with Brock Lesnar on top.
As much as I respect John Cena and Randy Orton, I've watched both wrestlers dominate the WWE for the past 10 years. Certainly, both wrestlers still have a lot left in the tank... But too much reliance on Cena and Orton diminishes the rest of the roster. What happens when John Cena suffers from a year long injury? Remember, the WWE gave refunds to fans when John Cena was not healthy enough to wrestle certain Houseshows. I'm not even close to arguing that Cena/Orton should be depushed, but don't push them like Hulk Hogan. Eventually, that shit gets old, just as it did for Hogan after 1991.
Wrestling needs more patience... 1 night does NOT determine a wrestler's fate, even in today's high speed world. The greatest Main Eventers of all time took years of climbing ladders to make it to the top. John Cena and Randy Orton included, although Randy Orton was rushed to the top during 2004 and I don't believe he's drawn much since. It took Cena a solid 2 years of climbing with the new "Thug Life" gimmick to be crowned WWE Champion. Amazing how successful he has become. Imagine if the WWE undercut him after 1 bad night?
Listen to those "YES! YES! YES!" chants, WWE. Imagine how much louder they'd become if you gave Daniel Bryan a 100% clean win over John Cena or Randy Orton?
Imagine how bonkers WWE fans would get if Daniel Bryan beats John Cena 100% clean and then defeats Randy Orton 100% clean after a failed Money in the Bank cashing-in attempt? That is the best case scenario to make another SummerSlam star.
Vince McMahon is reactionary... Watch out for Randy Orton...
SO JUST CHILL TILL THE NEXT EPISODE!
FOLLOW ME ON TWITTER: @titowrestling