Hour 1 was the first hour of Monday Night RAW to do over 4 million viewers since Hour 2 of the July 20th show earlier this year. This was the first show to open at over 4 million viewers since June 15th. Hour 3’s 3,825,000 viewers were the highest since 3,830,000 on August 31st. The average viewership was the highest since that same August 31st show. That show featured the return of Sting.
RAW’s viewership average was 10.67% higher than the 2014 post-TLC show, which averaged 3,510,000 viewers. This was just the 3rd week in the last 52 that RAW showed an increase in viewers from the same week the previous year. One of those was the post-Mania show, which aired a week earlier this year.
November’s weekly average viewers for RAW was 3,168,000 viewers, down almost 18% from the November 2014 average of 3,988,000. That was the 12th straight month that RAW showed a decreased number of viewers from the same month a year prior. Even with the impressive number on Monday, RAW is averaging just 3,469,000 in December, down from 3,628,000 in 2014. The show would need to average about 3.8 million viewers over the next two weeks to stop the streak at 12 months of declining ratings. And it would take an extended ratings turnaround for RAW to hit the pre-Mania numbers of 4.035 million (January), 4,013,000 (February) and 4,228,000 (March) of 2015 even with no competition from Monday night football.
Obviously the buzz surrounding the closing angle of TLC the night before piqued curiosity in this show, leading to the very strong first hour. RAW managed to maintain most of that audience throughout the show. Theoretically the numbers should’ve increased in the third hour leading to the championship match but perhaps fans felt that WWE wouldn’t deliver on a decisive finish and title change. The fact that they did could bring back fan confidence that they have turned things around heading into the Royal Rumble-Wrestlemania season.