Raw After WrestleMania draws big against NCAA, huge number in Canada

Originally published at Raw After WrestleMania draws big against NCAA, huge number in Canada

WWE Raw scored its highest viewership in over a year coming out of WrestleMania Weekend and going against the NCAA basketball championship game.

The April 4th edition of the show from Dallas averaged 2,101,000 viewers and approximately 820,000 (0.63) in the 18-49 demographic, according to Brandon Thurston of Wrestlenomics and Showbuzz Daily.

WWE Raw (post-Wrestlemania) last night on USA Network:

2,101,000 viewers (highest since Jan 4)
P18-49: 0.63 (820,000) (highest since Aug 23)

📊 More demos & analysis: https://t.co/1SscdBCpr8 pic.twitter.com/7wG9ixOSqm

— Brandon Thurston (@BrandonThurston) April 5, 2022

It was Raw’s highest overall viewership since the “Legends Night” edition of the program on January 4, 2021, which featured appearances by Hulk Hogan and Ric Flair.

It was also Raw’s highest 18-49 audience since August 23rd of last year following SummerSlam.

The show was up 12 percent in overall viewers and increased 14 percent in 18-49 from last week’s “WrestleMania Raw” episode. The show saw a massive 41 percent increase in adults 18-34 including men growing by 54 percent this week in that demo and women up by 25 percent. Adults 35-49 were flat compared with last with men slightly down but women in the demo up by nine percent.

The show got off to a tremendous start with 2,318,000 viewers and 0.68 in the 18-49 demo for the first hour of the show. It opened with Cody Rhodes appearing on Raw for the first time in six years after making his return at WrestleMania Saturday. It was the most-watched hour in over two years going back to March 16, 2020, for the first Raw inside the empty Performance Center.

The second hour averaged 2,114,000 viewers and 0.63 in the key demo before the third-hour drop to 1,871,000 viewers and 0.58 in 18-49. The show was headlined by Roman Reigns and The Bloodline coming out for a short promo segment after Reigns became the Undisputed Universal Champion on Sunday night by defeating Brock Lesnar in the main event of WrestleMania.

The third hour was the most-watched final hour of the program since the Legends Night show in January 2021.

The first-to-third hour drop saw overall viewership decline by 19 percent throughout the episode while the 18-49 fell by 15 percent. The largest drop was in the 50+ demo where it saw a decrease of 23 percent in the rating throughout the episode. Females 18-49 had the smallest decline with only eight percent tuning out throughout the show.

The number is extra impressive given that it aired against the Kansas vs. North Carolina championship game in the NCAA tournament. The game began at 9:18 p.m. ET and was simulcast on TNT, TBS, and truTV with the game being the only programming that topped WWE on Monday night.

The game averaged 9,543,000 viewers and 2.53 in 18-49 on TBS, it did 5,578,000 and 1.45 on TNT, and 1,931,000 and 0.74 on truTV.

Last year’s Raw after WrestleMania was broadcast from inside the ThunderDome and averaged 2,206,000 viewers and 0.68 in 18-49 but did not air against the NCAA final.

In Canada, the show did a monstrous viewership average of 349,000 viewers and 207,000 in the 25-54 demographic on Sportsnet 360. In the time that I’ve regularly been receiving the numbers in Canada, no episode has come close to that viewership figure. We don’t have a breakdown of the other sports programming in Canada but should have it by Wednesday.

It’s the first RAW I’ve seen in a year and it was all for Cody. I imagine a lot of people were the same

This was massive. I thought they’d get killed vs. NCAAs, I am happy to be wrong. Good for them. (no sarcasm, I do root for WWE to grow in popularity because I like when Vince makes me money, and not the other way around)

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I feel like a lot of it was for Cody. I tuned out after his segment and flipped to the game.

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I don’t think I have watched an episode of Raw in over a year. I tuned in for 2 main reasons.

The first is like some others have commented I want to see how Cody settles in. I think it was such a huge mistake for AEW to let him leave. Think about how it seemed that everyone in AEW rallied around how much they don’t like how WWE treats wrestlers. There is no way anyone would leave AEW for WWE. And then…Cody goes back? If you could think of AEW as having a leader Cody comes to my mind as much as anyone along with the Bucks, Kenny, and Jericho. Now if I’m an AEW wrestler like MJF I’m 100% calling Cody and asking questions trying to see if I’d fit in there. Cody worked with everyone and has so many connections. He worked with legends like Sting, Arn, Jericho, JR, Schiavone, etc (some in ring, some backstage, etc). He worked with young talent from the Nightmare factory, Darby, Sammy, MJF, Starks, etc. If WWE treats Cody well this totally opens up the option to leave AEW for any star whose contract is up. Some will never leave like the Bucks (although I would have said the same about Cody a few months ago so who knows?) but this at least makes it more of an option than it has ever been in the past.

The second reason I tuned in was because how much fun I had watching Wrestlemania. I had forgotten that WWE can be fun to watch. I have been hating on them for years now. Actually I think some of my disdain for them began when I saw how Cody left and was interested in what he had to say. I tuned in to Wrestlemania last year due to it being the first big WWE show post-pandemic. It was just nice to see wrestling happening in front of large crowds again. This year was even more fun to watch. While it isn’t for everyone I have seen many positive comments about it online and that is such a nice step in the right direction for WWE.

I made it about 45 minutes or so into this episode of Raw. I believe I turned it off shortly after watching KO count down waiting for Ezekiel to leave the ring only to leave the ring himself when he got to zero for some reason. Oh well. I could go on and on looking for flaws but that is what has stopped me from getting any enjoyment out of WWE for many years now. I’m trying to look at it like a glass half full these days now that Cody has joined them.

Proves that competition is good for business!

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