The return of Vince McMahon was something of a mixed bag when it came to ratings.
Last night's show did 3.17 million viewers on average, even with the advertising of Vince's return and the expectation he would announce who would be running both shows. Vince himself was a draw, because the third hour, which usually drops, was just slightly below the second hour.
It was the first hour that was down the most. With the exception of the July 4th show, which really shouldn't count, it was the lowest first hour for a non-holiday show of the modern era. That even includes going against the NBA playoffs. Overall, the three hour show it was the fifth lowest mark of 2016.
Raw is usually down against the Home Run Derby, so the number is a mixed bag. Vince's returns in theory should have helped more, but it did keep the audience better than usual. Next week, with the Dean Ambrose vs. Seth Rollins title match advertised a week in advance, and the draft on Tuesday, are ratings that will tell a lot more.
There should be an increase without the competition. And the real test will be a few weeks after the brand split, because there should be an early jump, particularly to Smackdown, before you can see where it levels off at.
The Home Run Derby on ESPN did 5.52 million viewers. Raw was only fifth for the night on cable, also trailing Rizzoli & Isles (4.14 million viewers) and Major Crimes (3.92 million) on TNT and the O'Reilly Factor (3.22 million viewers) on Fox News.
The three hours were:
8 p.m. 3.04 million viewers
9 p.m. 3.24 million viewers
10 p.m. 3.23 million viewers
Last week's number, being on July 4th, really doesn't count. The June 27 show, with no sports competition, did 3.09 million viewers.