This past week’s episode of WWE Raw featured a match considered a classic so far this year, and its popularity with fans is evident based on the viewer numbers. The latest three-hour episode of Raw featured two-thirds of the show built around a Gauntlet Match featuring all seven men’s competitors for Sunday’s Elimination Chamber 2018 match. The match featured an impressive performance by Seth Rollins and it kept fans engaged for the first several hours of the show which is something that Raw has had issues with.
The latest numbers were presented in a report from PW Insider. As Dave Scherer notes, the latest show saw a jump in terms of overall viewers from 3,105,000 average viewers the week prior to 3,283,000 average viewers for the Monday, February 19, show. The fact that the match spanned the first several hours also meant fewer viewers stopped watching in the second hour of Raw. It’s mentioned that there was only a dropoff of about 9,000 viewers between the first and second hours. For the show in the week prior, there was a dropoff of about 46,000 viewers. That probably is a good indication that fans were invested in the outcome of the latest match and it was a winning formula for Raw.
In particular, viewers including WWE talent were praising the performance that Seth Rollins put on by lasting in the match for over an hour. Rollins defeated Roman Reigns and John Cena in his first two encounters before he was worn down and ultimately eliminated from the Gauntlet Match by Elias. Elias would go on to get pinned by Finn Balor, who lost to The Miz next. In the end, Braun Strowman stood tall by chasing down the WWE Intercontinental Champion and defeating him as the final competitor.
It’s likely that the match was used as a way to try to boost fan interest in the upcoming WWE Elimination Chamber 2018 pay-per-view since many fans feel the matches will be predictable. With the Gauntlet Match, all seven competitors for the match were on display in a two-hour time window and it left possibilities open that Seth Rollins, Braun Strowman, or any other competitor could win.
It will be surprising if WWE goes that long with their men’s chamber match on Sunday since it’s a three-hour-long pay-per-view with several other matches including a women’s Elimination Chamber match. That said, it seems fans certainly got a rare treat on this latest installment of Raw, leaving fans to wonder what else WWE can come up with to hold the viewers’ interest on future Monday night shows.