CONTACTABOUTFACEBOOKTWITTERPODCAST IPHONE APPANDROID APPAMAZON APPRSS
Pro Wrestling Torch
Pro Wrestling Torch Reaches The Most Wrestling Fans Every Week: #1 in iTunes • #1 on iPhone and iPad • #1 on Android • #1 on Kindle
GOT THE PWTORCH APP YET?
iPhone & iPad
Android
Amazon Kindle
Windows Phone
PWTorch Phone App
Torch Flashbacks
83 week streak ends: Raw beats Nitro in the ratings - 5 Yrs Ago

Apr 23, 2003 - 3:40:00 PM
PLEASE TAKE A MOMENT TO BOOKMARK US & VISIT US DAILY


The following is a reprint of the Torch Newsletter cover story from five years ago this week.

-Jason Powell, Torch assistant editor

* * *

Torch Newsletter Archive
By Wade Keller, Torch editor
Cover Story: Streak is over: Raw beats Nitro 4.6 to 4.3
Originally published: Pro Wrestling Torch Weekly newsletter #490
Cover dated: Apr. 18, 1998


Raw teases McMahon vs. Austin match; Nitro features Nash vs. Sting rematch, but no Hogan

On the June 10, 1996 edition of WCW Nitro, Kevin Nash returned to WCW and joined Scott Hall to form the Outsiders, plus Ric Flair & Arn Anderson fought Sting & Lex Luger in the TV main event. Despite that, Raw won the ratings battle with an Ultimate Warrior-Jerry Lawler angle and an Undertaker vs. British Bulldog TV main event. Raw posted a 2.7 to Nitro's 2.6. Nitro, though won the next ratings battle the following week and never looked back, building a winning streak of 83 straight head-to-head battles.

That streak ended on Apr. 13 as Raw drew a 4.6 average compared to Nitro's 4.3. The WWF had shown signs of momentum in the ratings the last two weeks. Expectations were that both WCW and the WWF would go full-out to win this past Monday. Instead, the WWF put forth one of its best programs ever (in terms of storylines and interviews, but certainly not quality of wrestling) while WCW presented a Nitro that, outside of the final segment, resembled a flat edition of TBS Thunder.

As a result, despite the WWF having legitimate reason to celebrate having the monkey off their back and at least one week to "brag" about being wrestling's most watched program, WCW has a case to not be especially worried. WCW managed to remain within three-tenths of a rating point despite not having Hulk Hogan, Randy Savage, Roddy Piper, Ric Flair, or Scott Hall in prominent matches or roles during the show. WCW tried to make it appear that Hogan and Piper were there with a pre-taped segment "backstage" at Target Center in Minneapolis. But otherwise, WCW appeared to almost concede the ratings battle putting forth a flat show other than the strong main event of Sting defending against Nash for the second straight week.

The WWF didn't give away one marquee match, but they teased the most intriguing main event they could possibly present - that being Steve Austin vs. Vince McMahon. While the match never actually took place, the build up was sufficient to draw huge ratings. The finish of the show involving Dude Love was confusing, but managed to build logically toward the next pay-per-view main event which is expected to be Steve Austin vs. Mick Foley (in one of his personas).

The climax of the Austin-McMahon storyline at the end of Raw drew a 6.0 rating, an all-time high quarter hour ratings for either Raw or Nitro in a head-to-head situation, beating the record set by last week's Nash vs. Sting match which drew a 5.8. This week's Nash vs. Sting rematch drew a respectable 4.3 rating. Raw won five quarter hours, Nitro won two, and there was one tie. Raw beat Nitro in both hours, 4.3 to 4.2 in the first hour and 4.6 to 4.3 in the second hour. Nitro drew a 4.4 in its first unopposed hour. While Raw's ratings are growing, Nitro's ratings aren't suffering at all.

WCW's take on the situation is that they were without their big guns, that the WWF hotshotted an angle that can't be topped, that the WWF will turn off viewers because they didn't deliver the match as promised, and that Raw's win is merely a one-week blip. Also, WCW had the disadvantage of believing Ric Flair would be there, but instead Flair no-showed (see sidebar).

Next week's Raw was taped the next night in Uniondale, N.Y. and features more of the Austin-McMahon storyline, including a verbal confrontation at the end of the show that leads to McMahon challenging Austin to a match. The angle insinuates that McMahon may pick himself to be Austin's challenger at the PPV. (And he might, although that match, if it ever takes place, will probably be saved for a time when it is outright advertised, not just hinted at.) Raw's TV main event for Apr. 20 is The Legion of Doom & Owen Hart vs. Hunter Hearst Helmsley & The New Age Outlaws.

WCW will surely try harder next Monday than they did this Monday to beat Raw in the ratings. They have the advantage of knowing ahead of time what the WWF has taped and thus can counter-program accordingly. There is also a chance of a backlash against the WWF for not delivering the Austin-McMahon match, yet if that were a major factor in TV ratings, Monday night ratings would have crashed over the last two years, not doubled.


We suggest these recent related articles...
TORCH FLASHBACK: Jake Roberts's previous WWE Raw TV appearance nine years ago
FREE SAMPLE - PWTorch Newsletter Back Issue #247 TEXT (20 Yrs. Ago): Cover story on WCW drawing mere 600 at Omni while WWF sells out Boston Garden, Hogan negotiates with WCW, Keller’s rare early-career interview with Sabu, more (10-09-93)
TNA BFG PPV FLASHBACK: Last year's event featured RVD, Sting & Bully, Hardy winning TNA Title, more
prowrestling.net
CLICK HERE FOR EVEN MORE PW.NET HEADLINES


CLICK TO EMAIL THIS ARTICLE
CLICK HERE TO RETURN TO MAIN LISTING

NEW! SIGN UP FOR FREE PWTORCH BREAKING NEWS EMAIL ALERTS
BECOME A PWTORCH VIP MEMBER
-FORMER MEMBERS LOGIN HERE TO RENEW
-NEW MEMBERS CLICK HERE TO SIGN UP
SELECT BY ARTICLES CATEGORY
SEARCH PWTORCH.COM



CLICK HERE FOR LIST OF UPCOMING PRO WRESTLING EVENTS
MORE HEADLINES AT AFFILIATE SITES
MMATorch
LATEST HEADLINES - CLICK TO READ CLICK HERE FOR MORE MMATORCH HEADLINES


PWTORCH POLL - VOTE NOW!
RAW POLL 7/28: If you watched Raw, Monday's show was...
  
pollcode.com free polls 


RAW POLL 7/28: How do you feel about Summerslam right now?
  
pollcode.com free polls 
SMACKDOWN POLL 7/25: If you watched Friday's Smackdown, the show was...
  
pollcode.com free polls 
C.M. PUNK POLL: How do you feel about C.M. Punk currently distancing himself from pro wrestling?
  
pollcode.com free polls 
VOTE IN OR SEE RESULTS OF PREVIOUS POLLS



LATEST HEADLINES - CLICK TO READ CLICK HERE FOR EVEN MORE INC HEADLINES

_
LATEST FREE AUDIO SHOWS - CLICK TO LISTEN VIEW MORE PWTORCH LIVECAST EPISODES
DOWNLOAD PWTORCH LIVECAST APP
SUBSCRIBE TO PWTORCH LIVECAST IN ITUNES


ABOUT US

THE TORCH REACHES MORE COMBAT ENTERTAINMENT FANS THAN ANY OTHER SOURCE

PWTorch editor Wade Keller has covered pro wrestling full time since 1987 starting with the Pro Wrestling Torch print newsletter. PWTorch.com launched in 1999 and the PWTorch Apps launched in 2008.

He has conducted "Torch Talk" insider interviews with Hulk Hogan, The Rock, Steve Austin, Kevin Nash, Scott Hall, Eric Bischoff, Jesse Ventura, Lou Thesz, Jerry Lawler, Mick Foley, Jim Ross, Paul Heyman, Bruno Sammartino, Goldberg, more.

He has interviewed big-name players in person incluiding Vince McMahon (at WWE Headquarters), Dana White (in Las Vegas), Eric Bischoff (at the first Nitro at Mall of America), Brock Lesnar (after his first UFC win).

He hosted the weekly Pro Wrestling Focus radio show on KFAN in the early 1990s and hosted the Ultimate Insiders DVD series distributed in retail stories internationally in the mid-2000s including interviews filmed in Los Angeles with Vince Russo & Ed Ferrara and Matt & Jeff Hardy. He currently hosts the most listened to pro wrestling audio show in the world, (the PWTorch Livecast, top ranked in iTunes)


REACHING 1 MILLION+ UNIQUE USERS PER MONTH
500 MILLION CLICKS & LISTENS PER YEAR
MILLIONS OF PWTORCH NEWSLETTERS SOLD
PWTORCH STAFF

EDITORS:
Wade Keller, editor
(kellerwade@gmail.com)

James Caldwell, assistant editor
(pwtorch@gmail.com)

STAFF COLUMNISTS:
Bruce Mitchell (since 1990)
Pat McNeill (since 2001)
Greg Parks (since 2007)
Sean Radican (since 2003)

We also have a great team of
TV Reporters
and Specialists and Artists.

PWTORCH VIP MEMBERSHIP

PWTorch offers a VIP membership for $10 a month (or less with an annual sub). It includes nearly 25 years worth of archives from our coverage of pro wrestling dating back to PWTorch Newsletters from the late-'80s filled with insider secrets from every era that are available to VIPers in digital PDF format and Keller's radio show from the early 1990s.

Also, new exclusive top-shelf content every day including a new VIP-exclusive weekly 16 page digital magazine-style (PC and iPad compatible) PDF newsletter packed with exclusive articles and news.

The following features come with a VIP membership which tens of thousands of fans worldwide have enjoyed for many years...

-New Digital PWTorch Newsletter every week
-3 New Digital PDF Back Issues from 5, 10, 20 years ago
-Over 60 new VIP Audio Shows each week
-Ad-free access to all PWTorch.com free articles
-VIP Forum access with daily interaction with PWTorch staff and well-informed fellow wrestling fans
-Tons of archived audio and text articles
-Decades of Torch Talk insider interviews in transcript and audio formats with big name stars.


**SIGN UP FOR VIP ACCESS HERE**

CONTACTABOUTFACEBOOKTWITTERPODCASTIPHONE APPANDROID APPAMAZON APPRSS
VIP SIGN-UP
VIP LOGIN
THE TORCH: #1 IN COMBAT ENTERTAINMENT COVERAGE | © 1999-2013 TDH Communications Inc. • All rights reserved -- PRIVACY POLICY