For the first time since the heyday of World Championship Wrestling (WCW), sports-entertainment juggernaut World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) has fallen to second-place in a ratings “war,” this time lagging behind Colt Cabana’s “Art of Wrestling” podcast.
WWE’s flagship weekly program, Monday Night Raw, has lost a substantial audience to Cabana’s podcast (or “pahdcast,” in Cabanese) for the second consecutive week, thanks in large part to the appearance of elusive former WWE star CM Punk.
According to Nielsen ratings statistics and iTunes charts, the Art of Wrestling has now reached a larger audience than WrestleMania, the Super Bowl, and Impact Wrestling combined (though the latter figure is negligible).
Cabana’s podcast, recorded weekly in a studio (aaaaaaapartment) in Chicago, Illinois, has sparked many imitators — roughly 97 percent of former wrestling personalities now host podcasts — but no duplicators.
Whereas Monday Night Raw has grown bloated and stale, fans are drawn to Cabana’s breezy conversational style, his penchant for using words that don’t actually exist, his staccato pronunciation of the word “important,” and his ever-more-obscure Song of the Week.
On the most recent episode of the pahdcast, which attracted an audience of 325 million listeners, CM Punk confirmed that he will return to WWE “right after Big John Studd returns.”