PWTorch editor Wade Keller presents a special Thursday Flagship edition of the Wade Keller Pro Wrestling Podcast featuring a WrestleMania 36 Preview with ex-WWE Creative Team member and professional stand-up comedian Matt McCarthy.

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The New Year’s Eve pre-taped edition of WWE Monday Night Raw on USA Network drew 1.31 rating, the second-lowest ever, up from last week’s lowest-ever 1.22. One year ago the Jan. 1 Raw drew a 1.94 rating and two years ago the Jan. 2 Raw drew a 2.09 rating.

The December average closed at 1.49, down from November’s 1.70 rating. This is skewed lower because the final two episodes aired on holidays. Minus the holiday editions, Raw averaged a 1.64 the first three episodes of December. November of 2017 averaged 2.05 and December 2017 averaged 1.88.

The big story in ratings is the steep drop-off from the start of September through the end of December. Even subtracting the two holiday editions, Raw averaged 1.72. The same stretch last year averaged a 1.99 (excluding the Christmas night episode from the average). That’s a drop-off of 0.27. The 2016 average during that stretch averaged a 1.99. So the September-December average in 2017 was the same as 2016. That makes this sharp decline the last four months of 2018 all the more alarming.

Raw averaged 1.94 in 2018, down from 2.07 in 2017. That’s a drop-off of 0.13.

It wasn’t until September that Raw was even down much from the prior year. The January through August average rating for Raw was 2.09. The same stretch in 2017 averaged 2.13. The biggest drop-off occurred after Roman Reigns announced his cancer diagnosis and during the Saudi Arabia/Crown Jewel controversy. Raw averaged 1.81 in September and then 1.70 the next two months.

This week’s hourly viewership was 2.035 million, 2.026 million, and 1.843 million.

In the cable rankings for the key 18-49 demographic, Raw finished in the no. 4, 6, and 8 slots, behind three college football bowl games, ESPN SportsCenter Late, and CNN’s New Year’s Eve live special.