WWE Smackdown Live TV Ratings: Why has Smackdown recorded it’s lowest TV ratings; Analyzing the 11.5 percent drop from last week.
SmackDown Live recorded its lowest ever non holiday TV ratings this week on Tuesday. Despite featuring top superstars such as Kofi Kingston, Roman Reigns, Randy Orton, Becky Lynch and many others, the blue brand could only manage 1.833 million viewers. This episode saw a drop of 11.5% from last week’s 2.072 million viewers. The only SmackDown to have fared worse was the final SmackDown on Syfy that aired back in the 2015 New Year’s Eve episode. It had drawn 1.658 million viewers (SmackDown was taped back then and featured superstars from both shows).
These falling numbers have come at the heels of Raw’s own dismal showing this week. Raw recorded its lowest ratings of the year as it averaged 2,158,000 viewers over its three hours, a 9% fall from last week.
These numbers are a far cry from what they were last year at similar junctures and could spell trouble for the company if they don’t pull their socks.
What are the possible reasons that have contributed to the drop in Raw and Smackdown ratings?
WWE had its largest viewership of the year on the Raw after Wrestlemania, as it always does. They tried to carry on the momentum it had gathered after a very well received WrestleMania, by announcing the Superstar Shake up. Unfortunately what unfolded after only left the audience more confused and bored than excited.
Superstars were drafted to a brand and then recalled without giving a storyline reason e.g. Cesaro and Andrade. There are too many repetitive matches. There is only so many times you can see the team of Zac Ryder and Curt Hawkins getting a fluke win over the Revival! There is rarely any build up and most matches seem pointless. The fact that the main event was a contract signing for a match three weeks away didn’t help matters either.
On the Blue Brand, things were looking rosy up until this week; the weeks prior to Wrestlemania saw their viewership increase every week as the WWE universe got behind Kofi’s Pursuit for the WWE championship. The storyline culminated, in a moment that will be remembered as one of the most emotional Wrestlemania moments, with Kofi lifting the Championship with his New Day Brethren and his two little sons in the ring hugging him.
Unfortunately what followed thereafter has been completely lackluster. The first two weeks after Wrestlemania saw Kofi participating in meaningless tag matches (A situation that has happened because creative has nothing for a large number of these wrestlers) before finally getting a challenger in Kevin Owens.
Last week saw Kevin Owens betray Kofi and hurt his New day Partner Xavier Woods by powerbombing him onto the apron. Instead of a rage filled Kofi showing up with vengeance in his eyes, we (Once again) saw a hopping and skipping Kofi that smiled and threw pancakes at the crowd.
Yes he finally snapped and brawled with Kevin but it took him watching his friend get hurt once again and witnessing KO berate all the New Day members for a moment that should have started the show and not come at the end.
Becky Lynch has also begun to lose most of her underdog charm. The repetitive promos on both brands don’t help and neither does her never ending feud with Charlotte Flair.
There have been quite a few positives since Wrestlemania though, such as The Miz’s Face turn and Bray Wyatt’s Vignettes but the lack of a compelling creative direction is clearly affecting the product. There is no pressing reason to watch wrestling as there was just a month back and unless Vince and his merry men do something to create must see TV on a regular basis, they can expect these numbers to continue to drop even further.