WrestleMania 33 has come and gone, and as usual, the casual fans (or even new fans drawn in by the big event) are sticking around for at least a week or two. We don’t know whether the Superstar Shake-Up next week will continue to hold them, but for the time being, Raw pulled in its biggest ratings in a year this week, and now Smackdown Live is feeling the love as well.
Tuesday night’s show, which featured the main roster debuts of Tye Dillinger and Shinsuke Nakamura, helped Smackdown to the No. 1 cable slot for the evening (according to ShowBuzz Daily), drawing 2.885 million viewers, which is a seven percent increase from last week’s episode.
For comparison’s sake, last year’s post-Mania Smackdown (which was still taped and aired on Thursday) on drew in 2.444 million viewers, a number that Smackdown Live has beat every single week in 2017 thus far. So the one takeaway here is that the live Smackdown episodes on Tuesday night are definitely working.
While these ratings are the best of the year so far, they don’t come close to Raw’s post-Mania numbers … but they don’t really have to. The big question is where both shows go in the ratings in the coming weeks. Fans have been clamoring for Nakamura on the main roster for a year now, and now that he is up — and on the “good” show — he has a chance to prove he’s someone fans will tune in to watch.