This week’s edition of WWE Smackdown, headlined by Randy Orton beating Jinder Mahal in a main event non-title match, provided a slight increase over what the blue brand has been doing over the last month. Smackdown drew 2.584 million viewers this week according to Showbuzz Daily. That was good for second on cable on Tuesday night, behind only Hannity on Fox News.
The only match advertised a week in advance of the show was Naomi vs. Carmella. The Jinder Mahal vs. Randy Orton match was added online in the days before the show. The reason I point this out is because last week WWE heavily pushed John Cena vs. Shinsuke Nakamura a week in advance and it only provided a slight increase in viewers. Does advertising big matches really matter anymore? It should, but the numbers are proving the audience is going to be about the same every week.
The three weeks prior to this did 2.569 million viewers last week, 2.545 million viewers on July 25 and 2.548 million viewers on July 18, so it’s essentially around the same level of viewership every week for the last month. They are in the range of 2.5 to 2.6 million viewers and it may be hard to top that unless they advertise something really special.
Since we are past the WWE draft lottery from last summer, it’s interesting to look at where the ratings were last year. That’s more good news for WWE because the 2.584 million viewers from this week is better than the 2.455 from August 9 last year.
I was at Smackdown on Tuesday and thought the Styles/Owens/Shane promo segment midway through the show was the highlight. Great job by Owens acting like a jerk that also brought up some history of Shane being an impartial referee at many different points in the last twenty years.
What could lead to a drop in the near future is that John Cena is expected to join the Raw brand post-SummerSlam, so some fans may tune out of Smackdown when that happens. I don’t think it’s going to lead to much of a change, because the numbers have been consistent, but you never know.