This week’s episode of WWE Monday Night Raw was the last show before Sunday’s WWE TLC pay-per-view event. Raw was highlighted by The Shield making their first entrance as a trio in over three years, the excellent Raw Tag Team Title match and a Steel Cage match main event between Roman Reigns and his biggest rival Braun Strowman.
That Steel Cage match main event was advertised last week on Raw and then during this week’s Raw, they added a stipulation that would allow Strowman’s TLC team to gain a partner if he beat Reigns or lose Strowman if he lost. It ended with Kane making his surprising return to cost Reigns that match, which puts Kane on the heel team with Strowman, The Miz, Cesaro and Sheamus in a 5 on 3 match against The Shield’s Reigns, Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose. Why? Because the world is clamoring for 5 on 3 PPV main events?!?! I don’t know. We’ll cover it more in the preview later this week, I promise.
In terms of Raw’s viewership numbers, the news isn’t good because Raw did an average of 2.688 million viewers for the three hour show according to Showbuzz Daily. That’s nearly 200,000 viewers down from last week’s 2.871 million viewers. Last week’s Raw also did over three million viewers in the first hour while this week’s high was nearly 300,000 less than that.
The three hour breakdown for Raw this week saw 2.731 million viewers in the first hour, 2.728 million in hour two and the third hour was last like usual with 2.606 million viewers. It is worth pointing that last week’s third hour with Enzo Amore vs. Kalisto in the main event did 2.711 million viewers, so even with a huge main event of Reigns vs. Strowman, this week’s third hour did poorly. Clearly, they needed to put Enzo Amore in the main event slot again to give it the boost it needed. I’m kidding…I think.
In terms of competition from other cable networks, it was a tough night for WWE because ESPN did 8.38 million viewers for the Tennessee Titans vs. Indianapolis Colts NFL game that was close most of the way until the Titans blew it open late. Meanwhile, Fox Sports 1 did 5.12 million viewers for the New York Yankees blowout win over the Houston Astros. That’s over 13 million viewers for those two sporting events, so clearly some of them may have been WWE fans that chose not to watch Raw.
As for next week’s Raw, nothing is advertised yet, but it’s the fallout show from TLC, which usually does provide a small boost in the viewership numbers. We’ll find out next week.