Raw 1000 Proves The Audience Is There, CM Punk’s Heel Turn, Randy Orton Returning On Raw, Big Show’s Push

What has the reaction been like in WWE to the monster rating the 1000th Raw the show did? Do you think Vince McMahon looks at it as people having renewed interest or just a one time fluke?

WWE is thrilled with the rating of the 1000th episode of Raw and they should be. As we talked about here in Ask WNW, the company immediately issued a press release to tout the success of the large viewership. I have not heard from sources close to Vince McMahon what he thought and would be scared to speculate, however, I feel it shows the audience is still there. Whether or not that audience tunes in weekly or buys the monthly pay-per-views all has to do with the quality of the product. The company showed with Wrestlemania XXVIII they could get people to buy their product. WWE should strive to make every show “must-see programming,” treating them as a “big deal” to spark interest. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying pay-per-views are going to go be able to compete with Wrestlemania or weekly TVs can exceed the viewership of the biggest show to date but there is a large differential in the averages and these spikes. If WWE were to make their shows of more importance, I feel it could significantly boost ratings. This will, however, be very challenging by trying to come up with three hours of live TV each week.

With CM Punk turning heel do you see any possibility with him aligning with “his man” Paul Heyman?

CM Punk is the reason Paul Heyman was brought in for the Brock Lesnar program, however, I would be surprised to see Heyman used in another capacity. One thing Vince McMahon was firm on prior to signing Lesnar was that he wanted nothing to do with Heyman. Given the fact Lesnar and Heyman were not as close as they once were, it wasn’t an issue when Lesnar signed. CM Punk convinced company officials to bring in Heyman as a way to keep Lesnar relevant without burning through dates on his part-time contract.

Randy Orton’s suspension is up and he’s able to return on next weeks Raw. What do you think they’ll do with him? Will he come back as a face or a heel? I think he’ll be put back in the World Heavyweight Championship picture as a heel.

Randy Orton is scheduled to return to WWE on next Monday’s episode of Raw. He is on the booking sheets in World Heavyweight Championship matches against Sheamus and Alberto Del Rio so the thinking is he will be a main event talent once again. As to whether or not he will be a babyface or a heel, Orton said [on Twitter] he hopes to be a heel and it’s not unlikely given the lack of top heels in the company.

What do you think of Big Show, who is well past his prime, being pushed and protected against younger wrestlers with more talent, including John Cena?

Big Show is “past his prime” as far as age is concerned, however, he is seen as a reliable veteran they are able to book in the top of the card because of his size. Show’s latest push was believed to be for Tensai (who is only a couple years younger than Show at 38) but plans were changed when the character was unable to get over. It’s also worth noting that the lack of top heels in the company has played a factor in their renewed interest in Big Show.

Remember questions with proper spelling and grammar have the best chance of being answered. The next installment of Ask WNW will run on Friday, July 27, 2012.

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  • Alex Wilson

    Tensai and Big show's birthdays are only a few months apart, not 2 years

    • RK Brock

      I noticed that too

  • Chris

    I’ve seen you say a lack of top heels a few times now. Aren’t there many more heels than there are top faces? Who do we have? Cena, Sheamus…and? Rey now, I guess. Not exactly overflowing with too good guys

  • Joe O.

    Was it just me or did it sound like The King was also just as conflicted on what CM Punk should do at the end of the match? At one point saying he needs to cover Cena even though it’s not the right way because it is the WWE Championship and on the other hand asking why CM Punk wasn’t helping. Maybe a heel turn for Jerry as well! Lol. Or am I strecthing a bit?

    • Alex P

      Two words will prove you're stretching…Michael Cole. They aren't going to have two heel announcers at the same time without a face to balance it. I think Punk played out the end of that match great last week with his facial and physical expressions.

  • ceedot

    big show is absolutely horrible and boring to watch.

    • bigandtall419

      Agreed

    • saif ashraf

      no no no

      • wolfey

        big is awsome you joking me people

    • WyFo

      Well if you were his size you wouldn’t move around the ring too good either.

    • Roderic F.

      You are so right, I was so upset when his big ass showed up during the WWE championship match. It was such a good match, until his big ass came out.

  • Victor F Milani

    The huge ratings for RAW'S1000 show proves people turned in to see stars of the past, not the current or future wrestlers. The Rock, Brett Hart, Shawn Michaels, Undertaker, Animal and all the other legends were the draw that night Not. Del Rio, Swagger, Ziggler, the rotting tag team division, Stars like Shamus and CM Punk in earlier years would have mid-card talent at best. They trot out Triple H and Undertaker occasionally to rescue ratings and attempt to put younger talent over. Any independent wrestler can do the same moves, but the charisma and character pop from the fans isn't there. Creative has to get more….CREATIVE!

    • Evon Reese

      You are right. But all the writers in the world can't make a super star.thats up to the individual.

    • The arbiter

      Triple H put young talent over? When?

      Last thing I remember him doing to new talent was coming back to squash Sheamus like a bug in the lead up to UT vs HHH 2 (or is that UT vs DX4)

    • Marie-Ann

      lol, who is Shamus¿

  • WWEfan

    In response to your first answer, the best thing WWE could do to boost ratings is to promote TNA or ROH or something that will give them competition. If we want to see another Wrestling Boom like we did in the '90's WWE has got to get over it self and realize that it can’t be a one man show. When was the last time we saw a consistent 5.0 average ratings for WWE? During the Monday night Wars, and couple that with WCW rating, which was a consistent average 3.5 rating, there were nights when Pro Wrestling had a combined 11 rating! What would the industry look like we had that again! Let’s go Vince, get over yourself and look at what competition can do for you and your company! Don’t get me wrong, 6.3 million viewers and a 3.9 rating is great, but what about the days of literally 10’s of millions of people tuning in to Pro Wrestling TV, what about the days of the 8.1 rating for Raw! We want to see that again as much as you do Vince!

    • pol

      kid, consider the generation today…we have the internet and people nowadays know kayfabe. the reason for 3.8 is bcos of past superstars presented, nothing more. the solution is to have good storyline like what cm punk did by breaking the 3rd wall last yr

  • PFElton

    Rich, you are WAY too excited about the 3.8 rating. Chill out. A 3.8 is not a MONSTER rating, a 5 is. Frankly, I think they came up short. In one night, they had: a 5-man Degeneration-X reunion, The Rock, Brock Lesnar Vs. Triple H spot, a Brothers of Destruction reunion, a cadre of other legends, a WWE Title match between their top two guys, and all it did was bump the ratings a half a point. Digging in the closet finding old treasures works today, but WCW taught us that when that strategy runs out, you're left hanging.

    Then again, what else is Vinnie Mac supposed to do right now? He buried virtually every young talent in the last ten years. "The roster is thin" "Lack of main event heels" "Poor WWE, just entering tough times". They brought the tough times on themselves. Remember the Spirit Squad? That was 5 perfectly talented young guys that had been earmarked as superstars of the future in development. What did Vince do? He put them in a cheerleader gimmick and fed them to DX. HURR HURR! So in today's WWE product, we have an army of Vanilla Midgets, three or four middle-aged guys who can actually work a match in some decent capacity (John Cena, CM Punk, Daniel Bryan, and Randy Orton), a couple guys who get pushed out of desperation (Big Show, Sheamus, The Miz), and some legends from yesterdecade that get older and more brittle each year when they work approx. 2 matches. Sounds a lot like WCW in 2000, if you ask me. Where's all the snickering and jeering from WWF fans with their young, fresh stars now? Not so cute when it happens to you, is it WWE?

    • Deep

      1. A 3.8 rating IS huge in 2012, especially for a three hour show. This isn't the attitude era; those ratings happened during the biggest boom period in professional wrestling's history, and were the exception, not the rule.
      2. They may occasionally "dig in the closet" but it's always seen as a special attraction and I don't see them putting the main strap on guys in their 50s like WCW did.
      3. Really? EVERY young talent in the last ten years has been buried? So the "middle-aged guys" at the top of the card now A) were never young and B) never had to toil in the middle of the card or get fed to an established talent? (also, lol at calling a bunch of men in their early 30s middle-aged. Hey, I'm in my early 30s… guess I better start getting ready to collect social security in a few years.)
      4. An army of vanilla midgets? You mean guys like Dolph Ziggler, who was in that Spirit Squad that you called "perfectly talented" earlier in your post?
      5. CM Punk and Daniel Bryan can more than "work a match in a decent capacity", if you even bother to watch anymore, but it sounds like you stopped back in 2006.
      6. What legends from "yesterdecade" are they pushing in main events the way WCW did? Or heck, even the way TNA did just a few years ago? HHH is a special attraction, rarely wrestling anymore. Undertaker is on pretty much a Wrestlemania-only schedule. The Rock shows up to cut the occasional promo in between filmings, maybe he'll have two matches a year. And that's a BIG maybe. What are you babbling about?
      7. They've got plenty of young workers. Some have gotten over, some haven't. That's how the business works.
      8. "Not so cute when it happens to you, is it WWE?" What's not so cute? They're still the biggest wrestling company in the world. They are still THE destination for anybody who wants to make it big in this business. Anybody who says anything different is either lying, would rather be a big fish in a little pond, or burnt their bridges so severely WWE wouldn't want them back anyway.

  • William Shatner

    The audience was there for Raw1000, but it's Raw1001 and Raw1002 and so on that I'm more interested in.

  • franky

    I think doing a program with CM Punk with Paul Heyman as his manager would be great, especially considering Punk's heel turn.

    • Chris

      Brook trains cm punk and creates cm punk the mma fighter!! Whooo

  • junior3rd

    Punk is an amazing heel he needs to get a new ses nexus or whatever again and protect him as champion til rumble

  • Fred

    Hey Richard, why do you keep sayin. ‘lack of top heels’ ? When I think there’s more heels than faces?

    • Richard Gray

      Minus Big Show, you're left with Chris Jericho (who was suspended), Alberto Del Rio (who is looking to leave sooner than later) and Daniel Bryan (who is not completely top status)

      • Joe O.

        I can agree with that but my only gripe then becomes the “lack of top babyfaces”. You’re left with Super Cena, Sheamus, and Rey (just coming back from injury). And like you said whi knows what they’ll do with Orton. Am I missing anyone?

      • Joe O.

        I can agree with that but my only gripe then becomes the “lack of top babyfaces”. You’re left with Cena, Sheamus, and Rey (just coming back from injury). And like you said whi knows what they’ll do with Orton. Am I missing anyone?

  • RobUK

    I’m not sure about punk’s heel turn. I did enjoy him more as the good guy with the bad attitude – he was never a full baby face in my eyes. Question is why the heel turn..? They didn’t turn Cena heel in his bulid up to face The Rock, which I presume is happening. Punk v’s Rock at the rumble – Cena wins Rumble and it’s Rock/Cena II (once in a lifetime) at wrestlemaina – Cena wins the belt.
    I’m also concerned with what’s going to happen with Bryan – if he slips out of the title picture I fear all his great work this year will come undone – for me there is so much more that can be done with Punk/Bryan, but is that going to happen now Punk is a heel?

  • Chris

    I don’t think wade Barrett has been buried, dolph hasn’t been buried, cm punk hasn’t been buried, hell he took out super cena and dipped with the belt, d Bryan has been kicking ass and taking names, zack needs to get back his bearing but the fan support is there, mason Ryan needs more air time, I haven’t been able to check out sandow because I can’t watch smackdown and dean ambrose needs to bring his ass on to the main roster.

  • HugeRockStar

    A 5.0 rating is not likely in this day and age. So many people stream television now that the official numbers that come out aren’t even a good representation anymore of how many viewers there are

  • Duncan12

    The fact that the ratings breakdown shows that the highest peak in terms of ratings occurred when Punk vs Cena started shows that this era does have stars. To say that past wrestlers made the ratings so high is a slap in the face to Cena and Punk.

    • Chris

      Except it is blatantly true for an episode hyped on looking back at old stars, and an episode where the old stars appearing on it was used to advertise the show. Now if the ratings stay tht high without the legends then it’s down to punk and Cena. Otherwise, you’re just being silly.