Roman Raines’ Return to WWE SmackDown Didn’t Affect Ratings


Roman Raines may have a shirt that declares him a needle mover for WWE, but recent Friday Night SmackDown ratings don’t support that claim. In terms of booking, it seems that Vince McMahon is using Brock Lesnar’s approach in The Tribal Cheif, trying to turn his performances into rating events that fans can’t watch every weak one. Absence makes the heart more loving or something like that.

And WWE has certainly applied that approach to Raines since he unified the major men’s titles at WrestleMania 38. This event took place on April 3, and he defended his title only once on television or live premium, defeating Riddle on June 17. only the other time he has wrestled on television since WrestleMania was on Backlash, where he participated in a six-man match alongside Uso.

It doesn’t seem like this strategy is working for WWE, at least in terms of boosting ratings with Reigns as a draw. In the latest issue of Wrestling Observer Radio, Dave Meltzer said the following about Raines’ appearance on the July 8 issue of SmackDown: “SmackDown was 0.47. In fact, Dynamite beat SmackDown on Wednesday by a score of 18-34. It happened for many reasons, but it happened… Roman Raines was on the show this week… Roman Raines wasn’t a big needle mover back then. He was just there. It was just a number, you know. I would say how compared to a week earlier it was a disappointment. But it’s within the norm of what I suspect this show is doing right now.”

There are many ways to determine if a wrestler is working or not, and this one set of SmackDown ratings won’t slow down the continuous push of WWE Reigns. Over the past decade, WWE fans have been able to count on three things: death, taxes, and Vince McMahon promoting Roman Raines. However, it is worth noting that its appearance does not increase the number of SmackDown. And this further confirms Meltzer’s recent statement that John Cena is the last true WWE professional.

This is not a blow to Raines. He is in the midst of what happens once in a lifetime as a universal WWE champion. If fans don’t know, he’s held that title for almost 700 days, and it’s hard to imagine him leaving SummerSlam without that title, no matter what happens to Brock Lesnar and the looming threat of Theory cashing out his Money In The Bank portfolio. . The writing has to be creative, but there are ways to get the WWE championship from Reigns, so they have at least one wrestler actively defending major titles at premium live tournaments. Of course, the absence of Reigns on the card did not prevent Money In The Bank 2022 from becoming a hit for the company, so who knows what they are planning for SummerSlam.

(If any part of these quotes is used in the article, specify Wrestling Observer Radio as the source and as a transcription.)