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October 14, 2019 Observer Newsletter: SmackDown debuts on FOX, Hell in a Cell disaster


The heavily promoted debut of Smackdown on FOX took place on 10/4 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, drawing the largest television audience for the product since the 25th anniversary of Raw.

The show, which sold out with 14,000 fans, was built around a Kofi Kingston vs Brock Lesnar WWE title match, but more around the one thing that always moves ratings, bringing back the big stars of the past.

This time they pushed a higher level than ever before, having Dwayne Johnson, Steve Austin, Hulk Hogan, Ric Flair, Sting, Undertaker, Bill Goldberg, Kurt Angle, Mick Foley, and many more advertised. That turned into an issue because Johnson was the only one who even had a real role in the show and Undertaker, Austin and Sting were never on the show, while the others were limited to being shown at ringside. John Cena, who was never advertised, was filming the new Fast and the Furious movie.

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