For a while now, SmackDown has been a refreshing change to the rather monotonous WWE programming with redundant storylines about the Authority and Roman Reigns being pushed to the moon. Shane McMahon and Daniel Bryan got some good picks in the draft and they have put together a brilliant show with excellent promos and quality wrestling.
All this came to a head when Becky Lynch won the SmackDown Women’s Championship, Heath Slater and Rhyno won the SmackDown Tag Team Championships and AJ Styles emerged as the WWE World Champion at SmackDown’s first exclusive pay per view Backlash. The viewership ratings for SmackDown went through the roof last week and almost reached the ones set by their RAW counterparts.
This week SmackDown kept up its standards but could not maintain the staggering viewership it had last week. The main event had Ambrose and Cena go one on one in a classic matchup. Ambrose stole one and rolled Cena for the three count and a surprise clean loss for the Cenation leader. This was Cena’s first clean loss in a non-pay per view singles match on either RAW or SmackDown in over 7 years.
This episode of SmackDown Live featuring Cena and Ambrose in the main event drew a total of 2.292 million viewers. While it is a reasonably good stat, it was 14% down from last week’s show which drew up to 2.658 million eyeballs. The successful Backlash pay per view was the primary reason for that.
This week’s episode was also 15% down from this week’s Monday Night RAW which drew about 2.684 million viewers. In fact, this was the least watched SmackDown Live episode since the show went live in July.
SmackDown Live was the sixth show for the night in terms of viewership. It was listed below the shows If Loving You Is Wrong, The Kelly File, The O'Reilly Factor, The Five and Special Report with Bret Baier. However, the USA Network show grabbed the number one non-rerun spot of the night in the Tuesday cable ratings this week.
The show ended with Daniel Bryan rewarding Ambrose with a WWE World Championship title shot next week against AJ Styles. That ought to bring back the viewers!
Dean Ambrose later appeared on Talking Smack and spoke about the animosity between him and John Cena. He mentioned that Cena had no friends backstage and he never liked Cena even when they were backstage. He also had some words for WWE World Champion AJ Styles.