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Smackdown Live receives surge in ratings following Saudi Arabia travel issues

This week’s Smackdown Live was brought together at the last moment. WWE brought on the NXT superstars as the main roster was stuck in Saudi Arabia. This turned out to be a boon as the episode ended up being a success with fans.

According to a report by ShowBuzz Daily, Smackdown Live received 2.605 million viewers for the first hour of Friday Night and 2.481 million stayed for the second hour.

This is a major improvement from the 888,000 viewers that the show got last week on FS1. It is certain the company is elated at this improvement. Though it is to be noted last week’s show was against the World Series.

Regardless, things are getting better for the blue brand and we can hope they continue to make a better product.


  • StoneColdBeckyLynch

    Yayy, they actually beat AEW this week lol

  • CC

    Yes they were taken by surprise, so some clean wins were a given, I just think that Bryan is too good to have been caught out, and seeing as he asked for the match he was just as prepped as Cole was. Having Cole win was the right decision, but doing it clean was totally wrong. Apart from,as you say, it makes SD look weak, it also takes away the “win at all costs” mentality that an invading army should have had.

    Having Miz lose clean isn’t the worst thing, and neither was the womens tag match, but that main event title match should have ended with a controversial finish, either a no contest, a dirty win for Cole or a DQ victory for Bryan.

    The attacks by Belair and by Lee/Riddle were a perfect set up for a shonky finish in that match, but once the match started even Roderick Strong was nowhere to be seen, which totally goes against the way the UE works.

  • lobsterball

    You’re right.. NXT had to have a great performance but clean wins hurt SD and made them look so weak… DB is still a top guy in SD and losing cleanly wasn’t that great for the brand… same could be said for Miz losing cleanly… though as a midcarder he can afford to take the hit

  • CC

    It makes perfect sense. NXT has always been called the developmental brand, and now they are on TV they want to be seen as equal to the “main roster”. The heels want to be seen as equals or better than the guys on Raw or SD. Its a case of them being “loyal” to NXT because they want to stop being seen as the junior guys.
    Hell, and if you want storytelling, look at Ciampa during that final segment. Despite the roster working together and putting aside personal issues with others, he kept his eye on the NXT belt all the way through. Now that is dedication to story.

  • lobsterball

    People also tuned in hoping to see a car-crash of an episode so take the numbers with a grain of salt…

  • Zach

    Some fun matches . But again. I’m not seeing any stories. Why would all these heels care about NXT as a brand and want to defend it? It’s just a lead on to my personal least favorite PPV. Where we do a month of meaningless tag team and single matches, all to lead up to a big meaningless match with no story outside of brand loyalty.

    The worst month of wwe for me. I’ve been a critic lately though. I guess I’m just sick of everything being scripted but no storytelling

  • Rajah

    I noticed HHH get up towards the end of the match and thought that he was going to get involved as well.

  • Nick Larry

    Yeah, that’s a better idea, members of the UE could’ve intervened or even HHH himself.

  • CC

    I don’t think Cole should have won clean, but NXT needed to be the winners in all these matches otherwise they looked like invaders who could not back up their bravado.

  • CC

    I was laughing last week with all those so called news sites and youtube channels reporting the SD ratings as if it was a total disaster, totally ignoring the fact it was on lesser channel and was up against the basketball that replaced it.

    This weeks episode was great no doubt, but there are so many more reasons viewing figures went back up.

  • Nick Larry

    At least we got Bryan vs Cole even if I’d rather it was a non-title match and DB picked the win. His performance was simply phenomenal, he put on a clinic!

  • Zach

    Well duh. Your comparing this weeks numbers to the numbers from FS1.

    This is also the week after a PPV so people tune in to see the fallout from it.

    Please compare this to normal weeks on Fox and USA, and please talk to me next week and the week after.

  • Nicholas Giambattista

    I think they were expecting the New WWE Unverlasial Champion not everybody know about they been delayed in Saudi Arabia.

  • Killswitch

    So was NXT.

  • ClauDee

    But Brock was there…?