It was just a few months ago when Monday Night Raw hit its all-time low in terms of ratings, thanks in part to the episode landing on the Fourth of July. The three-hour broadcast averaged 2.62 million viewers, marking the smallest audience WWE’s flagship program had ever reached since its 1993 inception. Only a few weeks ago, WWE skated dangerously close to that big patch of thin ice, pulling in 2.68 million viewers against the season premiere of Monday Night Football. But now, they’ve crashed through into the icy depths below, thanks in part to a certain WWE Hall Of Famer who has a proclivity for delivering yuge ratings.
That’s right: The Presidential debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump — aka the man who shaved Vince McMahon’s head at WrestleMania 22 and has no idea how to sell a Stone Cold Stunner — absolutely trounced not just Raw but everything in the ratings, drawing in a whopping 81 million viewers across a whole slew of networks. In comparison, Raw averaged 2.46 million viewers for the three-hour broadcast, with the unopposed first hour drawing 2.8 million, the second hour pulling in 2.3 million and the third hour bottoming out at 2.2 million. (I guess people weren’t pulled back in after the debate ended by Enzo and Cass making gay jokes as much as WWE was hoping.)
Unfortunately, this isn’t the end of the presidential debates potentially interfering with WWE programming. The vice-presidential debate is scheduled for Tuesday, October 4 — the same night as Smackdown Live — and the second presidential debate will take place Sunday, October 9 — at the same time as the Smackdown-exclusive No Mercy special will air on the WWE Network. The third and final presidential debate lands on Wednesday, October 19, so if WWE is smart, they’ll just burn off an entire episode of NXT with Oney Lorcan vs. Steve Cutler in a headlocks-only iron man match.
(numbers via Showbuzz Daily)