WWE Monday Night Raw saw a dip in its average viewership during its "going home" show ahead of FastLane pay-per-view on March 4. Despite an appearance by Goldberg and the injured Seth Rollins, the average viewership was 3.093 million viewers. That’s down from 3.216 from last week.

Artwork: Brian Mazique (WWE.com)

Why?

It’s hard to say for sure, but the decline could be due to a particularly dead juncture in the storyline build up to WrestleMania 33. Most fans are predicting Goldberg will defeat Kevin Owens at FastLane to set up a match against Goldberg at WrestleMania 33. When you already step 3, step 2 can be easy to ignore.

From the looks of the poll results, the majority of the members of the WWE Universe who actually tuned in to watch Raw on Monday didn’t like what they saw.

What does that mean for FastLane? It could lead to a lower level of engagement. The creative team didn’t necessarily do a good job crafting an unpredictable series of events leading up to WrestleMania 33, but who knows, perhaps a swerve or two is in store for Sunday’s pay-per-view.

Smackdown Down in Viewership, Up in Approval

The Blue brand isn’t heading into a predictable pay-per-view, but perhaps fans weren’t expecting much from this episode of Smackdown. The average viewership for Smackdown fell to 2.566 million after sitting at 2.792 million last week.

There was no main event match per se on the card. AJ Styles was in action in an entertaining match with Luke Harper. Styles pulled out the win after Shane McMahon came to the ring and took an inadvertent kick to the chest from Harper.

Styles is supposedly the new No. 1 contender for Bray Wyatt’s WWE World Title, but there could be more funny business in store.

The final segment showed Randy Orton finally turning on the Eater of Worlds, but it was a little awkward. There was no elaborate plan to overthrow Wyatt at WrestleMania, only Orton burning down a shack where Sister Abigail’s remains lay at rest.

Apparently, members of the WWE Universe weren’t as critical. it was overwhelmingly well received:

What The Universe Is Watching

In fact, Orton burning down the Wyatt compound isn’t just the most-viewed Smackdown video released this week, its 1.6 million views (at the time of publishing) was the most overall on the WWE’s YouTube channel.

The top-viewed Raw video was Roman Reigns’ contract signing with Braun Strowman. While it has obviously been up longer, it still has only just under 1.3 million views (at the time of publishing).

Coming off a pay-per-view Raw should see a bit of a boost next week, but Smackdown has been consistently well received throughout 2017.

Follow Brian "FranchisePlay" Mazique on Twitter @UniqueMazique and subscribe to his gaming YouTube channel: FranchisePlay Sports

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