On this week’s episode of Monday Night Raw, former WWE champion Roman Reigns returned to the squared circle for an update on his battle with leukemia. Reigns left WWE in October and revealed to the world for the first time that his leukemia had returned after being in remission for years.
Reigns’ announcement was heavily promoted by WWE and it delivered the good news many fans were hoping for, as he revealed that his cancer was in remission once again and he’d be returning to action.
Although it pales in comparison to the importance of Reigns’ health and return announcement, his presence certainly gave WWE Raw a boost in the ratings as well. Raw scored its highest viewership figures in months, dating all the way back to the Aug. 20 show. Additionally, the first hour of the program when Reigns made his announcement drew its highest numbers in almost a full year.
Here are the details via the Wrestling Observer:
The return of Roman Reigns, as well as the Ric Flair 70th birthday party, led Raw to its best ratings in six months last night.
Raw averaged 2.92 million viewers this week, up five percent from the February 18 post-Elimination Chamber episode, which had been the highest rated Raw in more than five months.
The 3.17 million viewers in he first hour for Reigns was the most-watched first hour of the show since April 23.
Overall, it was the most-watched episode of the show since August 20.
This news is especially positive for WWE considering the recent ratings struggles of Monday Night Raw, which has recorded record low ratings on occasion in the past year.
In case you missed it, here was the emotional return announcement from Reigns on Raw. In just 24 hours, the video has been viewed almost 2 million times.
There’s no question that Reigns has been spotlighted as the face of WWE as the torch has been passed to him from John Cena as the company’s biggest headliner. He’s main-evented the last four consecutive WrestleManias. During that time, Reigns’ ascension to the top of WWE was polarizing amongst many fans. That’s what made it so special to see the fans show universal support for Reigns during his return announcement. His triumphant return to action will stand as one of the best feel-good stories ever told in WWE.