WWE executives and partners were surprised when last week's post-SummerSlam episode of Raw didn't reverse the show's Summer-long ratings slump.
This past Monday, August 31, 2015, the company pulled out a bunch of tricks - announcing matches and segments in advance, including heavily promoting the appearances by two of last week's surprise returns. And Sting's heavily hyped show-opening promo and Bubba Ray & D-Von Dudley's first live televised WWE match in a decade helped the numbers bounce back.
It wasn't anything earth-shattering, but it was the best number they've posted since they broke 4 million with the June 15 episode when Brock Lesnar returned from kayfabe suspension to challenge Seth Rollins for the WWE championship. 3,894,000 viewers (a roughly 4 per cent bump from last week)
Hour one: 3,865,000
Hour two: 3,987,000
Hour three: 3,831,000
Next week is a holiday in the United States, and king football returns to the airwaves the week after that, so expect more of these tactics and probably some new tricks as well, as WWE attempts to prevent much more than their typical Autumn backslide.
For complete results and the live blog from Raw click here. For a recap with reactions to all the night's events click here. To watch highlights of the show click here.