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SmackDown Live Ratings Disaster

Tuesday’s SmackDown Live saw numbers plummet to their second lowest level since the brand split, ahead of only the 11/8 episode which went up against coverage of the Presidential election.

The show pulled 2.072 million viewers, almost identical to last year’s number, the difference being this year was live and not taped, and last year had stiff competition from the NBA playoffs.

It’s perhaps not a huge surprise that the number was low. Nothing really happened on the show, nor was anything particularly exciting promised in advance. Even though all six of the Money in the Bank ladder match contenders appeared in the main event six man tag, there were no stakes, it was just a throwaway match designed as a lead-in to the pay-per-view. Without anything exciting or interesting to fight for, it is difficult to retain audience investment.

Many will point to Jinder Mahal’s reign as WWE Champion as one of the reasons why the numbers are lower, but the truth is he was involved in a throwaway segment in the middle of the broadcast and not billed as the feature attraction on this show. Plus, numbers have generally climbed since he won the championship.

SDL actually retained a higher percentage of the Raw audience than last week, however, that’s misleading because Raw on Monday pulled its second worst number of all time.

WWE will be hoping for a post-PPV bump next week following Money in the Bank, though it has to be said, a lot of that will depend on the booking. Raw saw a spike the week following a dreadful number thanks to interest in Samoa Joe winning the fatal five way title shot match at Extreme Rules. If Baron Corbin wins MITB as is expected, it is hard to see anyone tuning into SmackDown Live to witness the fallout from that.


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