FORBES: Raw Already Has A Heel Problem, And The New ‘Wild Card’ Rule Won’t Fix It

BY BLAKE OESTREICHER – MAY 7, 2019


Bobby_Lashley_2018_FullWell, that didn’t take long.

Not even a month after WrestleMania 35 and the Superstar Shakeup, WWE’s long-running flagship show Monday Night Raw has the same problem it had prior to supposedly revamping the rosters: A lack of top heels. In route to WWE’s biggest pay-per-view of the year, the red brand’s heel side focused heavily on Bobby Lashley, Drew McIntyre and Baron Corbin whenever Brock Lesnar was not around, which was, well, pretty much all the time.

During the one-year span between Q1 2018 (Lashley, McIntyre and Corbin made the move to Raw just after that quarter ended) and Q1 2019, Raw’s ratings plunged like a high-diver in the Olympics, dropping 14% from 2.53 to 2.17. That decrease was bigger than SmackDown’s (13%), the average primetime USA Network show (12%) and the average of the top 25 cable networks (5%). Yes, TV viewership overall is decreasing, but not many shows are seeing their viewership plummet the way Raw has, having lost an astounding 25% of its audience between the post-WrestleMania 34 episode in April 2018 and the post-WrestleMania 35 show last month. As the cherry on top of the ratings downfall sundae, just last week Raw drew its smallest non-holiday audience ever.

The downward spiral that is Raw’s audience can be attributed to a wide variety of factors, including but not limited to an absentee Lesnar dominating the past year as Universal Champion, poor storytelling and a lack of compelling characters. All of those factors have … Read the Full Story HERE

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