The 25th anniversary of Raw was hyped by WWE for months. With all of the promotion and build-up to the show, many fans were thinking why doesn't WWE hype up their pay-per-views as much as they did this special episode of Raw?
We don't have the answer to that question, but we can tell you that all of the hype, promotion and build-up paid off in terms of viewership. According to ShowDailyBuzz.com, Raw 25 pulled in the best ratings WWE has seen for a Raw episode in three years.
The show drew in 4.530 million viewers compared to 3.250 million for last week's episode. The opening segment of Stone Cold Steve Austin stunning the McMahons like it was 1998 paid off as Raw's first hour was its best hour. The show steadily lost viewers throughout its duration as Hour 1 had 4.8 million viewers, Hour 2 had 4.6 million viewers and Hour 3 had 4.1 million viewers.
The last Raw episode to top the 25th anniversary show aired on March 30, 2015. That was the night after WrestleMania 31 in which Seth Rollins cashed in the Money in the Bank briefcase to defeat Roman Reigns and Brock Lesnar for the WWE Championship.
Ironically the 20th anniversary of Raw did nearly identical numbers to the 25th anniversary. Raw 20 aired in January 2013 and posted a 4.55 compared to Raw 25 posting a 4.53. They both pale in comparison to the 1000th episode of Raw which had over 6 million viewers in July 2012.
Overall, WWE will view Raw 25 as a success and the three hours ranked as the top three programs for all cable shows on Monday. WWE has aired plenty of special episodes for programming over the last 25 years and they are usually spaced out, but not this year. SmackDown's 1000th episode is just a few months away and hopefully WWE used Raw 25 as a test case to what works and what doesn't.
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