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Gauntlet match brings the viewers to WWE Raw

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WWE tried something different with the latest episode of Monday Night Raw on Feb. 19. How successful the decision to devote the first two hours to a seven man gauntlet match was will depend on who you ask and what criteria they’re judging on. But numbers-wise, we can tell you it delivered. More viewers tuned in than the previous week’s 3.10 million, and most of the ones who watched the first hour stuck around for the second.

Overall, Raw drew 3.28 million pairs of eyes on President’s Day (that U.S. holiday was the reason for the delay in the release of viewership data this week). That figure comes from the following breakdown:

Hour one: 3.52 million
Hour two: 3.51 million
Hour three: 2.82 million

That was good enough to deliver WWE and USA the biggest audience and best demographic share among 18-49 year olds among cable originals on the night.

It was not good news for the women who made up the bulk of the third hour. The final 60 minutes have routinely seen drops, but one which approached three-quarters of a million viewers is eye-popping. Seems the television audience was as worn out by the gauntlet as the fans in Phoenix’s Talking Stick Resort Arena.

Next week will be the fallout show from the Elimination Chamber pay-per-view (PPV) and the official start of the Road to WrestleMania 34. Which you’d think will make up for the likely lack of a two hour match.

For complete results and the live blog for Raw this week click here. To read a complete recap and review of all the night’s events click here. For a full playlist of the show click here.