WWE's downward spiral when it comes to Monday Night Raw's viewership hit a new low this week. According to ShowBuzz Daily, the May 4, 2020 episode drew an average of 1.686 million viewers, the smallest audience for any episode of Raw in history. The show's viewership had taken a consistent dip over the past couple of months since the show was forced to take place inside the empty WWE Performance Center without fans, but this was the first time it managed to do worse than the 2018 episode that aired on Christmas Eve, the previous record holder.
Hour 1 (1.817 million) had the second-worst viewership behind only that Christmas episode. Hour 2 and 3 (1.691 million and 1.560 million) were the lowest-viewed second and third hours of the show's 27-year history.
This week's Raw served as the go-home show for Sunday's Money in the Bank pay-per-view and included AJ Styles winning a gauntlet match for the final spot in the titular ladder match, Charlotte Flair beating Liv Morgan, The Viking Raiders pinning The Street Profits in a non-title match, Cedric Alexander and Ricochet suffering a surprise loss, a VIP Lounge segment featuring Nia Jax, Shayna Baszler and Asuka and a quick main event between Drew McIntyre and Murphy.
Here is the full card for Money in the Bank as of now:
- WWE Championship: Drew McIntyre vs. Seth Rollins
- WWE Universal Championship: Braun Strowman vs. Bray Wyatt
- SmackDown Women's Championship: Bayley vs. Tamina
- SmackDown Tag Team Championships: The New Day vs. The Miz & John Morrison vs. The Forgotten Sons vs. Lucha House Party
- Men's Money in the Bank Ladder Match (filmed at WWE Headquarters): Daniel Bryan vs. Rey Mysterio vs. Aleister Black vs. King Corbin vs. Otis vs. TBD
- Women's Money in the Bank Ladder Match (filmed at WWE Headquarters): Asuka vs. Shayna Baszler vs. Nia Jax vs. Dana Brooke vs. Lacey Evans vs. Carmella
Styles' sudden return to television one month after being buried alive at WrestleMania 36 by The Undertaker was reportedly part of WWE's response to Raw's sinking ratings. That solution will continue next week, as Becky Lynch, Edge and Randy Orton are all booked to appear for the first time since early April.
During an investor's conference call in late April, Vince McMahon was asked about Raw's ratings and said part of the reason for the decline had to do with building new stars. He also specifically mentioned the absence of Brock Lesnar as one major reason.
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