You know the score with this feature by now, hopefully - we take the temperature of WWE right now by looking at their official YouTube channel's viewing stats around 4pm ET the following day, as after the original clamor to watch, or watch again, what just happened and offer an implicit approval of what's hot the numbers don't move that much after that length of time.
We're going to start things slightly differently this week, with the top uploads around 4pm on January 29th, the day after Royal Rumble:
1 Rey Mysterio enters the match 3.5m views as of ~4pm ET Jan. 29
2 Ronda Rousey appears 1.4m
3 Trish Stratus enters 1.2m
4 Brock Lesnar puts Braun Strowman through the announce table 1.1m
5 Rey Mysterio post-show interview 685k
6 AJ Styles Pele Kicks Kevin Owens 475k
7 Rousey post-show interview 385k
8 Hurricane Shane Helms post-show interview 201k
9 Shinsuke Nakamura post-show interview 195k
10 The Bar double team Seth Rollins 173k
Now, the Rousey moment was uploaded in video form onto several other popular sites which likely took away some traffic. But right at the source and where WWE themselves would be pointing to outside Twitter it may have done as well as expected, but that's still well behind the one night only (at least for now) returning hero. In fact 24 hours later the gap is even more ridiculous, putting on almost as much again to stand at 6.7m views (Rousey 2.3m, Trish 1.9m) and the Fallout video being past the million views mark by then too. Fast forward another 24 hours and it's slowed down a little insomuch as it now totals 8.3 million.
Rey, as mentioned here before, had the most viewed newly uploaded clip of 2017, a 2006 SmackDown match against The Great Khali totaling 31.1 million by the end of the year. It looks certain that this will become the first 2018 content to top ten million views, something only seven 2017 moments managed.
As for underperformers you can imagine someone thought Nakamura, who was responsible for one of those seven most popular videos, would do better than that. But he's been stuck in directionless purgatory for a few months before Sunday so will need time to heat back up. What's more interesting is actually a follow-up from something spotted but not written about after Raw 25 - it seems people like to see AJ Styles wrestle, they quite like watching his in-ring promos and angle advancements, but put him backstage and people turn off. His exchange with Mean Gene was that Raw's least watched televised segment, and his post-Rumble comments were watched by 102k people, slightly behind Adam Cole and Heath Slater. Is it the accent?
On now to this week's TV standouts:
1 John Cena vs Finn Balor (Raw) 1.3m views as of ~4pm ET Jan. 30
2 Braun Strowman crushes Kane (Raw) 1.2m
3 Carmella fails with her Money In The Bank cash-in (SmackDown) 1.1m views as of ~4pm ET Jan. 31
4 The Miz vs Roman Reigns (Raw) 726k
5 Asuka vs Sasha Banks (Raw) 605k
6 Stephanie McMahon announces the women's Elimination Chamber, then Sasha interrupts Asuka (Raw) 560k
7 US Championship #1 contender Fatal 4-Way (SmackDown) 513k
8 AJ Styles & Shinsuke Nakamura vs Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn (SmackDown) 509k
9 Nakamura is confronted by Owens and Zayn (SmackDown) 469k
10 Elias vs Matt Hardy (Raw) 466k
Rockstar Spud Drake Maverick debuts as GM (205 Live) 394k
12 Ronda Rousey highlights package (SmackDown) 347k
13 Braun backstage with Kurt Angle (Raw) 266k
14 Usos promo (SmackDown) 257k
15 Daniel Bryan pits Owens and Zayn against each other (SmackDown) 234k
Not in the Stone Cold sense of using that word, either. WHAT?
OK, so maybe most people didn't know in advance that the cash-in failed spectacularly and it looked at first like something different and notable to them, or they just wanted to see Carmella dropkick a man again, even if it was accidental. Or maybe Ronda's appearance really has increased interest in the division as a whole, as this is the first time I can remember two womens' segments being in the top five for the week, let alone three in the top six.
Whatever the reason, Carmella's moment of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory being over a million views so quickly is a genuine surprise - we don't have a similar figure for Baron Corbin's failed cash-in as it was part of a Cena-Mahal match, two men who upset any attempt to read the popularity of something that a third party would do during their match.
It's only the second time since this feature started on Survivor Series fallout week that a SmackDown moment has gone past the magic seven figure mark - the first a Styles, Orton & Nakamura vs Owens & Zayn handicap match three weeks ago, and that didn't rack up quite as many views as this - and will likely eventually prove more popular than the most watched clip of 2017 to feature Charlotte, her Raw title match with Bayley standing at 1.9m at the end of 2017 (Carmella's was her and James Ellsworth's match with Cena and Nikki on 4.6m) Imagine what will happen when she actually cashes in.
In fact, this week is full of surprises, not least that a week after Strowman topped all the Raw 25 legends, it's the first time in a while that a Braun-Kane interaction hasn't been at number one, though it's their fifth straight confrontation to go over a million. Balor is indisputably OVER, ever more so since getting back with the Good Brothers, as after Cena being left for dead by Elias and his guitar last week relatively underperformed, getting in on a hot talent helps him back to the top.
As for Raw's big women's match the number looks a little low, maybe a reflection of how lost in the mix Sasha had become over recent months, but lands neatly between Asuka's previous two high points - 725k against Alexa, 566k versus Nia. The Intercontinental title rematch looks about consistent with last week's height, while SmackDown's secondary belt gets a boost from actually meaning something this week. Having largely failed to convert Rusev Day's overness into views, maybe this is the moment the Bulgarian Brute needed on this metric?
Matt Hardy's firework of Woken popularity recovers with the aid of someone whose own figures go in fits and starts - in fact the pre-match song for Matt is well under six figures - but again laying out Cena without Cena coming to immediately lay him out three times over may be the big push Elias needs.
Hey, look at 205 Live poking its head in there! Turns out what it needed all along was a cult Impact figure as General Manager(Oh man, don't give them ideas)! That's not the only segment to do much better than normal, as the TJP vs Tyler Bate match is at #19 with 148k, outdoing the Bludgeon Brothers, Revival and Breezango. Bate's previous appearance on the show against Enzo Amore in November only just got over the 100k mark and the Pete Dunne firecrackers have gone surprisingly unrewarded, that being the same total figure of views as their third match at Full Sail, the most watched of that trilogy, has had in just over a month. The full match from Chicago TakeOver was uploaded three weeks ago and currently stands at 219k.
Finally Mixed Match Challenge news, and while the weekly live figure is dropping off - 62,400 at its height this week, less than half the week one maximum - the Braun/Alexa odd couple are capturing the WWE Universe's hearts. A promo promising car flipping uploaded two hours before Raw was on 791k at Tuesday's checking time, while their Fallout video is on 609k, compared to 193k for Sami and Becky, and 345k for a short clip from the match itself.