WWE knew it would be up against stiff competition with a Cincinnati Bengals vs. Denver Broncos game on ESPN -- sure enough, it did almost 16 million viewers, the highest of the year on Monday Night Football -- and they responded by bringing Vince McMahon back to Monday Night Raw. Then, they arrested him. That's without mentioning the television return of John Cena in the night's main event.
The result? The show drew 3.53 million viewers, up from last week's 3.50 million.
The hourly breakdown shows high interest early and a drop that wasn't too significant as the night moved along.
Hour one: 3.70 million
Hour two: 3.49 million
Hour three: 3.43 million
There's still the college football national championship game on Jan. 11 but the NFL has finished up its run on Monday nights for the year. That means we can expect a bump in viewers starting next week.
Unless, of course, the decline is worse than anyone could reasonably expect. We shall see.
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.