This week’s WWE Raw and Smackdown viewership numbers were delayed a few days due to Hurricane Irma affecting the state of Florida. Due to that, the Nielsen ratings system had troubles tracking the audience, but the numbers became available today and we have them for you.
The Raw audience, according to Showbuzz Daily, was down with 2.903 million viewers for the three hours, but it’s not really bad news considering the competition. The two Monday night NFL games did 11.4 million viewers for Vikings/Saints starting at 7pmET (two hours against Raw) and 9.9 million viewers for Chargers/Broncos, which started shortly after 10pmET and competed with last hour of Raw.
It was expected that the Raw audience would fall going against the NFL because that’s what happens every year from September through December. Last week’s show on Labor Day did 2.932 million viewers, so it was only slightly ahead of this week. Two weeks earlier, Raw did 3.3 million viewers, which is a number they may not be able to hit against the NFL the rest of the year. To compare it to last year, Raw did 2.69 million viewers against the first week of the NFL season, so having a bigger audience this year shows that WWE fans are more interested in Raw this year due to the Lesnar/Strowman and Cena/Reigns feuds.
The three hours of Raw did 3.022 million viewers in hour one to lead the way, 2.987 million viewers for the second hour with Strowman vs. Cena taking place at the end of that hour and there was a significant dip in hour three with 2.699 million viewers. That’s probably why WWE put Strowman vs. Cena on earlier because they knew that third hour would be lower. Of course, if Strowman vs. Cena was on last then maybe it would have helped that third hour significantly.
On the Smackdown side, the news was great. It was a show where three title matches (US, Tag Team, Women’s) were advertised a week in advance as well as the television return of Vince McMahon, who appeared on Smackdown for the first time in four years. As expected, Vince = Ratings.
Smackdown did 2.754 million viewers, which is up from 2.582 million last week and two weeks ago was 2.455 million viewers. The presence of McMahon obviously helped because any time Vince is on a show there tends to be some kind of big angle and this week didn’t disappoint because Kevin Owens destroyed Vince with a headbutt that left him a bloody mess.
That number for Smackdown was their highest viewership number since the April 11 show did 3.1 million viewers, which was when they did the Superstar Shake-up.
The lesson here is that if you need a ratings boost, get somebody to beat up 72-year-old Vince McMahon! What a weird business.