WWE Raw Ratings Drop Despite Triple H's Return, Clash with Randy Orton

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistJanuary 12, 2021

FILE - In this Jan. 9, 2018, file photo, Paul
Willy Sanjuan/Associated Press

Monday night's episode of WWE Raw, headlined by an unsanctioned fight between Randy Orton and Triple H, yielded worse ratings than last week's show.

According to Showbuzz Daily, Raw averaged 1.819 million viewers during its three-hour time slot on USA Network, which was down from last week's 2.128 million.

This week's Raw faced some stiff competition in the form of the College Football Playoff National Championship Game between Alabama and Ohio State.

WWE champion Drew McIntyre was originally scheduled to face Orton on Monday, but it was announced before the show that McIntyre tested positive for COVID-19. As a result, it was Triple H who opened up the episode with a promo.

Orton interrupted and demanded that Triple H either hand him over the title or grant him the No. 30 entry spot in the Royal Rumble match.

When The Game refused to give in to his demands, Orton challenged him to a fight. Triple H refused at first, but The Viper mentioned Triple H's wife, Stephanie McMahon, which prompted The Cerebral Assassin to punch Orton and then accept his challenge later in the night.

The Viper and Triple H duked it out in the closing stages of the show until the lights went out, signaling the apparent return of "The Fiend" Bray Wyatt. Instead, Alexa Bliss appeared in the ring, while Triple H was nowhere to be found.

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In retaliation for Orton burning The Fiend alive at TLC, Bliss shockingly shot a fireball into Orton's eyes, which is how Raw went off the air.

Another key moment on Raw saw WWE Hall of Famer Ric Flair turn on his daughter, Charlotte Flair, by helping Lacey Evans beat her. Ric apparently aligned with Lacey, as they left the building together after Evans' victory.

Also on Raw, Bobby Lashley beat Matt Riddle to retain the United States Championship, Sheamus and Keith Lee beating The Miz and John Morrison that led to a match between Lee and Sheamus in which Lee won, AJ Styles defeated Drew Gulak, and Jeff Hardy lost to Jaxson Ryker before beating Elias.

     

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