Lately, the WWE has seen a steady decline in the ratings each week. Fans have grown more and more disappointed with the quality of the show. The company decided to bring back Vince McMahon to “shake things up.”
As one would expect, with the announcement of Vince McMahon’s return, the intrigue of exactly what the WWE was going to change, and the fallout from the TLC PPV, the ratings went up compared to last week.
As reported by ShowBuzz Daily, Monday Night Raw had an average viewership of 2.547 million, which is a big jump when compared to last week’s average of 2.194.
While it’s a solid increase, it’s not exactly setting the world on fire in terms of numbers. For a bit of perspective, WWE put up a slightly better rating on October 22 — the show when Roman Reigns was forced to relinquish his Universal Championship due to his battle with leukemia. That episode drew 2.548 million viewers on average.
There was clearly a lot of interest at the start of the show, as the first hour drew a viewership of 2.717. According to Wrestling Inc., last week’s first hour drew 2.347 million viewers. As is usually the case with Raw, the audience tuned out as the three-hour show progressed.
Hour two garnered 2.558 million viewers, and hour three averaged 2.367 million viewers.
That’s a pretty substantial drop-off, but it’s better than most weeks. The WWE took a risk running a lengthy women’s gauntlet match with quite a few characters that haven’t been built well in the storyline for the third hour, but it seemed to retain slightly more viewers than most episodes.
In a surprise to no one, the highest-rated show going against Raw on Monday night was the NFL game between the New Orleans Saints and Carolina Panthers, which did an impressive 13.01 million viewers. This is one of the highest-rated Monday Night Football games of the season, so for Raw to put up an improved number against such heavy competition is a good sign.
NEXT WEEK on #RAW…
– @RondaRousey vs. @NatbyNature for the #RAW #WomensTitle
– @WWERollins vs. @BaronCorbinWWE
– @HeymanHustle celebrates the holidays
– @FinnBalor vs. @HEELZiggler vs. @DMcIntyreWWE
– @IAmEliasWWE vs. @fightbobby in a #MiracleOn34thStreetFight pic.twitter.com/ftpzASSoMG
— WWE (@WWE) December 18, 2018
Overall, Raw was fifth on the night for cable broadcasts. It was beat by Rachel Maddow on MSNBC, which did 3.015 million views; SportsCenter at midnight; The Monday Night Kickoff show; and the big game itself. Of course, if you add in network broadcasts, there are quite a few more shows that beat Raw, but those have the advantage of being in more homes.
While an increase is encouraging, it’s really on WWE to build upon the increased viewership with content that fans want to see, and it’ll be interesting to watch whether the company is able to do that.