The final episode of Raw before WrestleMania was helped out by a strong performance in hour three.
The entire episode averaged 3,350,000 viewers on the USA Network, which was only down 10,000 viewers from the prior week despite going against the NCAA basketball finals between Michigan and Villanova. The basketball game averaged 13,283,000 viewers on TBS going up against the final two hours of Raw.
Raw began with 3,430,000 viewers in the first hour, which was higher than last week’s opening hour and featured the “faceoff” segment involving Ronda Rousey, Kurt Angle, Triple H, and Stephanie McMahon.
The second hour fell 3% with an average of 3,329,000 viewers and then did a strong 3,314,000 viewers for the third hour of the show.
With the exception of the 25th Anniversary of Raw, it was the highest third hour the show has posted since the night after WrestleMania 33 one year ago.
My only theory for the unusual level was that the tease of The Undertaker answering John Cena’s challenge before the end of the show was something the audience was anticipating following Cena’s promo at the conclusion of the second hour. The show built to a closing segment involving Brock Lesnar and Roman Reigns as well.