Up until last year, the bane of professional wrestling
For two weeks each year, the World Wrestling Federation's premier
show, Monday Night RAW, would be bumped from its usual 9 PM (EST) timeslot
on the USA cable channel for the Westminster Dog Show. They'd usually
air RAW later, at midnight or so. As a result, only around half of
the usual viewing audience would tune in. Knowing this, WWF officials
usually wouldn't book anything important for these shows--they wanted to
save big stuff for when the most people were watching.
For the first couple of years of RAW's existence, it wouldn't come close
to the Nielsen ratings that the dog show received. As wrestling
surged in popularity, however, RAW started to get average ratings of 5.0-6.0
by 1998, while the stupid dog show still only pulled in 2.0-2.5.
And yet, RAW was still cancelled every year (while still doing better than
the dog show by pulling in 3.0-4.0 in the later time slot).
It kind of became a sick joke, with WWF announcers making fun of the
dog show during broadcasts. Some wrestling fans on the Internet
also would write parody reviews of the Westminster Dog Show in the same
format as online reviews of WWF events, giving ratings to the various "matches"
and complaining tongue-in-cheek about how obvious it was that it was
The conflict was finally resolved in late 2000, when the WWF moved
RAW from USA to TNN.