Originally Posted by Mr.S
This is no surprise though. Punk is not a draw. HBK's return drew huge ratings. Lets see what the ratings are next week for HHH/Taker build-up without HBK.
Probably approximately the same, because the primary draws in this program, in descending order, are Triple H, then The Undertaker and then Michaels is a distant third, though he's obviously going to benefit by being a "special attraction" (though you could argue that Trips and Taker behoove from that general moniker, but to a considerably lesser extent--and especially in the case of Triple H who's been back, on and off, since midsummer).
The writing to the angle is helping it a lot as well. Having Undertaker issue the challenge to Triple H? Brilliant twist. The new wrinkle of Triple H not wanting to destroy the Taker brand because it's good for business? Genius. The writers can't be coming up with this, it has to be all Triple H and Undertaker.