WWE News: SmackDown Live viewership see big decrease
What’s the story?
This week’s episode of SmackDown Live averaged 2.493 million viewers; down 187,000 viewers from last week’s average of 2.680 million.
In case you didn’t know...
The Dec. 5 edition of SmackDown Live featured The New Day wrestling Rusev & Aiden English, Baron Corbin facing Bobby Roode with Dolph Ziggler as a guest commentator, Charlotte Flair taking on Tamina and Randy Orton facing Sami Zayn with Kevin Owens handcuffed to the ropes in the main event.
The heart of the matter
This week’s episode of SmackDown went up against two NBA games – the first game was the Phoenix Suns versus the Toronto Raptors which began 30 minutes into SmackDown’s broadcast while the second game between the Utah Jazz and the Oklahoma City Thunder began at the start of the second hour.
WWE Champion AJ Styles and his opponent Jinder Mahal were noticeably absent from this week’s episode and a video package detailing their feud thus was released instead of an onscreen confrontation.
Despite the low viewership, the show progressed the storylines for Clash of Champions and announced two matches for the Clash of Champions pay-per-view. Flair will defend her SmackDown Women’s Championship against Natalya in a Lumberjack match and Owens & Zayn will team up to fight Orton and a partner of his choosing (possibly Shinsuke Nakamura) with Shane McMahon as the special guest referee in a career-threatening match.
Next week’s episode will be the final show before the Clash of Champions pay-per-view and is expected to be the show where Orton announces Nakamura to be his tag team partner for his match against Owens & Zayn.
SmackDown will also be up against six NBA games – four games will begin prior to the start of SmackDown and carry over it the show’s broadcast while the other two games will start during SmackDown’s broadcast.
SmackDown’s month-long viewership increase came to an end with this episode and could see an even further decrease consistent with more post-PPV shows.
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