It was an interesting week for WWE Raw. The show was built around two key storylines with The Shield (Roman Reigns, Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose) fighting together again for the first time in over three years and also two segments featuring former Cruiserweight Champion Enzo Amore, leading to a title change in the main event.
This week’s Raw did well in terms of viewership numbers with an average of 2.871 million viewers for the three hour broadcast according to Showbuzz Daily. That’s up from 2.773 million viewers last week, but it’s down from the 2.923 million viewers from two weeks ago on the Raw following No Mercy, which was higher because numbers tend to go up following a pay-per-view.
Here’s how the three hours broke down for Raw: 3.008 million viewers in the first hour to lead the way, 2.894 million viewers in the second hour and hour three had 2.711 million viewers. That third hour number is considered good because two weeks ago the third hour had a drop of about 500,000 viewers and this time it’s under 300,000, so that’s an improvement. Some credit should go to Enzo Amore for drawing interest to the cruiserweight division that was in the “main event” spot three weeks in a row. Putting on a title match there and doing a title change with Kalisto winning the title likely helped, too.
There was some tough competition for Raw this week with the Bears vs. Vikings game on ESPN’s Monday Night Football getting 10.28 million viewers, the Indians vs. Yankees MLB playoff game got 4.49 million viewers on Fox Sports 1 and Dancing with the Stars featuring WWE superstar Nikki Bella got 9.25 million viewers on ABC.
The placement of The Shield’s first appearance was smart because it was in the opening segment following a Miz TV promo. By putting it in that slot, they were able to put The Shield on before the Monday Night Football game started at 8:30pmET. Placement for key segments like that is so important.
Next week’s Raw already has a big main event advertised for the show with Roman Reigns facing his main rival Braun Strowman in a Steel Cage match. Don’t be surprised if the match either opens the show in order to capitalize on the audience waiting for the MNF game to start or if it takes place at the end of the second hour when the MNF game is usually in halftime. WWE could opt to put it on last because the Titans/Colts game next week isn’t a particularly strong matchup.