Seems like having a different guest host on WWE Monday Night Raw each week is not about ratings, and not just as a cover for not choosing an official general manager. Sounds like more than a coincidence that everyone just happens to be on in time to plug their latest project.

Maybe I’m just stating the obvious here, but the way wrestling sites write about “guest host” and “ratings” together, it seems like they’re assuming that it is just a ratings game.

While Shaq and Seth Green may have caused a ratings bump, ZZ Top surely must have caused a ratings drop for their segments. Not because people don’t like their music, but because of how terrible the pre-taped (supposedly “live”) segments were during the show. Their music would play (minus the vocals), and they seemed to have trouble deciding whether or not they should pretend to play guitar at the same time, or just acknowledge that it wasn’t live music. Thanks for showing up guys- oh… you’ve got a new album out this week? Really? What a coincidence. Oh, and Seth your new season of Robot Chicken is starting? Guest host Jeremy Piven (and the little Asian dude with him) has a new movie coming out? Wow, thanks to everyone for taking time out of your promotional tour to stop by our little wrestling show.

I like Piven’s performance in the HBO TV show Entourage, and I will say that having a host “turn heel” was a novel approach, but an auctioneer couldn’t have mentioned their movie more times in two hours than these two guys did.

I’m curious what kind of $$$’s were exchanged for what is somewhere between an infomercial and product placement (too bad Billy Mays wasn’t still available). Probably worth it to the WWE financially (in the short term) even if the ratings suffered . A little publicity from the mainstream press maybe (yes, Monday Night Raw is still on Monday nights folks). But how many weeks can you do this before pissing off your audience?

Any predictions for who will be the next few guest hosts? If I took the time to scan the release calendars for upcoming films and CDs I could probably hazard a guess. They already announced Sgt. Slaughter will be coming out of the back office to host next week. I smell G.I. Joe‘s kung fu grip, though I wonder why they wouldn’t have done that on opening week (the new G.I. Joe movie opens on Aug 7th).