The Labor Day weekend started with a big night of televised pro wrestling/sports entertainment.
For WWE SmackDown, that meant a Universal title match between Roman Reigns and Finn Bálor. The Sept. 3 episode of the blue brand delivered slightly fewer viewers than the previous week (2.22 million), but a rise in the 18 - 49 year old demographic (to an impressive .62). SmackDown was once again the top rated show on the networks in both the 18 - 49 and 18 - 34 demos, and by a wide margin.
The numbers weren’t quite as rosy for AEW Rampage. The final episode before All Out had a smaller audience (696,000) and ratings (.30 among 18 - 49 year olds) than the Friday before. That left the show in fourth place among cable options, behind college football coverage on ESPN.
Football was competing with both shows, and makes the fact WWE held or improved its numbers from the SummerSlam fallout show even more eye-popping. It’s also among the reasons Tony Khan isn’t sweating the Rampage numbers, but that’s mostly because AEW’s new show is still doing much better than anything else would do in that time slot.
There was another silver lining for AEW and their partners at TNT - the Countdown to All Out preview show that aired in an even worse time slot (11pm ET) finished in the top ten, with 361K viewers and an NXT-like .17 rating in the demo.
SmackDown’s numbers could climb even higher this week, thanks to a stacked show from Madison Square Garden. Rampage will be more interesting. It should benefit from All Out hype, and a PAC/Andrade match originally scheduled for the PPV. But it’s also pre-taped this week. Whether it goes up, retains these kind of numbers, or continues to settle into its floor might depend on spoiler reports coming out of Cincinnati on Wednesday.
Source: Showbuzz Daily