Hope For Monday Night Raw

Monday Night Raw  is World Wrestling Entertainment’s flagship show, and cable TV’s longest running episodic television show. It has seen its share of troubles in recent years. In 2020 and 2021 the show’s ratings fluctuated and trended towards a slump. While it is still home to some of WWE’s most popular performers, such as Riddle,  Rey Mysterio and Seth “Freakin’” Rollins, Monday Night Raw’s ratings still vary widely. However, hope can be found in some of its recent ratings returns and some of its more promising creative developments.

The Ratings Picture

July 4th’s episode of Monday Night Raw drew 1.56 million viewers. This is actually a positive increase from lower ratings the previous year. July 11’s episode brought in 1.71 million viewers. Wrestling Observer Figure Four Online takes a closer look at these numbers, and the bigger picture they portray, reporting that Raw was first in several key demos, and number nine in overall cable viewers. Raw performed well in demos 18-34 and 18-49, and was up from its numbers the previous year, across the board. 

Creative Directions

Raw is known for boasting the pick of the litter of WWE’s roster. The current WWE Undisputed Universal Heavyweight Champion, the company’s top star Roman Reigns makes his home on Fox’s Friday Night SmackDown, but his presence is felt with frequent crossover appearances. Brock Lesnar, Paul Heyman, and the Usos are also frequently on hand to propel the latest chapter of the Roman Reigns Vs. Brock Lesnar storyline, the latest of which is leading to a bout at July 30’s SummerSlam.

July 11’s episode also featured another popular storyline, the continued dominance of the newly formed faction The Judgement Day. Edge’s vampiric heel turn led to the formation of the faction which has revitalized the gimmicks of Rhea Ripley, Damien Priest, and Finn Balor. Suspense hovers around whether Dominik Mysterio will turn on his mentor and father, Rey Mysterio, and join the faction. However, the mere possibility presents a chance for the younger Mysterio to grow into his potential with a heel turn that will set him apart from his famous legacy.

Another promising aspect of Raw is the imminent debut of Logan Paul, who has signed a contract with World Wrestling Entertainment.

Paul is currently engaged in a beef with the Miz in absentia. He has completely eschewed their former partnership and has animosity towards WWE’s resident self appointed celebrity. Paul’s showings in the ring thus far have been impressive, as have his natural abilities on the mic and in scenes with WWE’s superstars.

As SummerSlam approaches, healthy ratings and intriguing storylines seem cause for optimism around the future of Monday Night Raw. 

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