Re: **The Official Raw Ratings Thread** (Discuss Ratings In Here)
I understand that this topic within a topic is both "far afield" as they might say in an episode of Perry Mason as well as apparently dead, but I feel so strongly about this I just felt compelled to chime in.
I would argue that, as Vin Ghostal noted, in having the WWE Championship added to the match between The Rock and John Cena, you've only added to something that does not need it and is not about it (anymore than Hogan vs. Rock a decade ago was) and taken it away from a match that truly does need it and almost demands that it have it in the match between Chris Jericho and CM Punk. Moreover, this line of thinking extends down through the top five matches. One match is a purported dream bout between The Rock and John Cena, a match many of us never believed would happen; one is a Hell in a Cell match between Triple H and The Undertaker promising to be violent and brutal, about an "End of an Era" between two legends in their own time and, one would have to imagine, the culmination of every particle of the saga between Shawn Michaels, The Undertaker and Triple H; one match is for the WWE Championship held by the hottest new main event star in WWE since at least Edge in 2006 (Jeff Hardy was probably more purely over but the impact he made was upon reflection not especially considerable, though he ironically helped to lay the foundation for CM Punk) defending it and his boastful claim that he is "The Best in the World" against a time-tested veteran specifically returning to take him out, a match between Chris Jericho and CM Punk; one is a match born out of the Royal Rumble, as Sheamus, who was on a major roll going into the January pay-per-view, won the match and was guaranteed a shot at the champion, Daniel Bryan, who opted to shortchange his own stated dream of waiting until Wrestlemania to cash in his Money in the Bank briefcase to hold the championship itself going into Wrestlemania instead, a match between Sheamus and Daniel Bryan; and a match involving twelve men who will do battle for "GM supremacy" and whichever GM's team wins, that GM will take over both "brands."
Above you see how this works. Many on here have argued that Jericho should have won The Royal Rumble but I would disagree with this. Jericho vs. Punk does not truly need Jericho be the winner of the Royal Rumble match (the question of whether or not there should ever have been a #1 contender's battle royale three weeks later to conclude Raw is an entirely other matter); Sheamus vs. Daniel Bryan does need that, as it's effectively the only strong basis on which the match is happening at all.
Beyond the issue of the Wrestlemania card, having the championship revert back to John Cena at this point in time would be something of a colossal step backward for WWE entirely. As Mister Hands noted, it would be falling back into a "holding pattern" which would do nothing less than almost assuredly cripple any genuine star-manufacturing they are undertaking as part of the Youth Movement and the recent pushes of fellows like The Miz and CM Punk. And as A-C-P stated--and it does not take a "John Cena-hater" to comprehend this--the track record for creating stars and actively drawing interest to the product under the hegemony Cena enjoyed at the top of WWE, as something like its default WWE Champion for several years, is not particularly inspiring. Cena was finally utilized properly in that role last summer, however, so it's not outside of the realm of possibilities to believe that he could be again, but since the Summer of Punk was something of an aberration considering the special circumstances the company and Punk found themselves in with his contract expiring and him fundamentally holding Vince and co. hostage to either listen to his demands/wishes (kayfabe and real life alike) before he agree to sign to a new contract, it's doubtful WWE would go in that direction again. Cutting Punk's reign short because a segment in which he wrestled lost practically all the viewers that came aboard to see the Shawn Michaels/Undertaker/Triple H promo at the top of Hour 2 (the one Wrestlemania angle that is unquestionably drawing in the viewership/ratings department and robustly so at that, situated at a very advantageous time slot that WWE's audience has been conditioned to tune into and then out of because that is when important things happen) seems a highly questionable game plan at best. CM Punk vs. The Miz, furthermore, is an outrageously overexposed, bordering-on-utterly-pointless match-up at this juncture, and with the ever-widening gulf in the way each man is booked dictating either another easy Punk victory or some screwjob finish, the incentive to stay tuned was minimal.
Point blank, though, as Mister Hands originally pointed out, who beyond old-timers who can't or won't work every week and every weekend and the John Cena Express would be the correct person to hold the championship, considering how anemically just about everyone apart from a select handful of guys at best consistently deliver an unmistakably positive impact on ratings? Punk has had his lows and he's had his highs and he's had a lot of in-betweens but considering what he's done since "The Shoot," in other quadrants of WWE's business model, how much he's earned this run and how few other realistic options remain for WWE at this time, I see no reason whatsoever to alter their current course and simply give up on him remaining WWE Champion for an extended period of time in the very practical and necessary effort to create a new top dog main event star because he happened to have a very poorly-rated and -viewed segment this past week (which, once we get past it being the lowest-rated segment of the night, wasn't that much worse than most segments on Raw this week and looks far worse than it actually is because of its adjacent placement to the white-hot segment with the white-hot angle in the advantageous quarter hour segment that the maximum number of people looked at this past week). It's been thinking like that, along with the subsequent refresh icon-hitting reflex of having the championship circle its way back to the status quo "safest choice" that has been instrumental in depriving WWE of the ability to fervently create new stars.
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Last edited by DesolationRow; 03-18-2012 at 08:02 AM.