Any time Raw follows a major WWE pay-per-view event like SummerSlam, the expectation is that the ratings should go up because fans are used to seeing big things happen after one of the most important shows of the year. While SummerSlam may not have been praised as an amazing show by everybody, I think even the harshest critics would agree that the Fatal 4-Way main event match that saw Brock Lesnar retain the Universal Title was fantastic, so at least SummerSlam ended on the right note. I know that when I tuned into Raw I wanted to see what was next for Lesnar (I had a good idea, but I wanted to see it), and I’m sure most fans felt that way, too.
It was a loaded Raw in terms of star power in the brand split era because Brock Lesnar started the show with Paul Heyman and Braun Strowman laid him out with two running Powerslams. At the top of hour two, Raw GM Kurt Angle announced that he brought somebody new to the show as “free agent” John Cena made his return to Raw after a year of being on Smackdown. That led to Cena staring down Roman Reigns in a segment that probably led to Vince McMahon yelling at the fans to cheer them.