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CM Punk wasn’t enough against the National Championship game

WWE came up with a successful strategy to help Raw draw viewers while competing against the College Football Playoff semi-finals on New Year’s Day. For their head-to-head with the National Championship final on Jan. 8, their strategy was largely based on the latest appearance of CM Punk.

It didn’t work as well as “Day 1” and Dwayne Johnson. Per Wrestlenomics, Monday’s episode averaged 1,464,000 viewers per hour from 8-11pm ET. With 18-49 year olds, it had a .44 rating. Both are well off the previous episode, and the lowest the show’s done since mid-November.

It’s not hard to figure out why. Sports Media Watch reports Michigan’s title win over Washington averaged 25.05 million viewers across four ESPN channels. It was up 45% from the 2023 championship game, had the second-largest audience of the college football season, and “ranked fourth in viewership among all non-NFL sportscasts since 2018.”

Folks did tune in for Punk, who opened the show in an electric promo segment with Drew McIntyre. But that was all he did on the episode, and not everyone stuck around to see what followed. As Wrestling Observer notes, “The Punk segment did 1.76 million viewers and 0.52. Nothing else on the rest of the show came close.”

Next week Raw will go up against an NFL playoff game in Philadelphia vs. Tampa Bay, and counter with suddenly red-hot Jinder Mahal. We’ll see how that goes.

In the meantime, here’s a rundown of the past year’s worth of Raw’s numbers:

* Pre-recorded “Best of” show

For complete results and this week’s Raw live blog click here. To read a recap & review of the night’s events click here. For video highlights of the show click here.

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