Skip to main content

Additional ratings notes on WWE SmackDown's FOX debut


Some more notes the preliminary Smackdown ratings. As noted earlier today, the final ratings will be out on Monday or Tuesday. Unlike with UFC, because UFC aired live on the West Coast and had overruns, there shouldn't be major changes in this and the final numbers.

Smackdown did a 2.4 rating and 3,888,000 viewers for an average minute. It was down five percent from what FOX did in the same time slot one year ago for its Friday season openers of Last Man Standing, The Cool Kids and Hell's Kitchen. But all things considered, that isn't bad, and did triple of what FOX was doing in September with rerun programming in the time slot.

The peak quarter hour was the opener with The Rock, Becky Lynch and Baron Corbin, at 4.22 million viewers. That was to be expected as Dwayne Johnson was clearly the major draw on the show. The No. 2 draw on the show was Steve Austin, most likely, given Hulk Hogan and Ric Flair were just on Raw on Monday. But Austin, Undertaker and Sting were not there and Flair and Hogan were just shown in the crowd. It's impossible to know if the idea of seeing those wrestlers later kept the ratings up in hour two. One would think so.

From there:

Becky Lynch & Charlotte Flair vs. Sasha Banks & Bayley lost 360,000 viewers, which sounds bad but really isn't. About 600,000 people turned off Raw on Monday after Hulk Hogan and Ric Flair's segment.

Seth Rollins vs. Shinsuke Nakamura and the angle with The Fiend lost 133,000 viewers.

The Kevin Owens vs. Shane McMahon ladder match gained 235,000 viewers.

The eight-man tag match and Tyson Fury angle lost 222,000 viewers.

The Roman Reigns vs. Erick Rowan match lost 3,000 viewers.

The Brock Lesnar vs. Kofi Kingston match and Cain Velasquez angle gained 105,000 viewers.