WWE celebrated the 20th anniversary of Monday Night Raw last night (Jan. 14, 2013) in Houston, Texas, with yet another three hour show that featured a series of clips commemorating all the memorable happenings from all those years on USA and, briefly, Spike TV.
There were no big returns, like the expected appearances by Shawn Michaels and Undertaker, at the very least, but despite that, the show did quite well for itself in the ratings.
Raw drew a 3.2 rating with an average of 4.55 million viewers, up from the 4.44 it drew last week up against the BCS National Championship Game. Here's how the three hours break down and yes, that old familiar pattern is rearing its ugly head again.
Hour one: 4.50 million viewers
Hour two: 4.68 million viewers
Hour three: 4.47 million viewers
That last hour featured both Ric Flair's return on MizTV for what ended up being an awful segment, and the heavily promoted John Cena vs. Dolph Ziggler steel cage match. That's without even mentioning The Rock concert. Losing viewers despite all that is a great indicator of how hard it is to maintain an audience for three straight hours every week.
Still, the numbers are strong and competition from football is now completely gone, at least until the fall. Things are looking up for Monday Night Raw as we head for the Royal Rumble.