SmackDown’s final outing before Royal Rumble, featuring a Randy Orton match advertised a week in advance, drew an audience of 2.56 million. That’s down from a week before, when the episode headlined by a Women’s title steel cage was watched by 2.65 million viewers and way off from Raw’s 3.29 million - but then, not even WWE is playing up the “red vs. blue ratings war” angle any more.
Still, it’s consistent with the numbers WWE’s been getting on Tuesday nights for a while - the latest evidence that approximately 2.5 million viewers is SmackDown’s baseline. Every 2017 episode has been above that level, with Alexa Bliss and Becky Lynch delivering the best number of the year last week.
The two hour broadcast on USA was tenth in audience size among cable originals, and third in the 18 - 49 demographic with a .86 rating.
Nothing’s announced for next week yet, as Road to WrestleMania starts Sunday night in San Antonio. But the blue brand has established a solid base from which to grow. Now we’ll see if they can do it.