Considering the fact that the last two episodes of Monday Night Raw were bookended by the Royal Rumble pay-per-view (PPV), it's no surprise that ratings were up for both shows. One of those featured the return of Batista and did a huge number while the other showcased all the fallout from the big event and maintained most of the audience from the week prior.
Raw averaged 4.20 million viewers for all three hours, compared to 4.86 million on Jan. 20 (Batista's return, Rumble go home show) and 4.71 million on Jan. 27 (Rumble fallout show). Here's the hourly breakdown for this week:
Hour one: 4.43 million
Hour two: 4.22 million
Hour three: 3.98 million
After the way the Daniel Bryan vs. Randy Orton feud was treated throughout the latter half of 2013, is it any surprise fans couldn't have cared less about a match between the two in early 2014? For that matter, isn't Batista supposed to be a monster draw to justify his equally monstrous push?
It's only one week, of course, but dipping below four million viewers for the third hour is not a good sign of things to come. Fans are not very confident in WWE to deliver a compelling product right now.