Tuesday night’s episode of Smackdown Live was the go-home show for Sunday’s WWE Backlash pay-per-view, but it was a fairly uninspired iteration, with some lopsided tune-up matches and basic rehashing of the previous week’s events. It ended with Jinder Mahal laying out Randy Orton and posing with the WWE Championship, in a possible preview of what’s to come on Sunday.
It’s possible that the not-as-good-as-usual episode of Smackdown was due to the stiff competition it faced all night from the NBA, but it’s also possible that Backlash is being viewed as the B-est of B-shows. Either way, the show managed to pull in the lowest Smackdown Live ratings of the year, and the lowest since election day last November.
Showbuzz Daily reports that despite coming in at No. 4 for the night, it took a seven percent tumble in viewership, and was down eight percent in the coveted 18-49 demographic. The two-hour show pulled in 2.175 million viewers, down from last week’s 2.348 million.
The actual content of Tuesday’s Smackdown is likely not to blame nearly as much as the fact that NBA had Game 2 of the Western Conference Finals, as well as the NBA Draft Lottery, which came in at No. 1 and No. 2 for the evening, respectively. It turns out people just like watching Steph Curry cook. Who knew?