It's been a while since WWE has been in the five million territory when it comes to viewers for its flagship program, Monday Night Raw, but that's exactly what they got with last night's (Jan. 28, 2013) show from Las Vegas, Nevada.
Featuring all the fallout from the highly successful Royal Rumble pay-per-view (PPV) the night before, Raw drew a 3.6 rating for an average of 5.02 million viewers for all three hours.
To give you an idea of how good that is, Raw hasn't had a number like that since July 23, 2012, with the heavily promoted Raw 1000 show. Outside of that, you would have to go all the way back to the night after WrestleMania 27 in 2011.
Here's the hourly breakdown:
Hour one: 4.86 million viewers
Hour two: 5.27 million viewers
Hour three: 4.93 million viewers
Still that pesky problem of viewers dropping off from the second to the third hour but these are phenomenal numbers driven by fans curiosity to see what WWE would do coming out of the Royal Rumble. That includes John Cena having won the Rumble match and The Rock coming to Raw with the WWE championship around his waist for the first time in over a decade.
Already, that decision is paying off.
With the return of Brock Lesnar, there's no reason to think we won't keep seeing numbers like these all the way up to and shortly after WrestleMania 29 on April 7 in New Jersey.