WWE Ends Up-and-Down December Raw Viewership on a Positive Note

Bill AtkinsonAnalyst IJanuary 4, 2013

Dolph Ziggler and AJ Lee get slimed with a substance resembling diarrhea at the close of the New Year's Eve edition of Raw. (WWE.com photo)
Dolph Ziggler and AJ Lee get slimed with a substance resembling diarrhea at the close of the New Year's Eve edition of Raw. (WWE.com photo)

WWE closed out an up-and-down viewership month in December on an up note.

According to a report on WrestlingNewsWorld, the Dec. 31 pre-recorded show drew an average of slightly more than 3.5 million viewers—significantly up from the dismal Christmas Eve show average of 3.14 million viewers. It also outdrew the Dec. 3 Raw average of 3.4 million viewers.

The New Year’s Eve show drew the third-highest average viewership of the month, trailing the post-TLC show on Dec. 17 (4.11 million viewers) and the pre-TLC show on Dec. 10 (3.76 million viewers).

For WWE, the Dec. 31 numbers should provide a little bump in momentum heading into the first live Raw of 2013 next Monday night. It also could be a little balm for the sting WWE felt from the Christmas Eve numbers—the lowest average Raw viewership in the last 15 years.

Several things need to be taken into consideration when looking at the December numbers.

First, the Dec. 3, 10 and 17 shows were on opposite ESPN’s Monday Night Football, which always rules Monday nights during the football season. On Dec. 3, Raw faced off against a New York Giants-Washington Redskins telecast. That game featured the defending Super Bowl champions against rookie sensation QB Robert Griffin III and the streaking Redskins.

Second, pre-recorded shows like Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve traditionally draw lower numbers because people are usually very busy during the holiday season.

Third, the Christmas Eve show was recorded almost a week before it aired, which meant there probably were more than the average number of spoiler reports across the Internet. The New Year’s Eve show was taped only two days before it aired, therefore reducing the amount of time for spoilers to hit the Internet.

Both pre-recorded shows had their share of comedic moments. Apparently, though, the WWE Universe preferred seeing Mae Young give birth to the New Year Baby and Dolph Ziggler and AJ Lee being sprayed with a substance resembling diarrhea to seeing Alberto Del Rio run over Santa Claus with his car.

Regardless, the New Year’s Eve numbers should give WWE reason for renewed optimism as it heads into 2013 and the milestone Raw 20th Anniversary show on Jan. 14. The anniversary show in Houston is rumored to include a slew of WWE’s biggest stars and alumni.


Follow me on Twitter at @BAtkinson1963.