The Wrestling Observer's Dave Meltzer reported prior to this week's RAW that the show's sweeping changes (including Shane McMahon's return and the debut of RAW Underground) were a product of WWE's fear of their former flagship hitting another all-time ratings low due to increased competition from professional sports leagues.
The approach worked.
RAW posted an increase of approximately 90,000 overall viewers on the previous week, hitting an average of 1.71 million across its three hours. Here's how that breaks down:-
Hour one: 1.71 million viewers
Hour two: 1.82 million viewers
Hour three: 1.61 million viewers
The second hour featured extensive marketing for Shane's comeback and the new Underground segment, as well as the big Drew McIntyre/Randy Orton segment. It'll be interesting to see which of these pulled the most viewers (the quarter-hour numbers are yet to emerge).
As far as the key 18-49 demographic goes, RAW finished fourth for the night, scoring a 0.51 rating. This is a slight increase on the previous week's 0.48.
Carrying this ratings rebound over to next week will be a tall task, as recent history tells us WWE is effective at emptying the tank to produce a brief spike on one show, but not so effective at maintaining those numbers.
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WhatCulture's Senior Wrestling Reporter. A fan since 1992, still geeking out for everything from WeeLC to mid '80s Jim Crockett Promotions. Give him a follow @andyhmurray. You'll have a great time. Maybe.