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WWE News: SmackDown Live's viewership improves

The WWE Championship needs a true Number 1 Contender!

News 24 Feb 2017, 14:12 IST

Image result for aj styles vs luke harper battle royal
A.J. Styles and Luke Harper ended up in a double-elimination after surviving several others in SmackDown’s Battle Royal

What’s the story?

WWE SmackDown’s 21st February edition saw a decent spike in viewership from the previous week, mainly due to the 2/21/2017 edition’s entertaining main event that saw Luke Harper and AJ Styles fight to a draw. The #1 Contender’s Battle Royal featured the aforementioned Harper and Styles as well as several other top Superstars on the SmackDown brand’s roster. 

Although the Battle Royal ended in a stereotypical pro-wrestling double-elimination (something that RAW General Manager Mick Foley poked fun at), the matchup itself was quite entertaining and it comes as no surprise that SmackDown’s viewership as compared to last week’s Bray Wyatt vs. John Cena WWE Championship matchup. 

In case you didn’t know...

Being aired by the WWE since 1999, SmackDown has been one of the WWE’s two biggest weekly shows, with the other one being Monday Night RAW.

Owing to WWE’s recent brand extension, and the kayfabe storyline wherein the two WWE brands are at a rating’s war with one another, both RAW and SmackDown have upped the ante as far as the progression of their respective storylines and weekly matchups are concerned.  

The heart of the matter

Let’s face it after the Feb 14th Elimination Chamber Fallout episode of SmackDown featured John Cena in yet another title matchup; this week’s Battle Royal came as a breath of fresh air. Now although Cena was, in fact, a part of said Battle Royal as well, WWE Creative made the right move by having the Miz eliminate the ‘Leader of the Cenation’.

I mean there’s only that much we can take of having Cena repeatedly force-fed to us as WWE fans. 

Nevertheless, the matchup featured several SmackDown Superstars in what was a bout that showed good ring-craft and high-octane action from Superstars such as Apollo Crews, Cena, A.J. Styles, Luke Harper, Kalisto and Baron Corbin among others.

Despite the double-elimination ending, this week’s edition was definitely worth the watch and the numbers speak for themselves:

1/3/17: 2,596,000

1/10/17: 2,533,000

1/17/17: 2,652,000

1/24/17: 2,556,000

1/31/17: 2,817,000

2/7/17: 2,627,000

2/14/17: 2,626,000

2/21/17: 2,792,000

(* Credits- Wrestling Observer).

What’s next?

With an ending that posed more questions than it answered, next week’s SmackDown looks to deliver a clear-cut #1 Contender for Bray Wyatt’s WWE Championship. After all, ‘The Eater of Worlds’ needs seeks a deserving foe for his world title and is looking for one, on the Road to Wrestlemania.

Sportskeeda’s take

The Monday Night Wars between WCW Nitro and the WWE marked the golden era of professional wrestling. After its buyout of WCW, the WWE has played out this rating’s gimmick several times and with its recent RAW vs SmackDown rating’s war, it appears to be much of the same.

Nevertheless, said gimmick means more entertainment for us fans, owing to both brands putting up a few Championship matchups on its weekly shows rather than dragging each and every single one of them to the Pay-Per-Views. 

RAW or SmackDown, who ya got?

Send us news tips at fightclub@sportskeeda.com   

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