Random Thoughts: WWE Raw Ratings, TNA/POP TV, NXT, & More

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Hi, I’m Justin Watry. You may remember me from such classic columns as “WWE WrestleMania 28: Sheamus Should Defeat Daniel Bryan in Less Than a Minute” and “WWE Should Send John Morrison Down to FCW Right Now.”

Today, I will be writing about a lot of junk.

This will just be a simple random thoughts column covering a variety of subjects. Let me know what you think below in the comment section!

WWE Raw Viewership Soars - Oh, look at that. Hey, maybe the sky isn't falling? I suppose WWE won't go out of business tomorrow, even though they are a profitable company and have a new record breaking television deal.

Sarcasm aside, this is great news for WWE coming off a pretty good TLC pay-per-view. I know fans want to credit the return of Vince McMahon for the increase in RAW viewership, but that would be inaccurate because he was a surprise. Vinny Mac was never advertised for the show, thus it makes zero sense. Viewers were already tuned into the USA Network because they even knew he was going to show up.

Personally, I think three things get the credit for the spike in ratings this week.

1. TLC had a hot, hot, hot ending. A very good close to the pay-per-view leads to a cool cliffhanger for the next night's RAW. Easy formula there to grab viewers.

2. Monday Night Football (NFL) did not have a high profile matchup on ESPN. Yeah, the Giants were playing, but they are against the Dolphins. Yawn. Clearly, we saw the ESPN ratings - down big time from last week. Looks like those fans headed back over to check out wrestling for three hours.

LATE EDIT: I mistakenly said Dallas Cowboys vs. Miami Dolphins in the original column.

3. Lastly, the tease for Vince McMahon in the opening segment AND a big Roman Reigns firing (and WWE World Title match) was perfect. Loved the subtle hints throughout the night that history was going to unfold. Felt big time. Plus, you had a ECW like hardcore match, Dean Ambrose vs. Dolph Ziggler, and more. All helped keep viewers, instead of drive them away during the show.

Long story short, I wrote about this last week. WWE has 52 episodes of RAW each year. It is not like they can write 16 amazing one hour episodes and call it a year. Sorry, they have three hours every Monday, two hours every Thursday, one hour every Wednesday, and many more hours of content to write. There will be bad weeks in there - quality and ratings wise...and there will be good weeks as well. To freak out and over react over it was/is just pointless and really is ridiculous.

Stone Cold Steve Austin Podcast - Can somebody tell Stone Cold Steve Austin that his WWE Network podcasts are beginning to feel less and less special? I almost feel bad writing this, but it is the harsh truth. The stone cold truth if you will. The recent interview with Shawn Michaels was the first one I did not watch live (did on Tuesday), and the next one with Ric Flair may not even get a view from yours truly at all.

The problem isn't even the taped vs. live aspect. It is not just everything that goes into the full presentation. Re-watch the first WWE Network podcast with Vince McMahon. Then watch the last one with HBK. Heck, turn on the Chris Jericho editions as well. Don't tell me they are the same and haven't lost their luster. If Steve Austin cares, he has to know the fan feedback has been more and more negative. Either speak up to spark changes or end the series altogether...

TNA Impact Wrestling-POP TV - Last year, before a single episode of TNA aired on Destination America, I predicted their weekly viewership would be in the 500,000 range, if not a little less. One year later, it seems I was on the right money more often than not. Although, the show did hit lows of 200,000-300,000 recently. Now, here we sit as TNA heads to another new network and fans are wondering what their viewership figures will look like in 2016.

Even though POP has a bigger reach than Destination America, a little known fact is that Destination America actually had a higher primetime average viewership than POP. In other words, POP is in more homes, but that means very little if people still don't watch. They could be in 500 BILLION homes for all I care. If people still don't turn it on to watch, what does it really matter?

That is why I am (again) predicting TNA will be in the 500,000 viewership range on a weekly basis.

What do you think? Higher? Lower? Give me YOUR prediction!

NXT: Takeover London - My quick picks are Asuka, Apollo Crews, Bayley, Dash and Dawson, and Finn Balor. As WWE TLC was a heel heavy card, this looks like a face heavy card for NXT. What I will mention is two things about the latest live NXT special on the WWE Network.

Firstly, I know the start time is a little earlier than usual for us folks in the United States, but PLEASE try and watch this show spoiler-free on Wednesday. Please. NXT deserves to be viewed through "innocent eyes" and not tainted in any way. It is that good of a product. Don't allow yourself to have the show ruined by clicking on spoiler links.

Secondly, my curiosity has been peaked on any potential debuts/returns during the live special. When you have somebody big to bring in, you only get so many LIVE shows to capitalize on the ever-so-valuable shock factor. Remember the next few months for NXT will be taped shows in Florida. If you are going to pull a rabbit out of the hat, you have to do it on Wednesday in London! If that means Austin Aries, AJ Styles, or whoever - do it. Pull the trigger and take advantage of creating and unpredictable moment.

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