WWE News: Monday night Raw viewership declines despite Brock Lesnar's return
What’s the story?
WWE made good on their promises with Brock Lesnar’s return, but the viewership didn’t maintain its boost from last week.
The March 19 edition of WWE Raw averaged 3.327 million viewers and was down 25,000 from last week’s average of 3.352 million.
In case you didn’t know
The show kicked off with Brock Lesnar returning to attack Roman Reigns and resulted in the number one contender being sent to the hospital.
The biggest matches on the card were Asuka versus Alexa Bliss in a non-title match, Braun Strowman versus Cesaro and the Ultimate Deletion between “Woken” Matt Hardy and Bray Wyatt.
The heart of the matter
The following is the hourly viewership breakdown for the latest episode of Raw according to ShowBuzzDaily:
Hour one: 3.434 million
Hour two: 3.472 million
Hour three: 3.076 million
The company has been building to Lesnar’s return for the past three weeks and his segment with Reigns started the show, but the first hour of this week’s Raw was down from last week’s confrontation between Reigns and McMahon.
The viewership heading into the second hour of the program increased by 38,000, but the third hour resulted in a viewership decrease of 396,000 despite The Ultimate Deletion closing the show.
Though the show’s viewership was down, it still was one of the highest viewed episodes of the year thus far with exception to Raw 25 and the Raw after the Royal Rumble.
Every Raw episode since the Post-Elimination Chamber show has been geared towards WrestleMania 34 and this show followed that trend by announcing Bliss versus Jax for the Raw Women’s Championship.
There’s only two weeks left of WWE programming before WrestleMania 34 and the next two Raw episodes will usher in the last of the Mania matches from the red brand.
John Cena versus Kane was announced for next week’s show and could lead to The Undertaker accepting Cena’s challenge, but that is pure speculation.
Raw’s viewership decline was relatively minimal and the intrigue for WrestleMania 34 seems to have the attention of the fans.
With WrestleMania in sight, Raw viewership will depend heavily on the quality of segments and their relation to the big show in New Orleans.