SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
Without Undertaker, Smackdown’s ratings settled back to barely above average last night, despite a ladder match between A.J. Styles and James Ellsworth for a World Hvt. Title shot and coming just two days after a newsworthy Survivor Series. The Nov. 22 episode drew a 1.72 rating, down from last week’s 1.95.
The rolling ten week average for Smackdown coming into this week was 1.67, so it’s only a notch above the recent average. It is a big rebound from the 1.38 rating it drew Election Night two weeks ago and ties the highest rating of the previous nine weeks.
Keller’s Analysis: The surge in the Raw rating didn’t directly lead to an above-average rating for Smackdown, so Goldberg’s appearance helped Raw pop a rating, but its effect on Smackdown was negligible, other than the fact that Smackdown was above average and near the higher levels its hit in recent months, sans last week’s show with Undertaker. What the ratings the last two shows is WWE is able to communicate to lapsed or infrequent viewers when a big star is appearing, and those fans tune in. But they don’t stick around once the special attraction isn’t around.