The ratings are in for July 22.
Hours before either SmackDown or Rampage went on the air last Friday, Vince McMahon unexpectedly announced his retirement. WWE announced his daughter, and new company co-CEO, would open their show. AEW’s Tony Khan declared himself the new king of wrestling CEO mountain.
While there were certainly other factors at play, those moves drove viewers to tune in.
SmackDown had an audience of 2.26 million, 8.5% better than July 15. Its rating in the 18-49 year old demographic soared to its highest number since January. The .62 was 32% (!) better than last week, and gave FOX the highest rated show on television by a wide margin (La Herencia: Un Legado Del Amor on Univision was second with a .34).
Rampage saw its viewership drop a little less than 2% from last Friday, to 428K. But their demo rating also jumped up to .17 — a 21% week-over-week improvement. That’s it’s best number among 18-49 year olds since April, and was good for sixth among cable originals.
Vince won’t “retire” every week, but WWE will have Brock Lesnar & Roman Reigns on the last show before SummerSlam, and I’m sure TK will tweet something.
Numbers via Showbuzz Daily