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SmackDown starts the new year with its best numbers in months

Anticipation on Jan. 5 for Roman Reigns’ response to The Rock delivered ratings WWE hasn’t seen on Friday night since... The Rock showed up back in September

WWE’s first two “New Year’s Knockout Week” television episodes delivered in the ratings, and with promotion centered on Universal champion Roman Reigns & answers about his future — SmackDown figured to follow suit.

According to Wrestlenomics, the Jan. 5 SmackDown was watched by 2,465,000 total viewers and did a .67 rating with 18-49 year olds. Those are well above the previous two weeks, which isn’t surprising considering those were a pre-taped Christmas weekend episode and a New Year’s weekend “Best of” clip show.

More impressive is that they’re the blue brand’s best performance in both metrics since The Rock’s surprise appearance back in September. Which is fitting since one thing driving interest in the “New Year’s Revolution” edition of the show was Dwayne Johnson’s surprise appearance on the previous Monday’s Raw, and curiosity of how Reigns would react to his cousin teasing a feud between them.

The Tribal Chief isn’t advertised for this week’s show, but there will be build toward his 4-way Royal Rumble title defense on Friday. We’ll see if that episode can match this performance. In the meantime, here’s a rundown of the past year’s worth of SmackDown’s numbers:

* Aired on FS1
** “Best of” clip show

For complete results and this week’s SmackDown live blog click here. To read a recap & review of the night’s events click here. For video highlights of the show click here.

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