Quarter 1: Show opened at a 2.9
Q2: Lost 49,000 viewers (Chris Jericho vs. Kofi Kingston)
Q3: Lost 24,000 viewers (Backstage shenanigans with John Cena and Zack Ryder; John Laurinaitis and David Otunga)
Q4: Gained 93,000 viewers (Big Show vs. Randy Orton)
Q5: Gained 822,000 (return of Michaels, Triple H, Undertaker video) to take the show to a 3.6
Q6: Lost 621,000 viewers (Dolph Ziggler vs. R-Truth)
Q7: Lost 320,000 viewers (Tamina Snuka vs. Brie Bella; Eve walking into the back of an ambulance & ensuing snog with Cena)
Q8: Lost 139,000 viewers (C.M. Punk vs. The Miz) to do a 2.8.
Over-run: Gained 505,000 (Kane zooming Ryder off a 3ft stage) viewers to close out on a 3.1.
I knew these quarter hours were going to be interesting and they haven't disappointed lol.
First of all, opening at 2.9 is just flat out bad no matter what way you spin it and doesn't show good signs of peoples interest in the PPV this Sunday at all. The fact that all 3 matches containing the EC participants lost viewers too and well, I don't think VKM is going to be too happy come the buyrates for EC. HHH/HBK was obviously the high point of the night with a pretty big fucking gain of 800k plus. That's great and better than I was expecting tbh, especially considering the terrible overall viewership for this show. For them to be able to pull that many in again is quite the feat.
I think it has to be said that were the positions reversed, I have no doubt that HHH/HBK would have done just as well opening the show and the debate would have done just as bad in the 10pm slot for the simple reason that nobody in the EC match is capable of drawing big numbers on their own and HHH is no matter who he's with. I think this also shows the importance of having more than a handful of legit megastar level draws on the roster. Right now they're basically relying on HHH, Taker and Cena to carry the load. Just watch what happens, probably starting from next week, when Rock and possibly Shaq/Show starts etc. They will have enough star power to open the show, to put on at 10pm and to close the show with and therefore overall viewership will be a lot higher. Right now they're only able to score big in 1 out of the big 3 timeslots because they only have enough guys for one slot basically.
As for all this Punk/Miz whining. Is anybody really that surprised? I mean come on. Neither of them are able to do good numbers without a bigger star and their matches over the past few months have done terrible. Granted, it's still pretty shitty that that many people would tune out at that particular time in the show but still. They've never done well together and they bombed here.
I seriously do worry for WWE after Wrestlemania tbh. What are they going to do when Rock, Taker, HHH and whoever else are all gone? No new legit stars are going to be created at Mania this year. They're still going to be stuck relying on Cena's star power alone which is fading with every passing month it seems. They are seriously going to be fucked which is why I honestly don't get why they aren't doing HHH/Punk right now. I mean fucking hell. Can't they see how much trouble they're going to be in after Extreme Rules? Nobody gives a shit about anybody on that roster right now bar the people already named. It's all well and good for Punk to sell t-shirts. Hell, he can sell as many shirts as he wants but so long as that doesn't translate into ratings revenue, live gates at house shows and PPV buys, he'll never reach the next level and WWE will be forced to keep relying on the stars of the past to make money.