Monday Night Raw viewership tumbles despite Stone Cold Steve Austin's return

Stone Cold Steve Austin hits AJ Styles with a Stunner

For the first time in 10 years, Monday Night Raw returned to the Mecca of wrestling.

In the heart of New York City, Madison Square Garden hosted a huge double-header of Raw and SmackDown in a change of their more recent approach to using the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.

The shows just feel a bit more special when they're inside MSG, and Vince McMahon convinced Stone Cold Steve Austin to make an appearance at the arena where he Stunnered him for the very first time in 1997.

Austin was brought in to moderate the contract signing between Seth Rollins and Braun Strowman, but he was soon getting physical with none-other than AJ Styles.

The Phenomenal One felt the full force of a Stone Cold Stunner after continuously mocking The Texas Rattlesnake, and aside from a beer bash to end the show, that was that for Austin's appearances.

WWE could have used Austin's special showing to tie into several storylines in order to keep the viewers around all evening, but as the stats from Monday night show - they tuned out in their masses.

2.36 million were watching for the first hour of Raw, but that dropped to 2.18 million in hour two, and then the dreaded sub-two million number came in the third and final hour with a figure of 1.85 million.

Stone Cold Steve Austin ended Raw with a beer bash - but 500,000 people had tuned out by then

It looks like some just watched for Stone Cold alone and once his business was done, the fans flicked over to something else.

Monday night was also the return of Monday Night Football for the NFL, and an entertaining 30-28 win for the New Orleans Saints against the Houston Texans, thanks to Wil Lutz's last second field goal, may have added to the lost numbers for WWE.

The New Orleans Saints' win over Houston Texans may have contributed to the decline in numbers for Raw

According to Bryan Alvarez of the Wrestling Observer, Raw's overall viewing figure in the States of 2.13 million was the second lowest non-holiday number in modern history for Raw.

That's not a good sign considering it was heavily promoted with Austin and the return to MSG, and more numbers like this can be expected now they're competing with the NFL.

WWE have guaranteed big incomes from USA Network for Raw, FOX for SmackDown coming up and the bi-annual trips to Saudi Arabia, so the figures shouldn't be too disheartening.

But what number does it have to get to before Vince McMahon does actually start to worry?

News Now - Sport News