With so much hype built in for Undertaker's return to WWE and the added gimmick of Monday Night Raw going "Old School" last week, the show drew an average of over five million viewers for USA. There was a drop this week, naturally, but it wasn't too terrible despite the absence of both The Rock and John Cena, the two men scheduled to headline WrestleMania 29 on April 7 in New Jersey.
Last night's (March 11, 2013) show garnered a 3.36 rating and an average of 4.81 million viewers for all three hours. Here's how the three hours break down, and yes, the same pattern that has held true for a long while now rears its ugly head once again.
Hour one: 4.98 million
Hour two: 4.89 million
Hour three: 4.57 million
Those are strong numbers no matter which way you slice it, but it seems curiosity on how WWE would treat the death of Paul Bearer (click here to find out how they did) drove a strong first hour. Then again, we are on the "Road to WrestleMania" and with no major competition currently in play, the first two hours have been solid for weeks now.
It's that pesky third hour that is still seeing a drop.
Still, it's been a surprise that WWE viewers adjusted to the earlier time slot this fast. And with plans in place for Raw to remain three hours at least through SummerSlam, it should be interesting to see if the company can figure out how to turn around the turn off in the third hour.
This may be a permanent move after all, Cagesiders. That okay with you?