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Not every episode of Raw can be a home run. That’s a given. It takes several elements all interacting perfectly for Raw to hit one out of the park: an electric crowd, fired-up performers, compelling drama and well-crafted segments. Take any one or two out of the equation, and you’re likely left with a subpar episode that leaves you feeling a little flat.
But every now and again, there’s an episode that isn’t just missing one or two of the vital ingredients, it’s missing virtually all of the elements that make for an entertaining evening of professional wrestling. And Monday night’s Raw really was lacking in many of these areas. It was downright painful to watch at times, which is disappointing when you consider that WWE is heading into Night of Champions with its mission to win over fans whose WWE Network subscriptions were expiring. »
- Scott Carlson
The 66th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards was held on Monday, August 25th. Awards shows are often highly viewed special programs for whichever network they air on. The Emmys, like most award shows, is typically aired on a Sunday night. NBC — which aired the program — hit a bit of a snag this year with their preferred scheduling.
In 2006, NBC acquired the rights to air the National Football League’s Sunday Night Football broadcast. Since then, NBC has typically scheduled the Emmy Awards for the Sunday before Labor Day weekend, so as to avoid conflict with their NFL programming. However, this year, the MTV Video Music Awards aired on Sunday, August 24th. It was then decided by NBC to avoid going head-to-head with the VMAs and to instead air the Emmy broadcast on Monday. This was the first time since 1976 that Emmys were aired on a Monday instead of a Sunday. »
- Douglas Scarpa
The Emmy Awards topped Nielsen’s Twitter TV ratings Monday night, beating out “Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta” on VH1 and “WWE Monday Night Raw” on USA. More than 1.1 million tweets from 370,000 unique authors were seen by a unique audience of 8.8 million people, resulting in 207.1 million total Twitter TV impressions.
It was enough to win the night, with “Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta” coming in second with 974,000 tweets from 174,000 authors for a unique audience of 1.9 million people, but falls short of the 2014 Academy Awards on ABC. The Oscars resulted in 11.2 million tweets from 2.8 million unique authors, for an audience of about 13.9 million people and 1.04 billion total Twitter TV impressions.
The Oscars featured host Ellen Degeneres’ selfie tweet with Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, Meryl Streep, Julia Roberts, Brad Pitt and others, which was retweeted nearly 3 million times by the following afternoon and temporarily caused the social media site to temporarily crash.
The full »
- Kevin Noonan
NBC again edged ahead of its Big Four rivals in adults 18-49 last week, but Univision has made it two straight frames as the top-rated network overall in the key demo.
With its year-round slate of firstrun telenovelas, the Spanish-language Univision typically stacks up better relative to the major networks in the summer than during the traditional TV season. It won a couple of times last summer too.
The network is especially dominant among the younger 18-34 segment of the prime 18-49 demo, and has now won four consecutive weeks in this age group.
Discovery, meanwhile, led cable in key demos with its Shark Week — setting ratings records for the event in women 18-49, women 25-54 and adults 25-54. It also stood as the No. 1 network on all of television in men 18-49.
Overall, according to “live plus same-day” Nielsen estimates for the week of Aug. 11-17, Univision finished on »
- Rick Kissell
Gregory Payan/AP/Press Association Images
Chael Sonnen has had a hell of a rough summer. Now he says the WWE gave him a call – but it’s not what you might expect.
Sonnen, three-time Ufc title challenger, and a master on the mic who talked his way into fights more than fighting his way into them, was suspended for two years by the Nsac in July after failing a pair of drug tests. He also lost his job as a broadcaster with Fox Sports, something the Ufc, who have generally had Sonnen’s back over the years, agreed with.
That’s not to say that Sonnen has been out of the public eye: this past weekend, he competed at Metamoris 4, a Brazilian Jiu-jitsu competition over which the Nsac has no authority, as there is no striking involved. Although he lost to Andre Galvo after starting strong, the bout kept »
- Jay Anderson
For the first time this summer, CBS reality stalwart “Big Brother” moved ahead of an original installment of NBC’s “America’s Got Talent” as the week’s most popular program among young adults.
Of course, neither of these shows may be atop the list when Nielsen issues its “live plus 7″ numbers, which include a full week’s worth of DVR playback. Reality shows in general don’t gain as much in delayed viewing as scripted series, especially 10 p.m. dramas, and it’s not uncommon for them to get knocked down a few pegs in the rankings when comparing “live plus same-day” to “live plus 7.”
In recent weeks for example, CBS’ “Under the Dome” has averaged a lift of 1.3 ratings points in adults 18-49, enabling it to leapfrog reality series like “The Bachelorette” and “Hell’s Kitchen.” A similar lift for last Monday’s telecast would figure to vault the second-year drama from No. »
- Rick Kissell
WWE Wishes Hulk Hogan A Happy Birthday
Hogan turned 61 on Monday, and Monday Night Raw dedicated their night to celebrating Hulk. The evening began with a highlight reel and happy birthday messages from celebrities, including NFL stars Drew Brees, Aaron Rodgers and Aj Hawk.
But first, the night began with a highlight reel and a surprise ‘Nwo’ – New World Order – reunion with guests Ric Flair, ‘Mr. Wonderful’ Paul Orndorff, Rowdy Roddy Piper, Kevin Nash and Scott Hall. In the ring with Nash and Hall, Hulk, wearing his traditional red and yellow, ripped off his shirt to reveal his Nwo gear. The crowd was broke out into a chorus of ‘Happy Birthday’ only to be interrupted by Lesnar.
Lesnar and Hogan had an impressive stare contest »
WWE is heavily advertising Hulk Hogan’s birthday bash for this week’s Monday Night Raw, including a reunion with former nWo cohorts Scott Hall and Kevin Nash. This will serve as the first program featuring all three wrestling legends since an episode of Tna Impact over four years ago.
After news broke of the reunion, Hulk Hogan took to Twitter this weekend to hype the show. He said; “The baddest crew on the planet, we could straighten out the Authority.” The last time Hall, Nash and Hogan were together on WWE TV as the New World Order was WrestleMania 18 in 2002.
As of now there isn’t much information as to what exactly the “Hulk Hogan Birthday Bash” will entail. It will be interesting to see if the three do indeed have any interaction with The Authority. Both Hall and Nash are well-known friends of Triple H and »
- Sean Ross Sapp
We have reported for weeks about how Hulk Hogan will the be the guest star on Raw this coming Monday for his 61st birthday on August 11th. It was promoted by WWE on Raw, so Hogan’s presence will be a big part of Monday’s show in Portland.
There will also be some surprises because WWE hasn’t advertised other special names for Raw although it was teased by Scott Hall on Twitter. It’s now been confirmed by PWInsider that both Scott Hall and Kevin Nash have been booked for Raw.
As wrestling fans know, those two along with Hogan started the New World Order in WCW in July of 1996 and went on to dominate WCW for years as the top heel faction in the company. Once WCW died, they brought the Nwo to WWE for a brief run in 2002 that didn’t really go very well. »
- John Canton
The return of football combined with two nights of “America’s Got Talent” and a season high for “American Ninja Warrior” to put NBC atop the demo rankings last week as the net continued its hot summer.
The Peacock, which also saw solid scores for recent reality additions “Running Wild with Bear Grylls” and “Food Fighters,” has finished on top in adults 18-49 (either outright or tied) in eight of 11 weeks this summer. It’s only finished lower during the two weeks of the NBA Finals on ABC and the frame including the Major League Baseball All-Star Game on Fox.
Univision, coming off its second straight first-place 18-49 finish in a July sweep, was a close second among young adults for the week and joined ABC as the only broadcaster to improve upon the comparable week of a year ago.
Overall, according to same-night Nielsen estimates for the week of July 28-Aug. »
- Rick Kissell
As of August 4, 2013, it’s been 200 days since Cm Punk has graced a WWE ring with his presence. However, if you tune in to WWE Raw, Smackdown, Main Event, Superstars or a Pay-Per-VIew, live event crowds are still quite glad to cheer his name loudly at any moment possible. Overall, 2014 has been a year of tremendous upheaval for WWE. From launching the WWE Network and radically shifting the company’s financial model to the tune of nearly 20 main and Nxt roster performers losing their jobs, the dissolution of WWE Magazine and more. In the midst of all of this non-wrestling mania, one thing has remained: the chant of “Cm Punk.” Of course, as much as he tells the WWE Universe that there’s absolutely no way that he’s returning to action in a pro wrestling capacity anywhere, the WWE Universe still chants his name.
For as much as the chants are endearing, »
- Marcus K. Dowling
With Summerslam’s biggest match just a few weeks away, all three major participants in the angle– Brock Lesnar, John Cena, and Paul Heyman– will all be off the show. In place of a physical, live angle, WWE has filmed a major interview with Brock Lesnar in which will air tonight on Raw.
Paul Heyman spoke about the interview while on today’s Mma Hour program, saying that he was blown away at the candid interview, saying that he thinks it will sufficiently further the angle without any of the main players present. Heyman also said that no WWE writers were involved in the production. The WWE is looking to replicate the overwhelmingly positive reaction that the Ufc got during the promo videos for Brock Lesnar vs. Frank Mir at Ufc 100.
Heyman was in New York making the media rounds to promote his DVD in which releases tomorrow, »
- Sean Ross Sapp
With WWE SummerSlam taking place in two weeks on August 17 you would think tonight’s Raw would be about building up the main event match between WWE World Heavyweight Champion John Cena and his challenger Brock Lesnar. They probably will address it, but they will have to do it without both men in attendance at tonight’s show in Austin, Texas.
Cena missed the July 21st episode of Raw due to filming the movie Trainwreck, but he returned to television last week to do a promo as well as have a match against Cesaro. Cena isn’t expected to be on Raw tonight since he is filming Trainwreck again. We have noted several times in the past two months that Cena has worked less live events and has missed TVs due to his movie commitments. Since it’s not a WWE produced film, they are not going to work around his schedule. »
- John Canton
At four feet, four inches, Dylan “Hornswoggle” Postl might not seem like a likely candidate for professional wrestling, but he’s made his mark in WWE wrestling with a Cruiserweight Champion title on Smackdown! (2007) and other physical feats on WWE Raw. This year he’s made his crossover into films with an appearance in Muppets Most Wanted, and now with the WWE / Lionsgate joint venture of the horror film Leprechaun: Origins, which hopes to reignite interest in the horror franchise, which starred Warwick Davis. A separate, unrelated entity that stands on its own, Origins purports to be a straight-up horror film, with full-tilt gore, violence, and action, courtesy of the evil Leprechaun, played by the one and only Hornswoggle.
david j. moore: You’re coming from a long line of guys who’ve »
- Gary Collinson
Americans may be watching more scripted dramas than ever this summer, but they’re still making time for NBC’s longtime warm-weather fave “America’s Got Talent.”
Last week, a pair of two-hour installments of the competition series locked down the top two spots on the program rankings in both young adults and total viewers, teaming with “American Ninja Warrior” to help NBC beat its rivals in key demos.
In Nielsen’s “most current” estimates summer to date, “America’s Got Talent” — now in its ninth year — stands as TV’s top series in both adults 18-49 and total viewers. Its first five originals this season also currently stand as TV’s top series telecasts of the summer in these categories.
Overall, NBC tied with Univision for the week’s lead among adults 18-49 (1.2/4), and they were followed by Fox and CBS (both 1.0/4), ABC (0.9/3) and top cabler USA (0.7/3). The Peacock »
- Rick Kissell
The rumor has existed for months and it is now confirmed: Brock Lesnar is in Miami for tonight’s edition of Monday Night Raw. The news has been confirmed by PWInsider and backs up the previous news items about Brock Lesnar challenging John Cena for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship at SummerSlam on August 17 in Los Angeles.
While Lesnar is expected to be on Raw with Paul Heyman by his side, John Cena wont be there. As we reported last week, Cena is headed to New York City to film scenes for the Judd Apatow film Trainwreck in New York City. Cena apparently flew from Tampa (site of last night’s Battleground event) to New York City this morning. Even without Cena in the building, they can still have Lesnar challenge him for the WWE Title or have Triple H name him as the challenger and then build »
- John Canton
It was announced on Thursday that WWE Hall of Famer Hulk Hogan will be returning to Monday Night Raw on August 11th. The news was posted on the website for the Moda Center in Portland, Oregon where Raw will take place that night. It also revealed what his role will be by saying that Hogan “is set to host what guarantees to be one hot show leading up to the SummerSlam PPV.”
Bringing Hogan back to host Raw one week before SummerSlam is a smart idea for WWE because Hogan is tremendous at getting fans excited for a show. It’s what he has always been great at even when he was a top guy in WWE.
- John Canton
Brock Lesnar will return on Raw next Monday, Wrestling Observer Newsletter reports.
Current WWE plans (which obviously could change) are for Lesnar to make his comeback on the show emanating from Miami, Florida, just a day after the WWE Battleground pay per view. The episode is expected to set in motion Lesnar’s SummerSlam feud with John Cena.
In a small coincidence, the Miami venue is the same location that Lesnar made his original return back in 2012, in a famous angle where he destroyed Cena. We might see something very similar this Monday – same guys, same location, same angle.
Lesnar’s feud with Cena will be the centrepiece of WWE television over the next two months. The pair will headline SummerSlam in Los Angeles, with the WWE World Heavyweight Championship expected to be on the line. Following August we have Night Of Champions in September, which WWE will »
- Grahame Herbert
“Big Brother” picked up ratings steam last week, with all three editions ranking among the frame’s top five programs in young adults as CBS finished atop the weekly rankings in demos for the first time since mid-spring.
The Eye also got contributions from firstrun dramas “Under the Dome” and “Extant,” even if the latter Halle Berry-fronted drama didn’t wow in its bow demo-wise. They were the frame’s top two scripted programs in adults 18-49 and 25-54, and “Extant” was No. 1 for the week in total viewers.
Overall, it was a very tight race in adults 18-49, according to Nielsen estimates for July 7-13, with roughly 30,000 viewers separating four networks: CBS, NBC and Univision (all at 1.1 rating/4 share) and ABC (1.0/4). With the tie, NBC was able to extend its summer streak of finishing on top in the demo every week except the two NBA Finals frames when »
- Rick Kissell
WWE Raw has been on the air since 1993. For over twenty years, the presentation of the show has defined mainstream professional wrestling. This goes not just for the style of wrestling, but also the presentation. By being the number one wrestling company in the world, WWE gets to dictate what wrestling looks like for most people. And as technically impressive as the show still is, there are elements that rarely get overhauled, rethought, or ever really considered by fans. These issues are parts of the show that people rarely highlight, but which have became stagnant and detrimental.
These issues with the show won’t touch on the actual wrestling quality, which is arguably at a 21 year high. It also won’t touch on storylines and whether things should be more or less “real” than they currently are. The list focuses mostly on direction and consideration of historical aspects »
- Sawyer Paul
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