SmackDown punches in its highest viewership in over a year

SmackDown rating went through the roof last week
SmackDown rating went through the roof last week

Last week's episode of Friday Night SmackDown on September 23 clocked in a highly impressive 2.535 million viewers on average across its two hours. This is the highest viewership for the show since december 2020.

The weekly show has been over and around the two million mark ever since Triple H took over as Head of Creative of WWE. Over the last three weeks, the viewership has been well over two million.

The latest episode of the Blue Brand has seen a rise in the key 18-49-year-old demographic as well. With 819,000 people from that age group watching the show, it punches in at a rating of 0.63. This is the highest key demo for the show since September 2021.

Brandon Thurston of Wrestlenomics reported impressive viewership for WWE's Friday Night offering on Twitter. He also reported that AEW Rampage, which runs on the same night, pulled in a smidge over 500K viewers across its two hours. The show is usually an hour long, with an extra hour added for its Grand Slam week.

Alfred Konuwa of Forbes Sports compared the viewership and demo ratings to the SmackDown episode the week before, and the one a year ago. He reported that the week-on-week growth in viewership of the show is about 15%, and an 18% from the episode a year ago. The key demo rating is up 25% from the week before, and 12% from a year ago.

What happened on last week's episode of SmackDown

The hype surrounding the September 23 episode of SmackDown went through the roof even before the show started. In fact, the hype train started on the episode of RAW four days ago.

The September 19 episode of the red brand showed a QR code on screen. The following link took viewers to a video featuring a White Rabbit and the date for Friday. This, coupled with the song White Rabbit by Jefferson Airplane playing in the arenas at house shows, was considered by many to be a tease for Bray Wyatt's possible return on SmackDown.

Suffice it to say, many people tuned in to witness the possible return of The Eater of Worlds. While this did not happen, another QR code pointed towards tonight's RAW.

The actual show began with an in-ring segment for The Bloodline. It was teased that Sami Zayn would be violently outsted by the group, but was instead accepted as part of the collective by Roman Reigns, who even gave him an "Honorary Uce" t-shirt.

The first match saw SmackDown Women's Champion Liv Morgan take on Lacey Evans. After winning the match, Morgan attacked Lacy with Kendo Sticks and put her through a table.

Other matches saw The New Day defeating Maximum Male Models, Max Dupri teasing going back to his old gimmick, Braun Strowman defeating Otis in a battle of big men, and Raquel Gonzalez picking up a roll-up victory over Damage CTRL's Dakota Kai.

Drew McIntyre challenged Karrion Kross to a Strap Match at Extreme Rules, who accepted the challenge before laying out the Scottish Warrior with the help of Scarlett.

The main event saw The Usos defend their Undisputed Tag Team Championships against Butch and Ridge Holland of The Brawling Brutes. The reigning champions retained after a competitive match due to a distraction from Imperium.

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Edited by Jacob Terrell
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