WWE loaded up for the first Tuesday night after the United States election season finally ended, and business picked up accordingly... to the tune of almost matching Raw in total viewers.
The 900th episode of SmackDown was anchored by more than a week’s worth of advertising for Undertaker’s first appearance since WrestleMania 32. The last show before Survivor Series also featured the return of Edge for the same main event segment Taker showed up for, and an Intercontinental title showdown between long-time rivals Miz and Dolph Ziggler.
It resulted in viewership which was not only way above last week’s sub-2 million audience at 2,725,000, but also came within 151,000 of the red brand’s performance the night before (2,876,000).
SmackDown was seventh on the night in total viewers behind the usual Fox News programs, and second in ratings share among 18 - 49 year olds with a .95 - which put them only behind ESPN’s College Football Playoffs Rankings show in that demo.
It’ll be interesting to see if Team Blue can stay in this range going forward into the holidays. If they can, it’s not implausible they could eventually reach or top Raw, seeing as Monday night’s flagship is steadily performing under 3 million viewers of late.
The ratings battle for brand supremacy may be even more interesting than the kayfabe one which takes place on WWE Network and pay-per-view (PPV) this Sunday.