Last night’s Smackdown drew a 1.80 rating, in line with last week’s 1.80 rating and also in line with the seasonable average for 2017 so far – 1.84. The rolling ten week average headed into this week was 1.84 also. Viewership averaged 2.626 million for the two hours.
A year ago, Smackdown drew a 1.76 rating. The 2016 average seven weeks into the year was 1.81, so the 1.84 this year is a slight but largely inconsequential increase over last year when Smackdown aired on delay and didn’t feature exclusive use of several top stars.
Keller’s Analysis: The fact that this show did a 1.80 rating with an advertised WWE World Title match with top star John Cena coming off of a PPV with big WrestleMania ramifications, the number is disappointing. Just because Smackdown hasn’t improved much on last year’s numbers isn’t in and of itself an indictment of the effeteness of the roster split and moving Smackdown live to Tuesdays because, based on Raw’s ratings being more significantly down, it’s likely Smackdown as a pre-taped show airing later in the week reusing the same wrestlers featured on Raw, but in less significant matches and angles, would have led to an alarming drop in Smackdown ratings this year compared to last. So just holding steady is a victory in today’s cable TV landscape. I would also say that WWE has to be careful Smackdown doesn’t begin to look like the B-show. With a hot Raw episode on Monday, and taking into account that Goldberg, Brock Lesnar, Triple H, and perhaps Undertaker are becoming Raw wrestlers during WrestleMania season while Samoa Joe was also added to Raw, Smackdown is looking like an afterthought at worst or a B-show at best again. This week Raw was definitively the better wrestled, better booked, and more newsworthy show.