I think if something like this happened in the opening slot, 10pm slot 9 (Q5), or last slot of the show, then the numbers we're seeing right now would be terrible. The thing is it hasn't been, and I personally think it's been a mistake not putting him there. HHH was at least always in one of those big slots (Q1, Q5, or Q8+OR) so of course it was going to do well (I wouldn't call it random either). Granted he did a lot better than Punk is now, and he's a bigger draw than Jericho, but I think if Jericho came out in one of the big three quarters, he would've at least gotten a good number for it. Stick him in the Q5 slot next week and see what happened. (I wouldn't expect an 800,000+ increase or something great like that, but maybe a good number like 400k-500k plus increase).
The only reason I can think of that they haven't done it yet and instead have put him in these normally losing timeslots is because they wanted people to really keep their eyes on the TV and stay tuned throughout the whole show for Jericho's return. They wanted to get those numbers to increase the last couple of weeks... but since it's been a surprise to see him in those timeslots and people don't want to see the rest of the shit that goes on, I don't think anyone could really get those numbers to increase at least decently nowadays besides a big draw like Rock, Cena, Taker, or HHH.
I say he should be put in one of the big timeslots, a Cena segment should be put in one of those big timeslots, and then third one is up in the air between another Cena segment/match or a Punk segment (not a Punk match since those have been poor ratings wise). At least try that for next week and see what happens. If Jericho's slot does well then it does well and the angle isn't as much a failure ratings wise as it's appearing. If it doesn't do well... then guess it shows this whole "Jericho being silent" thing just isn't working with the casuals and maybe he should start talking again at least.
I was referencing the time Trips came out during Q3 iirc and it gained. Yes he, and Rock, Cena etc for that matter are mostly in the quarter hours that usually do the best but that's because they do
actually draw. Look what happens when you put Punk in there. Most times he does about half of what those other guys are doing. That's because as well as the regular people who tune in at that time, other people are tuning in, seeing Rock/Cena/HHH on their TV and staying put until their segment is done. Then they're leaving again. Despite the fact that Jericho has been put in odd quarters, people aren't interested enough to keep checking back to see when he's there. At least that's what I'm getting from it. Either that or it's like what we've all said, that the silent thing just makes for bad TV. Then there's the fact that those guys, bar Cena who has had some weird quarter hours these past few months, have never lost viewers iirc, something that both Punk and now Jericho have.
Whatever it is, I'm expecting a significant jump once football is over. I said this 2 weeks ago for It Begins and it didn't happen. If it doesn't happen again, then I'd start to worry if I were Vince and Co.