1. The Austin/Tyson Melodrama Did Big Numbers For Raw
Austin's forthcoming ascendance to the WWE Championship was only one ingredient of the new brew. Using controversial, temporarily-banned heavyweight boxer Mike Tyson to put more eyes on the product was another key component. Austin had a major hand in that, as well.
Tyson's presence at the Royal Rumble segued into a heavily-hyped appearance on Raw the next night. You know how it went: Austin insinuated himself into the moment, and a wild skirmish erupted, one that made international headlines.
Raw had never before done a 4.0 rating while opposed by Nitro, but they did just that with the Austin/Tyson episode. The confrontation itself did a 4.7 rating, which itself was greater than Nitro's 4.44 composite rating. Raw had yet to beat Nitro outright since June 1996, but thanks to Austin, Tyson, and the new formula, they were closing the gap quickly.
Justin has been a wrestling fan since 1989, and has been writing about it since 2009. Since 2014, Justin has been a features writer and interviewer for Fighting Spirit Magazine. Justin also writes for History of Wrestling, and is a contributing author to James Dixon's Titan series.