, WWE SmackDown Viewership Up Nearly 10% Compared With Pandemic Era, The Nzuchi News Forbes

WWE SmackDown Viewership Up Nearly 10% Compared With Pandemic Era

, WWE SmackDown Viewership Up Nearly 10% Compared With Pandemic Era, The Nzuchi News Forbes

WWE SmackDown’s final viewership saw the Fox show—WWE’s return to live crowds—garner 2.310 million viewers for the go-home show for Money in the Bank 2021.

The number represents the show’s best viewership since the January 22 broadcast, and was up 16.31% from last weeks viewership of 1.961 million. SmackDown’s 0.66 rating in the 18-49 demographic was up a staggering 37.5% from last week’s 0.48 rating, and the total viewership number was up 9.74% compared to SmackDown viewership throughout the pandemic from March 13, 2020 to July 9, 2021.

The network show averaged 2.105 million viewers during that span.

Live fans returning was the main attraction for Friday’s show, which advertised a SmackDown Women’s Championship match between Bianca Belair and Carmella and a rumored surprise return from Finn Balor, which came to fruition. As WWE continues to rollout its large catalog of big returns, it would behoove the promotion to advertise some of them in advance to capitalize on its current momentum with fans back in the stands.

, WWE SmackDown Viewership Up Nearly 10% Compared With Pandemic Era, The Nzuchi News Forbes

AEW Dynamite amassed an impressive 1.025 million viewers despite stiff competition from the NBA Finals in its second week back. AEW Dynamite’s rating beat Raw in the men’s 18-49 and 18-34 demographic, and as WWE viewership numbers continue to play out in its return to live crowds, the ratings will likely play a key role in just how quickly WWE plans to roll out returning stars.

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WWE reportedly has an “all hands on deck” mentality for future returns, with John Cena set to appear at this week’s July 23 broadcast—a joint broadcast with the Rolling Loud hip-hop festival—Becky Lynch reportedly set to return soon and Goldberg rumored for a return as soon as tonight on Raw. Goldberg is reportedly in line to be the next challenger to Bobby Lashley’s WWE Championship provided he retains this Sunday against Kofi Kingston and avoids a cash-in loss.

While WWE’s influx of star power is exactly what it needs right now, and the aforementioned stars all appear to have a creative direction. But the promotion also needs to caution itself in bringing back too many stars in such a short time frame so as not to lose anybody in the shuffle as it looks to return to pre-pandemic viewership numbers.

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