Despite the fact that Monday Night Raw last night (Jan. 6, 2014) in Baltimore was up against the BCS National Championship Game between Florida State and Auburn, and the fact that it was a nail-biter of a showcase that saw the Seminoles pull out the victory in the final minute, the "Old School" themed episode of Raw did incredible numbers.
Florida State vs. Auburn did over 25 million viewers, one of the best numbers in the history of cable television. Still, Raw managed to average 4.54 million viewers for all three hours. The hourly breakdown looks even better:
Hour one: 4.72 million
Hour two: 4.43 million
Hour three: 4.46 million
Apparently it pays to go old school with legends of days gone by. It helps that Ric Flair was garnering a ton of mainstream attention thanks to his visiting the San Francisco 49ers in the middle of the NFL playoffs.
And don't forget about the big return of Jake "The Snake" Roberts.
This was a well promoted show that delivered plenty of entertainment with stop stars bringing the goods in the roles they were assigned. Flair was great kicking off the show and making a later appearance, Roddy Piper had a memorable "Piper's Pit" segment with The Shield, Brock Lesnar injured another superstar with his devastating kimura, and the CM Punk vs. Roman Reigns main event, featuring the aforementioned return of Roberts, came through in spades.
As fun as this night was, it deserved to do well.