Although one can certainly make a case that the ECW PPV and Steve Austin’s appearance led to the strong initial audience for WWE RAW (3.7 opening quarter hour), it definitely seems that the prospect of the draft kept the fans interested this week.
The second hour did consecutive quarters of 4.1, leading to a 4.8 for the revealing of Kurt Angle as the draft choice in the overrun. The overrun does not quite rival some of the peaks of the past few years, but it definitely implies that there is sufficient interest in the draft.
Even if it was a flash in the pan increase, the 4.8 overrun rating gives WWE the power to fully dismiss last week’s disappointing rating as the result of increased competition from the NBA game.
Next week’s rating will perhaps tell a more important story. Without a PPV to follow or Steve Austin appearance to plug, two of WWE’s top angles – week three of the draft and the Lita/Edge wedding – highlight the show. The rating next week will test the drawing power of such angles.