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WWE Raw ratings down slightly for John Cena return, Stephanie McMahon vs. Brie Bella set-up

Last night's episode of Monday Night Raw in Houston, Texas was the second road on the road to SummerSlam.  It featured John Cena's return and response to Paul Heyman and Brock Lesnar's challenge to his WWE World Heavyweight Championship and officially set-up a couple of matches for the August pay-per-view (PPV) in Chris Jericho vs. Bray Wyatt and Stephanie McMahon vs. Brie Bella.  And that doesn't even get into the epic and shocking end of Bo Dallas undefeated streak.

While it couldn't quite match the excitement of the Brock Lesnar return from last week, Raw still pulled good numbers.  Down a bit from last week at 4.32 million viewers (a 3% drop from 4.43 on July 21st), that is still a nice bump from the 4.15 million the Battleground go home show two weeks ago.

Those eyeballs translated to a 1.4 rating in the 18-49 demographic - down 5% from last week's 1.47, but up from 1.33 the week before that - and a 3.05 overall household number.

One negative is that this was the first time in several weeks that viewership dropped off for the third hour of the show.  Hopefully that had more to do with their threatening us all night with THE DEMON KANE and not proof that a women-centered storyline shouldn't anchor the show:

Hour one: 4.40 million
Hour two: 4.51 million
Hour three: 4.05 million

So, John Cena's return got beat by Brock Lesnar's return overall, but folks also tuned out knowing the champ wasn't the main event.  You win some, you lose some...

For complete results and the live blog from Raw click here. For a full recap with reactions click here. To watch the show click here. Watch the Cageside Live post show here.

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