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SmackDown had its biggest audience since 2020

The ratings are in for Sept. 23.

Heading into last Friday, most of the attention was on a two hour special edition of Rampage. That show did well, especially given the timeslot, but it's SmackDown that grabs the headlines.

Was it the presence of Roman Reigns (and Honoray Uce Sami Zayn)? The “White Rabbit” frenzy? How initial goodwill for Triple H-booked shows has paid off with actually good television? That debate has already started, so let’s just give you the numbers... SmackDown was watched by 2.54 million viewers, a 14.5% week-to-week increase. Among 18-49 year olds, WWE’s blue brand scored a .63 rating. That was a whopping 26% jump over the Friday before, and easily the best number in the demo on all of television.

It’s the biggest audience WWE’s had on FOX since the Christmas 2020 edition was boosted by an NFL overrun. Excluding that, you have to go back the start of the pandemic and curiosity for an empty arena show on Mar. 20, 2020.

Rampage’s average viewership of 522,000 and demo rating of .17 (off a first hour of 558K / .18 and a second of 486K / .16) was solid stuff — it just pales in comparison to those SmackDown numbers. Hour one, which aired at 10pm ET, returned some of AEW’s best Friday night numbers since April, and were good enough for fifth among cable originals (on their own, the 10pm hour was fourth, and the 11pm hour eighth).

The numbers are way down from 2021’s Grand Slam show, however. For that, Tony Khan and team may be thankful people are paying attention to the eye-popping SmackDown numbers.

Let us know what you think, ratings watching Cagesiders.

Numbers via Showbuzz Daily

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