There’s no denying that Dean Ambrose’s WWE return back on the August 13th edition of Monday Night RAW was a long awaited and welcome one for many members of the WWE Universe.
Of course, Ambrose had been on the shelf with a torn triceps since December 2017 and there was talk his absence was prolonged due to complications from surgery (read about that here). Recently, ‘The Lunatic Fringe’ spoke with The Monitor ahead of tonight’s RAW Live Event in Edinburg, Texas and confirmed the previous rumors of him suffering a setback:
“It was just one nightmare after another. It was a pretty challenging period of time to go through. I ended up having two different surgeries. I had this MRSA, Staph infection. I nearly died. I was in the hospital for a week plugged up to this antibiotic drip thing, and I was on all these antibiotics for months that make you puke and crap your pants.”
Ambrose would go into further detail, discussing how it has also felt to finally be back:
“So it was a pretty rough time. My arm wasn’t healing correctly, and my triceps. It’s kind of an indeterminate period where I initially hurt it. I thought it was, we call it Dusty elbows. It’s a pretty typical wrestler thing. You just get this bursa sac of fluid on your elbow from banging it on the mat or whatever. I’ve had that dozens of times on both elbows. It usually just goes away. It was kind of disguised. By the time I finally went and got the first surgery, my triceps was already starting to atrophy and look weird. I wasn’t able to flex my triceps for a really long time. And then the first surgery didn’t really, something went wrong in the process. Probably due to that infection. It’s kind of hard to say when that really even got in my body. This is a long answer to your question. But for a minute there, it was getting scary. By the time I got that second surgery, it was March, I think. My arm was so shrunken and skeletal that it was weird. I hadn’t been able to move it or flex it in so long that I was starting to get scared I wasn’t ever going to get it back. To go from not being able to eat my Froot Loops, to being able to get back in the ring and throw people around and throw punches and do everything back to normal, it was a very gratifying feeling.”
Quotes c/o The Monitor
You can check out the full, in-depth interview with Dean Ambrose at this link.
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WWE News: RAW Rating Declines Heading Into Royal Rumble, Drops To 2nd In Ranks (1/21/19)
The ratings are in for this week’s WWE RAW!
After some pretty abysmal weeks for Monday Night RAW in the ratings during December, the red brand was able to turn things around the last couple of weeks with increases in their audience. Could they keep it up for this week’s final edition before Royal Rumble?
While the numbers were delayed this week due to the holiday, they have now dropped and the red brand’s viewership has gone back the other direction with a 2.462 rating, down 9.55% from last week (check out last week’s ratings and ranking report). Here’s how the last four weeks of ratings look for RAW:
- December 31st: 1.968
- January 7th: 2.324
- January 14th: 2.722
- January 21st: 2.462
Meanwhile after a week at the top of the Cable Top 150 Rankings for the 18-49 demographic, Monday Night RAW has dropped down one spot to second this week. Here’s Monday night’s top five:
- NBA Basketball/Warriors vs. Lakers – TNT – 0.97
- Monday Night RAW (8PM) – USA Network – 0.95
- Monday Night RAW (9PM) – USA Network – 0.85
- NBA Basketball/76ers vs. Rockets – TNT – 0.79
- Monday Night RAW (10PM) – USA Network – 0.77
EA’s Take: So are the ratings down because people were insulted by Alexa Bliss’ “risque” segment last week or are they down because there wasn’t another one? Just curious, but of course I ask that in jest. The last couple of weeks for RAW, I found the show to be much more entertaining that it’s been in quite some time and honestly, I felt it was better than SmackDown Live’s efforts. However, I didn’t feel that way this week and it looks like a lot of others may agree. Personally, I’m thinking people tuned in at the start of the show to see what was going on (which is why the 8PM hour drew the highest rating) and then when they got a glimpse of it, they started tuning out as the show progressed. Going into one of the biggest pay-per-views of the year, I found this week’s RAW to be disappointing.
EA’s Weekly RAW YouTube Report (1/21/19)
A look at the YouTube performance for this week’s WWE RAW!
As we all know, social media and other outlets have become a huge means of drawing in interaction and viewers for WWE. Most people will point to television ratings like they did during the Monday Night Wars in the late 1990’s, however that can be skewed with so many various means of watching today that do not include cable television.
As you’ve become accustomed to, here is this week’s RAW YouTube Report (2:30 PM EST, 1/23/19):
- Finn Balor vs. Braun Strowman – 2 million views
- Finn Balor stands up to Braun Strowman & Brock Lesnar – 1.7 million views
- Ronda Rousey & Natalya vs. Sasha Banks & Bayley – 1.5 million views
- Seth Rollins vs. Drew McIntyre – 647k views
- Lacey Evans interrupts Alexa Bliss’ big announcement – 637k views
- Apollo Crews vs. Bobby Lashley – 400k views
- Heavy Machinery’s first RAW match – 396k views
Our new number one contender for the Universal Title is featured at the top of the RAW YouTube ranks this week, clocking in with 2 million and 1.7 million views respectively. A big leap for Finn Balor on YouTube and something we haven’t really seen from him in the past. So can we really give him full credit? I don’t believe so. Braun and Brock are proven number grabbers, so while this is a good sign for Balor and any possible chance he has of defeating Lesnar at Royal Rumble, I’m not jumping the gun on his YouTube drawing power yet.
Coming in third this week is RAW’s usual top draw for the Women’s Division, as Ronda Rousey teamed with Natalya to meet Bayley and Rousey’s Royal Rumble challenger, Sasha Banks. There’s only been one instance I can recall where ‘The Baddest Woman on the Planet’ was in a match on RAW that didn’t pull a million and that was last week (see last week’s RAW YouTube Report). So this is much more the norm for her, as I saw last week as an aberration.
Everything from our number four clip on comes nowhere near cracking the top three, starting with that number four spot that saw two Men’s Royal Rumble favorites clash in Seth Rollins and Drew McIntyre. Talk about two guys who have lost steam. McIntyre never quite reached the level of being a YouTube draw and has even seen numbers fall in recent weeks. Meanwhile, a lot of fans’ pick to win the Men’s Royal Rumble has also lost a lot of his YouTube luster. I know there are going to be members of the WWE Universe who don’t want to hear it, but Seth’s feud with Dean Ambrose killed off a lot of that momentum.
Falling just under Seth Rollins vs. Drew McIntyre is the first time we see Lacey Evans do anything of significance on television, after only appearing backstage a couple of times, usually in the background. This may seem like a high number for a new face, but she’s a new face, which garners interest. On top of that, we also got Alexa Bliss announcing her return to the ring in the Women’s Royal Rumble this Sunday, certainly helping the clip out as well.
Rounding out our list this week at numbers six and seven are what I’ve been calling the “best of the rest”. Number seven I can explain since it was the first time we got to see Heavy Machinery in action, albeit against some local enhancement talents. Again, new equals interest nine times out of ten. However, Bobby Lashley vs. Apollo Crews beats out the RAW Tag Team Title Match, Elias vs. Baron Corbin, a promo from Dean Ambrose…quite frankly (and this is a complete guess), I’m wondering if the freshness of this match did the trick.