On Monday night, WWE presented a solid Raw show. Everybody has their opinions on what was entertaining, but it is time to look into the real television figures. Numbers don't lie.
For a reminder, last week's Raw drew a 3.3 rating for the standard two hours (3.06 rating counting all three hours). This week is more of the same but with more viewers than last week.
The first hour drew 4,991,000 million viewers.
The second hour drew 4,768,000 million viewers.
The official number for Raw was a 3.3 rating.
My Thoughts on This News
WWE just missed having an average of five million viewers!
In any event, Raw beat out the NBA Playoffs, Pawn Stars and a few other huge shows last night in viewership. That has to be considered a victory for WWE, even though some of the highly rated shows were not new.
Honestly, there was some buzz coming out of Sunday's Extreme Rules event. John Cena had defeated Brock Lesnar in the main event, and it was quite an interesting way to end the pay-per-view.
With both men set for Raw, it was going to be eventful. Of course, their feud looks to be over for now, but that wasn't the main story coming out of Monday night.
As you can see, the first hour had more viewers than the second hour. That trend had recently been flipped, but it has returned this week.
The Beat the Clock Challenge was introduced to viewers early on in the night. Some may not have ever seen the gimmick, but it is designed to keep fans interested in every match for the series. It didn't work out that way.
Of course, the last match was likely to be the most important. As we all saw, Daniel Bryan won his match in the quickest amount of time. He will now face CM Punk at Over the Limit for the WWE Championship.
Since the brand extension is no longer meaningful, that would seem to indicate a lot of Bryan on Raw moving forward. Maybe even some Punk on SmackDown in the next month?
Either way, a lot of the WWE Universe has been clamoring for this feud. Well, be careful what you wish for because you might just get it.
Now, let's see if these fans put their money where their mouth it at Over the Limit. Sadly, I still suspect the same illegal streams will be used by these folks.
On the other side, Triple H being "taken out" by Brock Lesnar was the other big story. That big segment began the show, and I suspect a big number for that quarter hour.
What they do in the coming weeks (or months) remains to be seen. I do not expect to see Brock or Triple H for awhile.
Finally, the show spent a lot of time hyping up John Cena's next opponent being revealed at the end of the night. That was a nice hook, as his last two big matches were against The Rock and Lesnar.
How could WWE top that in May?
Well, Cena will face John Laurinaitis at Over the Limit. If the company wants their fanbase to cheer for Cena, this is the perfect match.
One is a great heel, while the other is the top face in the industry. I wouldn't expect a lot of physical activity between the two each week, but I think viewers will tune in for this feud.
All in all, I think this was a good number. There is always room for improvement, and fans certainly have a few nice feuds to invest in during May.
On the SmackDown side, things have taken a downturn lately. Since the live Tuesday special a few weeks ago, they have not recovered yet.
The Brand drew a 1.72 rating with 2,680,000 million viewers last Friday night. That is a slight decrease from the week prior—very disappointing!
That is interesting, as Sheamus vs. Mark Henry was announced ahead of time. Also, Michael Cole interviewing Randy Orton had some intrigue behind it. This week, a big tag team match is advertised.