One of the reasons SmackDown moving to Thursday nights seemed a dangerous move by WWE is the fact that the NFL is so wildly popular that, like on Monday nights with Raw, it would see football take a chunk of viewers each week. We got a glimpse of the first chance of that last night with the start of the preseason.
And it had a big effect.
Last night's show drew just 2.08 million viewers, one of the lowest numbers for the show in years. The only shows that have done anything similar are live specials on Tuesday nights, replays of said specials, and holiday shows.
Here's how the number compares to the past few weeks:
July 23: 2.35 million
July 30: 2.44 million
Aug. 6: 2.40 million
Aug. 13: 2.08 million
That's a big drop, and that's just for the preseason with a series of meaningless games. It's only going to get worse once the regular season starts in September and Thursday games go all the way through to the end of the year.
For complete results and the live blog from SmackDown click here. For a recap with reactions to all the night's events click here. To watch highlights of the show click here.