This week’s Raw including a main event with a shocking title change, as Roman Reigns defeated Sheamus to become the WWE World Heavyweight Champion. It was only the second title change of any kind on WWE TV in 2015, with the other happening way back in January. The title match was the culmination of a show-long story line featuring Reigns, including the first appearance of WWE CEO Vince McMahon in nearly a year, and the attempt to cash in on his newly-won fan support in the wake of the TLC Pay Per View appears to have paid off, as Raw’s ratings and viewership were up in a big way.
Hour 1 (8pm-9pm): 4.04 million viewers, 1.32 demo rating
Hour 2 (9pm-10pm): 3.79 million viewers, 1.29 demo rating
Hour 3 (10pm-11pm + overrun): 3.825 million viewers, 1.4 demo rating
Notice that for the first time in a very long time, the ratings for the third hour not only did not drop, but actually rose from the second hour. Overall, the show averaged 3.885 million viewers and a 1.34 rating in the coveted 18-49 demographic, which is the highest viewership since August. Hopefully WWE can maintain this momentum headed into the holiday season and the beginning of the Road to WrestleMania in January.