WWE Raw posts highest viewership since 2020, second-highest demo of the year

Originally published at https://www.postwrestling.com/2022/08/02/wwe-raw-posts-highest-viewership-since-2020-second-highest-demo-of-the-year/

WWE Raw posted its highest viewership in over two years with the episode following SummerSlam under the new creative leadership of Paul Levesque.

The August 1st edition of the show from Houston averaged 2,230,000 viewers and approximately 769,000 (0.61) in the 18-49 demographic, topping all cable programming for the night, with data from Brandon Thurston of Wrestlenomics and Showbuzz Daily.

WWE Raw last night on USA Network (8-11pm):
2,230,000 viewers
P18-49 rating: 0.61
📊 https://t.co/1SscdBCpr8 pic.twitter.com/uaeJmoV6ES

— Brandon Thurston (@BrandonThurston) August 2, 2022

It was the most-watched episode of Raw since March 16, 2020, which was the first empty arena episode during the pandemic featuring Steve Austin appearing on the show and the re-airing of the men’s Royal Rumble match that year. In the 18-49 demographic, it was only the second-highest of the year – trailing the number set on April 4th following WrestleMania 38.

The show had many factors working in its favor combining a well-received SummerSlam show on Saturday, heightened curiosity regarding changes to the product since the change in creative oversight, and the first hour of the program airing commercial-free that would swell the first sixty minutes of the program.

The commercial-free first hour averaged 2,433,000 viewers and 0.65 in the 18-49 demographic and was the most-watched hour of Raw since February 17, 2020.

The second hour dropped to 2,288,000 viewers and 0.62 in the demo.

The third hour averaged 1,969,000 viewers and 0.56 in the demo and was the most-watched third hour of Raw since January 4, 2021, for a “Legends Night” edition of the show.

Over the three hours, overall viewership dropped by 19 percent and 18-49 fell by 14 percent from hour one to hour three. The largest loss was among adults 50+ that dropped 21 percent throughout the show while the audience the best retention was among females 12-34 who only fell by three percent. Adults 18-34 only dropped by ten percent throughout Raw.

Overall viewership increased by 17 percent this week, the 18-49 demo grew by 19 percent (28.5 percent gain among females and a 15 percent jump among males), adults 18-34 were up by 22 percent, adults 35-49 were up by 23 percent, and adults 50+ increased by 14 percent.

The show was structured around stronger than usual wrestling matches including a show-long series of matches to determine the next challenger for the United States Championship, and The Usos defending the Undisputed Tag Team Championships against Rey & Dominik Mysterio.

Canadian numbers are delayed due to the holiday on Monday.

WWE on A&E

The fourth week of WWE programming on A&E included a two-hour edition of Biography on Kurt Angle, WWE Rivals focus on Angle vs. Brock Lesnar, and a new episode of Smack Talk.

The two-hour Angle documentary, which was excellent, averaged 406,000 viewers and 0.11 in the 18-49 demographic, ranking #32 among cable originals on Sunday.

It would rank as the least-watched episode of Biography among WWE subjects and down from last week’s previous low covering The Bellas which averaged 420,000 and 0.12 respectively.

WWE Rivals covering Kurt Angle and Brock Lesnar’s feud from 2003 averaged 361,000 viewers and 0.09 in 18-49, which ranked #39 among cable originals.

This week’s edition of Rivas dropped 15 percent in viewers and decreased 40 percent in the demo from last week’s episode on Steve Austin and The Rock, which was the most-watched of the four episodes.

WWE Smack Talk averaged 208,000 viewers and 0.06, finishing #72 among cable originals and down from 212,000 and 0.07 last week.

This Sunday’s line-up features Lex Luger being profiled on Biography and WWE Rivals will cover WWE vs. WCW.

Five more episodes of Raw before Monday Night Football. Savor that demo number while it lasts, folks.

But seriously, glad to see there’s still a potentially interested audience left to be tapped when something notable and seemingly positive happens.

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You have to think, there is also the cynical fan as well. The cynical jaded fan that thinks nothing will change. Once that fan realizes things are changing creatively, I think that more fans will come back. This rating doesn’t surprise me at all, but I agree that MNF will effect things.

Just watching some of the show now… The matches are better, the promos are better. But Dunn cuts are still epically nauseating.

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They made the US title look better then it’s looked in years, and they didn’t even do much.

Agreed with the camera cuts, it’s brutal.

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The camera stuff is terrible, but it feels even worse now, because I’m disappointed (in addition to nauseated) whenever a particularly bad sequence happens.

As I posted elsewhere, my hope is that they’ve got somebody waiting in the wings, they’re just making sure that person can do the job before they bag Dunn… which I’m sure is neither cheap nor easy.

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