Jinder = Ratings?
Those criticizing the Jinder Mahal experiment may have to eat their words now the ratings for Tuesday’s SmackDown Live have come in.
The show was up 7% from the week before, pulling an average of 2.328 million viewers against hefty competition from an NBA game which was viewed by over 7 million people. It was far tougher competition than that faced by Raw the previous night.
The only thing advertised ahead of time was Mahal’s post-title win Punjabi Celebration. Without question his WWE Title victory sparked a major swell of online interest on social media, and with various wrestling websites reporting a significant uptick in traffic compared to regular levels the day after his win. Evidently that has translated to television viewers, though the real test is audience retention after the initial buzz and surprise factor has died down.
SmackDown retained almost 90% of the Raw audience, it’s second highest retention rate of the year (slightly) behind only the Superstar Shakeup episode on April 11.