The returns of both CM Punk and Randy Orton saw the ratings for WWE’s “Monday Night Raw” rise by nearly a third over last week.
The Best in the World and the Apex Predator helped the “Raw” viewership rise to 1.88 million viewers, up 29% over last week and 13% over the comparable show a year ago. That is the highest viewership for a “Raw” episode since August 7.
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In addition, this week’s episode drew 863,000 viewers in the adults 18-49 demographic, up 34% over last week and 64% over last year. In adults 18-34, this week’s show drew 344,000 viewers, up 44% over last week and 58% over last year. Both demo numbers were the highest for “Raw” since April 3.
Punk shocked the wrestling world when he made his return to WWE at the “Survivor Series” event on Nov. 25. He infamously left the company in 2014 over a variety of issues. He did not wrestle again until 2021, when he joined rival promotion AEW. He was with that company until September of this year when his contract was terminated allegedly over a backstage incident with another wrestler.
Orton has been a WWE mainstay since he first joined the company’s main roster in 2002. A third generation professional wrestler, Orton is widely regarded as one of the greatest to ever grace a WWE ring. He had been inactive since May 2022 after suffering a legitimate back injury during a match on “SmackDown” before making his return at “Survivor Series” and then appearing on “Raw.”
WWE is currently in the process of negotiating a new rights deal for “Raw.” It was previously announced that “SmackDown” will be leaving Fox for USA Network in October 2024 in a $1.4 billion deal. NXT will be leaving USA Network and going to The CW also in October 2024.
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