The Chairman of the Board, Vince McMahon, has to be a happy camper today.
WWE pulled out all the stops for the company's 1,000th episode of Monday Night Raw last night (July 23, 2012) in St. Louis, bringing back a bevy of legends and stars of times past to help kick off the new era of three hour shows every week.
D-Generation X reunited, The Rock returned to reveal he'll be challenging for the WWE championship at Royal Rumble in 2013, AJ left Daniel Bryan at the alter in their wedding before being announced as the new permanent Raw General Manager, The Miz won the Intercontinental title, Undertaker returned for one night to reunite the Brothers of Destruction, Lita and the APA returned to squash Heath Slater one final time, CM Punk turned heel while retaining his WWE championship and Brock Lesnar returned to accept Triple H's Summerslam challenge to main event that pay-per-view.
It was a stacked show and the ratings reflected as much. In fact, they were through the roof.
Raw scored a 3.84 rating for the three hour episode and averaged 6.02 million viewers. They haven't done numbers like that since Feb. 2009 around WrestleMania 25. The show ended up averaging 5.44 million viewers for the first hour that started at the new time of 8 p.m. ET -- which has to be considered a resounding success -- before garnering 6.32 million average viewers for hour two and 6.30 for hour three.
Those are outstanding numbers. Naturally, there's going to be a decline next week but the important news here is that WWE, if only for one night, had a ton of new eyeballs on its product. Even if only some of them stick around, that's a win for the promotion.
For complete results and the running live blog from this past week's episode of Raw click here. To listen to Sergio and myself gab about the show on the Cageside Live podcast click here. And for complete reactions to all the night's events click hhere.