2015 has been a tough year for the WWE, what with the poor decision to make Roman Reigns the controversial Royal rumble winner, to the Undertaker’s bizarre victory over Brock Lesnar at Summerslam and the anti-climactic return of the Dudley Boyz.
Things have not been helped by the fact that many key members of the roster are currently absent through injury; Seth Rollins, Sting, Cesaro, Tyson Kidd, and most recently Sin Cara (which will, in turn, cripple the promising Kalisto) have all missed long stretches.
The safe, and obvious decision to make Sheamus WWE champion sums up a disappointing year in the WWE, and this was conveyed through a severe drop in ratings, as well as fans exiting the stadium before the main event on Raw prior to the TLC pay-per-view.
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Ratings had dropped to an unprecedented low, leading to WWE’s creative team deciding to strip Sheamus of the title on Raw’s main event following the TLC pay-per-view.
However, things seemed to have turned a corner jsut as 2015 was ended. That's because, on the December 21st, the chairman, Vince McMahon, made a rare appearance.
With McMahon's Raw appearance coinciding with the news that the company’s biggest star, John Cena, would be making a return seemed to prick the interest of the WWE Universe.
The December 21 Raw attracted approximately 3.376 million viewers. On December 28 this figure increased by 5%, to 3.576 million.
McMahon embodies the perfect authority figure for Roman Reigns to rise against. This is the appeal the WWE Universe craves.
Last Monday on Raw, McMahon delivered a perfect and interesting promo, resulting in his arrest, while daughter Stephanie bemoaned the sight of her father being hauled off by the NYPD.
John Cena’s return also sparked interest, which the company decided to leave for the final hour of the show. Despite the drop in viewers from beginning to end, Raw ended up as the third most watched show on cable television.
Overall, the WWE must look to 2016, and leave 2015 in the past. The company has an opportunity to create fresh interesting story lines with the return of various superstars, most notably Cesaro and Rollins.