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WWE SmackDown ratings up slightly this week

On a week where Raw ratings were slightly down, SmackDown's stayed basically even, rising less than a half percentage point -- with Tuesday night's episode averaging 2.208 million viewers.

This lends credence to the theory that the return of Roman Reigns was the reason for the relative success in the ratings for Raw in recent weeks. Reigns was held off of Monday's show, selling injuries from an attack by Drew McIntyre the previous week.

It was a weaker-than-usual night on cable, where SmackDown finished sixth for the night in terms of total viewers. SmackDown did manage to regain the top spot in the important 18-49 demo with a 0.74 rating, percentage points ahead of Curse of Oak Island, which did beat SmackDown in total audience.

Year-over-year, SmackDown was down over 20 percent, as has been the case in most weeks of late. Last year's numbers just happened to be while WWE was negotiating their new TV deal, and they helped lead to the massive rights increase WWE received for both Raw and SmackDown. 

SmackDown retained about 82 percent of the Raw audience from Monday, a little better than it's been doing recently. That could be interest in the gauntlet match, Reigns not being on Raw, or a combination of both. 

Here's a look at the last 10 weeks of SmackDown numbers and how they compare to the same week in 2018: