Jerry Lawler's highly anticipated return to Monday Night Raw went down last night (Nov. 12, 2012) at the Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio, live on USA.
But the average ratings remained steady.
It certainly looks like his segment was a big boost in the second hour, though, because the numbers look good in the hourly breakdown, though more won't be known until the quarter hours come in. The three hour show averaged 4.2 million viewers and here are the averages for each hour.
Hour one: 4.0 million
Hour two: 4.3 million
Hour three: 4.1 million
That's why WWE wanted Jim Ross to cover the first part of the show so they could get one really great segment out of Lawler's return complete with a speech to the fans, an insanely good heel promo from CM Punk, Paul Heyman faking a heart attack of his own, and Mick Foley absolutely snapping on the both of them for their actions.
It was compelling television but the ratings aren't significantly better than they might have been otherwise.
As for the competition, Monday Night Football on ESPN, featuring the Pittsburgh Steelers defeating the Kansas City Chiefs in overtime, 16-13, scored 12.82 million viewers. That really shows the strength of the NFL these days, considering the game itself wasn't all that entertaining and featured a team, the Chiefs, who came in with a 1-7 record and one of the worst offenses in football.
Still a thorn in Vince McMahon's side.