The Authority started to turn things around for Raw ratings in 2015, but WWE needed something special to compete with the first every finals of the College Football Playoff on ESPN, which drew over 33 million viewers on Monday, January 12th opposite their flagship show.
So they used one of WWE World Heavyweight Champ Brock Lesnar's dates, and put returning fan favorite Daniel Bryan in the center of promotion. But that wasn't the key ingredient.
Word went out early in the day, first from TMZ and then from WWE themselves (a lot), that Macho Man Randy Savage would finally be enshrined in the company's Hall of Fame. And it looked like that, and an opening match between John Cena and Seth Rollins, was enough to get folks to check in with Raw.
Once it became clear that the Savage announcement would be teased out all night...viewers drifted.
Regardless, the overall number was good - 3.9 million, an increase of 3.5% over last week's 3.75 million.
The hourly breakdown tells the tale:
Hour one: 4,095,000
Hour two: 3,897,000
Hour three: 3,722,000
Four Hall of Famers will show up in Dallas next Monday night to sell Royal Rumble, with no football in sight, so the upward trend should continue. By how much? We'll find out...
For complete results and the live blog from Raw click here, and for a full recap with reactions to all the night's events click here.