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WWE Raw ratings up for first episode of Paul Heyman era

The first Paul Heyman Raw saw an immediate 9.7 percent increase in ratings from last week and a turnaround from the usual ratings pattern.

The key is that the first hour was up only three percent, which would probably be a combination of curiosity over the Heyman news and the big explosions and Bobby Lashley/Braun Strowman angle to start the show off strong.

But this week, instead of declining, the second hour jumped big, and was 16 percent ahead of last week. It was the second hour that really made the big difference as far as ratings, and of the segments, it would look on paper that the lengthy Undertaker segment was the key. The second hour also included AJ Styles, Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson building up a Ricochet vs. Styles match, Lacey Evans vs. Natalya, and Miz vs. Elias. 

The third hour, built around Styles vs. Ricochet, Alexa Bliss & Nikki Cross, the 24/7 title, and Maria Kanellis lambasting Mike Kanellis after their mixed tag, was up 10 percent from last week, but it was still a 12.4 percent drop from hour two. But comparing hour one to three, the five percent drop would be the lowest in a long time.

Raw was third for the night on cable. It was only down 7.7 percent from the same show last year.

The first-to-second hour growth was strong across the board. The added viewers in hour two, usually a decline, were 10 percent in women 18-49, seven percent in men 18-49, 13 percent in teenage girls, and 15 percent in teenage boys. So this style was strongest with teenagers, the age group WWE television has had huge losses with over the past year.

The three hours were:

8 p.m. 2.47 million viewers
9 p.m. 2.68 million viewers
10 p.m. 2.35 million viewers