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WWE News: SmackDown Live after Fastlane most viewed this year

Simon Cotton
1.77K   //    15 Mar 2018, 03:49 IST

The Kevin and Sami Show continues
The Kevin Owens and Sami Show continued

What’s the story?

This week’s SmackDown Live got a substantial increase in viewership and was one of the highest viewed shows since early 2017.

The SmackDown after Fastlane averaged 2.771 million viewers and was up 181,000 viewers from last week’s show on 6 March.

In case you didn’t know...

As expected during WrestleMania season, most of SmackDown’s television time was spent building up matches for the show in New Orleans with segments between AJ Styles and Shinsuke Nakamura, Asuka and Charlotte Flair, and Shane McMahon being attacked by Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn.

The biggest matches on the show were Styles versus Rusev, The Bludgeon Brothers versus Jimmy Uso and Big E, and Bobby Roode versus Jinder Mahal.

The heart of the matter

The 13 March edition of SmackDown is the highest viewed episode of the year thus far and dominated cable ratings.

The 12 September 2017 episode of SmackDown featured Owens attacking Vince McMahon and generated 2.754 million viewers, but still didn’t compare to the viewership of this week’s program.

The only shows that have surpassed this week’s viewership in recent times were the SmackDown after WrestleMania 33 and the second half of the Superstar Shakeup.

This week’s viewership was also superior to last year’s show on 14 March 2017 where AJ Styles attacked Shane McMahon and threw him headfirst through a car window - averaging 2.628 million

Fan opinion of the McMahons as onscreen characters has not been favourable, but some of SmackDown’s strongest viewership has been tied in to big moments involving a McMahon and a top star from the blue brand.


What’s next?

Shane McMahon announced that he was stepping down as SmackDown’s Commissioner, but the attack from Owens and Zayn could lead to a change to the announced Owens-Zayn WrestleMania match. Next week’s show will also feature more storyline development as SmackDown draws closer to Sunday, 8 April in New Orleans.

Author’s take

Fans enjoyed the Fastlane show and carried their enjoyment to SmackDown this week. With WrestleMania less than a month away, consistency will be the key to maintaining viewers.

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Simon Cotton
Freelance Journalist and Photographer, Columbia College Chicago Graduate Student, Jackson State University Alumnus Occasional guest on the Social Suplex Podcast Network. Catch me on Anchor for some interesting thoughts.
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