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Gauntlet match proves to be major ratings success for WWE Raw

The 107 minute gauntlet match proved to be a major ratings success on Monday night with 3.27 million viewers going against the Olympics.

The first hour, where Seth Rollins faced the two most pushed full-time stars in the company, Roman Reigns and John Cena, was up 7.2 percent from the same hour the week before. However, the continuation of the gauntlet, involving Rollins, Elias, Finn Balor, The Miz, and Braun Strowman maintained the audience better than usual, and was up 9.1 percent from the second hour the prior week.

The key in evaluating was both how well the first hour did, which was far above what it would have been expected to do, as well as how well hour two, after the two big matches, maintained, which was also far better than it would have been expected to do.

It was a huge victory for proponents of long matches on television and also likely shocked a lot of people.

The show fell hard, losing 20 percent of the audience after the second hour, which is one of the largest second-to-third hour drops on record. But that was to be expected.

The Olympic coverage on NBC did 16.36 million viewers, down from 20.30 million viewers the previous week, so that should have slightly helped Raw. Raw was overall up 5.5 percent from the prior week.

Raw was easily the highest rated show on cable, with Rachel Maddow on MSNBC in second at 2.98 million viewers. It also beat Fox network programming but Fox ran all repeats.

The three hours were:

  • 8 p.m. 3.52 million viewers
  • 9 p.m. 3.51 million viewers
  • 10 p.m. 2.82 million viewers