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The Rock helped Raw do big numbers, even against the College Football Playoffs

After a week off, WWE returned to television on New Year’s Day. And with Raw facing competition from the College Football Playoffs, they loaded up the “Day 1” episode with two title matches.

Then they brought in Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, too.

It was a winning strategy. Per Wrestlenomics, Monday’s episode averaged 1,751,000 viewers per hour from 8-11pm ET. With 18-49 year olds, it had a .60 rating. These are the best numbers Raw’s done since CM Punk’s post-Survivor Series return to the show.

That Nov. 27 episode was up against Monday Night Football, but it wasn’t a must-see game. This past Monday both the CFP semi-finals games on ESPN delivered, with WWE having to contend with overtime of the Michigan/Alabama Rose Bowl for the first hour of Raw. That game averaged 27.2 million viewers, and Wrestling Observer says its audience peaked at 32.8 million for overtime. The game that followed it and aired opposite most of Raw, Washington’s win over Texas in the Sugar Bowl, had an audience of 18.4 million.

Johnson’s appearance came during that later game. And while he wasn’t advertised, people tuned in when word spread he’d shown up. His segment drew 2.15 million viewers and did a 0.79 rating in 18-49.

We’ll see how that carries over to the second Monday of 2024, when Raw goes up against Michigan vs. Washington for the national championship.

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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