Most viewed WWE YouTube videos from Raw and SmackDown (Dec. 25 - 26, 2017), plus the top Superstars' most viewed videos of 2017

Televised WWE wrestling doesn't stop for Christmas so the YouTube view watch doesn't either - again, these are the most popular segments from this week's Raw and Smackdown as determined by late afternoon view counts on the official WWE channel:

1 Roman Reigns vs Samoa Joe (Raw) 1.4m views as of ~4pm ET Dec. 25
2 Matt Hardy attacks Bray Wyatt (Raw) 941k
3 Seth Rollins & Jason Jordan vs The Bar (Raw) 829k
4 John Cena vs Elias (Raw) 760k
5 AJ Styles vs Kevin Owens (Smackdown) 726k views as of ~4pm ET Dec. 26
6 John Cena interrupts Elias (Raw) 713k
7 Braun Strowman vs the Miztourage (Raw) 668k
8 Kurt Angle celebrates with Rollins and Jordan (Raw Fallout) 602k
9 Daniel Bryan's US title announcement (Smackdown) 574k
10 New Day vs Rusev Day vs Gable & Benjamin (Smackdown) 563k
11 Asuka declares for the Royal Rumble before knocking Alexa Bliss out (Raw) 556k
12 Bobby Roode vs Baron Corbin (Smackdown) 449k
13 Jinder Mahal vs Tye Dillinger (Smackdown) 424k
14 Enzo Amore and Nia Jax continue to flirt (Raw) 377k
15 Kane vs Heath Slater (Raw) 339k


Well, so much for my usual "Samoa Joe isn't drawing on TV" line, though he did have to face one of the most consistently well performing figures in the aftermath of injuring a top face and force them into drastic action to do so - and 24 hours later it's sprinting away onto 2.3m views. What's almost as interesting here is that Fallout video, and in fact as of me typing this a day later it's put on another half a million views, still behind Woken Matt and the actual match but increasing at a faster rate than either. Kurt has always been a strong performer on this metric for fairly obvious nostalgia reasons and it's possible people are only just finding out about this, but given nothing really happens in the clip and that, while fairly strong, neither Seth nor Jason have done that well on their own it does feel like a very late show of support for Jordan, maybe just as the storyline doesn't need it.

This Matt-Bray feud is really capturing the imagination, although it's worth noting that the last two weeks had seen Hardy cool off and it's easy to imagine a new audience are more attracted by physicality and crazy laughing as the new character traits than whatever wider, wilder form the Wokenverse ends up taking, in the same way as Breezango have always been far more talked about and admired for their commitment than actually watched and cared about by a wider audience - their match with Bludgeon Brothers is the least watched TV segment outside the cruiserweights and their most watched video of all hasn't cracked half a million in total.

Broadly, as well as being a week of people understandably waiting to catch up it's one of comparative underachievement and overachievement. The Asuka/Alexa confrontation has done a lot better than either of them usually do, especially Asuka who hadn't previously cracked 300k as the focus of a video, but Alexa being beaten down has usually improved her numbers of late and (as craig00000 pointed out) the upload's title has 'Royal Rumble' in it which may have provided an artificial boost. To lesser extents it may be the Smackdown tag title picture is taking off to reflect the match quality and Bobby Roode looks like finding a gear to attract people at last, but Enzo and Nia are less over here the more over they appear to be with crowds and Kane and Braun haven't taken last week's runaway momentum with them. At least they're in the top 15, although the latest version of the Raw women's six-man Naomi vs Ruby Riott (in that order) are less than 20,000 views short. Finn Balor's match is at #21 with 232k views. Maybe Vince was onto something.

As it's the end of the year, I couldn't leave the YouTube research alone without looking back at the year in viewer engagement. The most watched video uploaded to the WWE channel in 2017 was Rey Mysterio vs The Great Khali from Smackdown in 2006, with 29.8m views. The most watched videos from this year involving the big names and WWE's other brands were, in similarly descending order:

Matt and Jeff Hardy: extra footage of their Wrestlemania return (~23.2m views as of Dec. 27th, the most watched video from this year on the channel)
Braun Strowman: overturning an ambulance (17.6m; his getting in Brock's face on the Raw after Mania has 10m views)
Mae Young Classic: Dakota Kai vs Kavita Devi (14.6m)
Brock Lesnar, Goldberg and the Undertaker: all three going face to face on Raw in January (14m; Taker challenging Roman for Mania is on 10.4m)
Roman Reigns, Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose: reuniting the Shield (12.9m)
Shinsuke Nakamura: Smackdown debut (11.7m)
John Cena, Nikki Bella and The Miz: the first two interrupt Miz TV (10.7m)
Samoa Joe: brawl with Lesnar, 7/3 Raw (8.7m)
Randy Orton: vs John Cena, 2/7 Smackdown (7.8m)
Kurt Angle: revealed as new Raw GM (6.4m)
Bray Wyatt: Randy Orton burning down the Wyatt compound (4.9m)
Carmella and James Ellsworth: vs Cena & Nikki Bella, 3/7 Smackdown (4.6m)
Jinder Mahal: world title Punjabi Celebration (4.5m- Great Khali's return at Battleground, which doesn't feature Mahal in the title or thumbnail, is 6.7m)
AJ Styles: vs Cena at Royal Rumble (4.3m)
Enzo Amore: being beaten down by Strowman and the Cruiserweights in September (3.9m)
Dolph Ziggler: being taken out by Nakamura, 4/11 Smackdown (3.8m)
Kevin Owens: attacking Vince McMahon (3.4m)
Shane McMahon: leading the Raw siege (3.3m)
Paige: her Raw return (3.1m)
Finn Balor: returning to team with Seth against Owens & Joe on the Raw after Mania (2.6m)
Rusev: interrupting Cena's 4th July return (2.5m)
Baron Corbin: vs Cena, 1/10 Smackdown (2.3m)
Natalya: vs Nikki Bella, Falls Count Anywhere, 2/21 Smackdown (2.3m)
Bobby Roode: Smackdown debut (2.2m)
NXT: Seth calling out Triple H in San Antonio (2.1m; no NXT match from 2017 has yet got into a million views, War Games being the most viewed)
Sami Zayn: Strowman Last Man Standing from the first Raw of the year (2m)
Charlotte Flair and Bayley: Raw title match on 2/13 (1.9m)
Cesaro: vs Jeff Hardy, 4/17 Raw (1.89m)
Daniel Bryan: announcing the women's Money In The Bank re-run (1.88m)
Sheamus: the Bar and Joe brawling with the Shield two weeks ago (1.86m)
Alexa Bliss and Sasha Banks: Raw title match on 8/28 (1.7m, though Sasha made up as a zombie is on 3m)
Naomi: being forced to relinquish the Smackdown title (1.7m)
New Day and the Usos: rap battle, 7/4 Smackdown (1.7m)
Becky Lynch: vs James Ellsworth, 11/7 Smackdown (1.6m)
205 Live: Tajiri vs Sean Maluta from the first show of the year (1.2m)

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