This week, a combination of Memorial Day, the Stanley Cup Final, and … uh … the go-home show for Extreme Rules all added up to a 2017 low in the ratings for WWE Raw. So just a standard episode of Smackdown Live (one that only featured three matches and a non-match that set up the first women’s Money in the Bank) probably didn’t do so hot either, right? Well, not exactly!
While Raw has been trending downward for all of May, Smackdown Live has been on an upswing. Call it the “Jinder Effect,” if you will. (You probably shouldn’t, because the WWE Champion only appeared on this week’s Smackdown via Titantron taunting.) According to ShowBuzzDaily, Smackdown Live increased its viewers for the second straight week.
Tuesday’s show drew an average of 2.35 million viewers, and was the No. 1 show on all of cable television for the night, easily besting Deadliest Catch, which is … apparently still a thing! Good for those crabgrabbers! Last week’s episode of Smackdown pulled in 2.33 million viewers, so it’s not a massive increase, but Smackdown was up by more people than Raw was down between the two weeks. So WWE can spin that however they want.
Of course, the other factor is that, unlike Raw, Smackdown was up against neither an NHL game nor an NBA game, so the explanation could be as simple as that. But Raw is at 2.61 million and Smackdown is at 2.35 million, and that sure seems like striking distance to me. Smackdown has only beaten Raw in viewers twice since the brand split (and the first of those was the actual WWE Draft itself, which happened on the inaugural Smackdown Live), so they can’t toot their own horns yet. But Xavier Woods is on Smackdown now, so if there IS a need for tooting, they definitely have it covered.