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.
As is almost always the case, I agree; it is quite obvious that everyone watching Raw knew that these EC "preliminaries" carried absolutely no weight, no repercussions and fundamentally no point. They were the "filler" segments of the show, if we want to be blunt about it. Jericho/Kofi was at least a very decent match. Compared to almost everything else that happened on Raw this week (which is why, curiously enough, they sort of did deserve better numbers than what they received this week), I can barely remember Ziggler/Truth and Miz/Punk (I do remember Miz being given the jobber entrance, though).
Miz used to draw well. Hell, he could bring a gain with a lame Subway segment in the third quarter a mere six months ago. But WWE has been in overdrive tearing down everything they created with him a mere eleven months ago. Unbelievable.
I really don't know what they're going to do. I'm guessing they're hoping Sheamus can become the new cartoon hero babyface for kids on Smackdown and hopefully he can hold the fort there into spring, summer and beyond unlike Orton. Problem is, they aren't giving him a big star/draw to go over. But he seems to be over enough that he can at least potentially do well being Smackdown's top face this year, with persistent pushing.
they turn Cena, they're going to be attempting to stoke fan interest through that primarily, and at some point they'll probably have him chase Punk's championship. The ratings tend to go into the tank around May every year for a couple of weeks anyway, and I doubt they care about that too much.
Rock's supposed to return in the summer leading into Summerslam, so there's that.
I agree with you, though. This was the time to go for broke and push the button for CM Punk vs. Triple H at Wrestlemania with Punk going over clean.
With Miz and now with Punk, WWE has pushed guys right to the brink of becoming new legitimate stars, and then, just when they are about to start jumping over the final series of hurdles on their merry way, they trip them to send them flying headfirst into the ground.
I will say this. I'm kind of confident that if they turned Miz face later this year, he could become bigger in ratings revenue than Punk. He at least has a track record from the past of doing well in that realm of WWE's business, during the height of his heel days.
Punk generally needs substantive storylines, big stars and bundles of hype to gain any considerable number of viewers. At this time, he's essentially another Orton that at least (for the last seven months) sells merchandise like Cena.