It was a strong week for WWE viewership, with Raw doing their best ratings since the Superstar Shake-up show three months earlier and Smackdown followed that trend by doing their best numbers since April’s Superstar Shake-up week as well. A big reason for the rise is that Smackdown took place two days after SummerSlam. There was a lot of excitement in the air about NXT stars that could debut on the show and it actually happened when Bobby Roode showed up.
This week’s Smackdown on August 22 did 2.685 million viewers according to Showbuzz Daily, which is a rise of six percent from the August 15 show. It was one of the best rated shows of the year and the highest number since they did 3.105 million viewers on the Superstar Shake-up show on April 11. According to the Wrestling Observer, the post SummerSlam Smackdown was up to 2.714 million last year, so this year is a bit down, but it’s not that much.
The show was headlined by what might be the last AJ Styles vs. Kevin Owens match for a while as Styles retained the US Title after Shane McMahon inserted himself as the referee, much to the dismay of Owens. There was also Shinsuke Nakmaura beating up the Singh Brothers and knocking out WWE Champion Jinder Mahal with the Kinshasa knee strike. As mentioned earlier, Bobby Roode also made his “GLORIOUS” debut in beating Aiden English easily. Roode is likely going to be pushed as one of the top five stars on Smackdown.
Now that John Cena is a Raw guy, Smackdown lost some star power because most people would say Cena and Brock Lesnar are the biggest stars in the company that affect viewership the most. It will be interesting to see if Smackdown can maintain this positive momentum. They usually hover around the 2.5 million viewership range, so going above that this week is a positive sign that WWE should be happy about.