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WWE News: SmackDown Live sees a decline in viewership 

Akshay Bapat
16.55K   //    31 Aug 2017, 18:17 IST

Randy Orton RKO's Shinsuke Nakamura on Smackdown
The show ended with Randy Orton hitting the RKO on Shinsuke Nakamura

What’s the story?

The information regarding the viewership numbers and television ratings for this week’s episode of SmackDown Live have been revealed. Tuesday's episode of SmackDown Live saw a drop in the viewers for the August 29th edition.

The show drew 2.455 million viewers, which was down from the SummerSlam fallout show that tallied 2.685 million viewers. 

In case you didn’t know…

This week’s Smackdown Live took place at Verizon Arena in North Little Rock, Arkansas. The show featured further animosity built up between Smackdown commissioner Shane McMahon and Kevin Owens, AJ Styles bringing back the United States Open challenge, in-ring of Shelton Benjamin with his new tag-team partner Chad Gable and a blockbuster tag-team main event which saw Randy Orton and Shinsuke Nakamura team up to face the duo of Rusev and the WWE Champion Jinder Mahal.

The heart of the matter

Smackdown Live saw an 8% decrease In viewership this week compared to last week. It was #9 in television ratings on cable for the night. It took the number one spot for the 18-49 demographic, achieving a rating of 0.76 for that age-range.

However, this was still a reduced number from last week’s post-SummerSlam episode, which garnered a 0.87 rating for the aforementioned demographic.

What’s next?

Smackdown’s next brand-exclusive PPV, Hell in a Cell, will take place in October in Detroit and the general direction in the build up to the PPV is already quite visible. Matches that are likely to take place at the event are AJ Styles vs Baron Corbin for the United States Championship, Shane McMahon vs Kevin Owens and Jinder Mahal vs Shinsuke Nakamura for the WWE Championship.

Two of those three matches could possibly take place inside the Hell in a Cell. Additionally, it was also announced on this week’s show that the next episode would be headlined by a number one contender’s match for the WWE Championship between Shinsuke Nakamura and Randy Orton.

Author’s take

While Smackdown has often been considered the more entertaining of the two shows, RAW has recently done a much better job of retaining their audience from week to week, despite having to fill three hours. Hopefully, the bout between Nakamura and Orton helps the show for next week, even though the outcome of the match does seem like a foregone conclusion. 

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