After smartly sending Baron Corbin to Raw as part of the cross-brand invitational and scoring a first-place ratings victory, WWE screwed the pooch by not having King Corbin appear on this week's episode of a Smackdown. Predictably, without Corbin's ratings-drawing presence, Smackdown viewership fell slightly from last week, according to the overnight ratings from ShowBuzz Daily.
The first hour of Smackdown had 2.076 million viewers last night, and the second hour had 2.003 million. That's an average of 2.040 million viewers, down from last week's 2.043 million. Additionally, the rating fell during the second hour, indicating viewers had tuned in to see Baron Corbin and then changed the channel once they realized he wouldn't be competing in a match last night.
On the bright side, Smackdown did come in number one for the night in the demographic ratings, with both hours coming in with a .6. That can largely be attributed to goodwill coming off Baron Corbin's appearance on Monday Night Raw earlier this week, which rocketed that show to a number one rating as well. Additionally, it's possible that the end of the regular network TV season and shift toward reruns also played a role in Smackdown's rating being up. Last week's episode of Smackdown scored an average of .5 in the 18-49 demographic.
As WWE looks to raise ratings and viewership over the Summer to get ready for SummerSlam in August, they would do well to remember that Baron Corbin is probably their biggest draw right now and start including him on as many shows as possible. It's rare for WWE to find a breakout superstar who commands the kind of popularity King Corbin does. Though you know The Chadster doesn't usually like to say anything negative about WWE, it would be foolish of them not to recognize Corbin's greatness and run with it.