It was expected that Bill Goldberg’s return, with a full week of hype behind it, would lead Raw to its biggest numbers of this year’s football season.
Going against both the NFL and baseball playoffs, Raw did 3.13 million viewers, up 14 percent from last week. It will be interesting if there is staying power and in particular, the ratings on November 14th when Goldberg and Brock Lesnar will appear on the same show.
The promotion did a good job in heavily pushing next week’s show, with the Lesnar appearance, the Chris Jericho vs. Kevin Owens vs. Seth Rollins match and New Day vs. Sheamus & Cesaro, both non-title matches, for next week while having the larger than usual audience.
Raw was fourth for the night on cable, trailing the New York Jets vs. Arizona Cardinals game (8,398,000 viewers, a very bad number), the Cleveland vs. Toronto playoff game (4,287,000 viewers) and The O’Reilly Factor (3,154,000 viewers).
In addition, for the first time in recent memory, there was an increase from hour two to hour three, although hour one was the most watched. It was clear the audience came right at the start to see Goldberg, and stayed through all three hours. By hours, the show did:
8 p.m. 3.17 million viewers
9 p.m. 3.11 million viewers
10 p.m. 3.12 million viewers