With WWE taking a slightly different approach to last night’s Raw – as in, stringing the audience along with an episode-long main story – it looks as if this experiment worked well for Vince McMahon’s sports entertainment juggernaut.
The ratings are now in, and this week’s Raw outing averaged 1.88 million viewers. That’s nearly the same rating as last week – which had a natural post-Elimination Chamber bump - and it makes last night’s show the Raw episode that’s best held viewership this year.
Likely even more importantly, the most recent Raw was up 50% on the week-to-week figures where the 18-34 demographic is concerned – with the figure in that demo hitting 0.39.
What is most encouraging for WWE is that the audience largely stuck with this episode from start to finish, even though audiences were served up two shoddy non-spectacles between Bobby Lashley and The Miz before Lashley finally claimed the WWE Championship at the end of the night.
Going against regular Raw trends, the audience went up from the first hour to the second, and the usual drop-off from Hour 1 to Hour 3 was the lowest seen in a long time, at just 5%. Is this a one-off? Does it mean fans are keen to see Lashley as WWE Champ? Is the overall Raw product finally doing enough to maintain interest? We'll have to wait and see.