From the WWE Rumor Mill: SmackDown Live crowd for this past week's episode shockingly low
What’s the story?
As per Dave Meltzer of F4WOnline, both the RAW and SmackDown Live attendance has been alarmingly low over the past few weeks.
Meltzer revealed that about 6,000 fans turned up for this week’s edition of Monday Night RAW in Ontario, California, whereas only 3,800 attended SmackDown Live in Glendale, Arizona.
In case you didn’t know…
The WWE traditionally sees a lull in attendance for its TV tapings -- be it RAW or SmackDown -- in the months after Wrestlemania up until the turnout picks up as we approach Royal Rumble in January of the next year.
However, several industry experts have been pointing out the sharp decline in attendance for RAW and SmackDown television tapings in recent weeks.
The heart of the matter
This week’s edition of RAW was largely focused on Roman Reigns, who has been all but declared as the WWE’s new face, after beating John Cena clean at No Mercy this past Sunday.
On the other hand, SmackDown Live highlighted the ongoing Kevin Owens vs The McMahon family feud; with the WWE Champion Jinder Mahal assuming a secondary role on the show.
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The vast majority of professional wrestling fans and pundits have been emphasizing the WWE’s decision to keep its biggest title on Mahal as a possible reason behind the extremely low attendance at the blue brand’s weekly TV tapings.
Nevertheless, this week’s attendance for RAW, although 6,000, is still being heralded as a halfway decent number, as compared to the SmackDown attendance which was no more than 3,800 -- which was clearly visible by the line of empty seats in the front row during Kevin Owens’ main event matchup with Sami Zayn.
Next week’s episode of Monday Night RAW airs from the Pepsi Center in Denver, Colorado on October 2nd, while SmackDown Live tapings go down at the same venue the following night.
The WWE has some tough decisions to make, particularly as regards its blue brand, and the WWE Championship.
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The Mahal vs Nakamura feud doesn’t seem to be drawing fans to the product as initially expected, and the WWE management needs to either go all-out and give Mahal the main-event treatment by having him headline the show or flat-out take the belt off him and put it on someone more popular.