WWE SmackDown Loses 375,000 Viewers as ThunderDome Bubble Bursts

It looks like the ratings boost for WWE SmackDown from the ThunderDome may be coming to an end. Though SmackDown held onto its post-SummerSlam increase longer than Raw, ratings and viewership returned to pre-ThunderDome levels, at least according to Showbuzz Daily's overnight report.

The official logo for WWE Friday Night Smackdown.
The official logo for WWE Friday Night Smackdown.

WWE SmackDown Draws Lowest Viewership Since July

Last night's episode of SmackDown drew an average of 1.954 million viewers, with hours of 1.922 million and 1.986 million viewers respectively. That's the first time since August 7th that SmackDown has averaged less than two million viewers and the lowest overall viewership since July. The introduction of the ThunderDome on August 21st, followed by two straight weekends of PPVs in SummerSlam and Payback, and the introduction of exciting, long-awaited storyline developments like Roman Reigns turning heel and Bayley turning on Sasha Banks led SmackDown to reverse a long term ratings decline, with the show hitting a four-month high of 2.329 million viewers just last week.

WWE SmackDown Also Drops in 18-49 Demo

The 18-49 demographic number also dropped for SmackDown last night, with both hours scoring a .5, the first time SmackDown scored below a .6 in six weeks. SmackDown was still tied for #1 in network ratings in the 18-49 demographic for the night with the 10PM episode of 20/20 on ABC.  Head-to-head, SmackDown had the highest 18-49 demo number.

The Bottom Line 'Cause Chad Said So

All good things must come to an end. What goes up must come down. A penny saved is a penny earned. No matter how you look at it, SmackDown's run of great ratings luck was bound to end at some point. Not even The Chadster is so optimistic about WWE's ratings prospects to believe they could continue to grow their ratings without hitting any bumps in the road. What's important is what WWE does now.

The ThunderDome wasn't a failure. It did boost ratings for a few weeks. The problem is that WWE stopped there instead of continuing to go bigger. If a thousand LED screens with fans on them made the ratings go up, the next step is introduce two thousand LED screens. If turning Roman Reigns heel brought in more viewers, now it's time to turn him back face again. If they send one of ours to the hospital, we send one of theirs to the morgue. It's the Chicago way. I'm confident that WWE will find a way to put SmackDown and Raw back on the right trajectory.

About Chad McMahon

Chad McMahon, otherwise known as The Chadster, is a lifelong professional wrestling fan and now journalist. Chad’s interests also include comic books, movies, netflix, and other sports including football, baseball and basketball, both college and professional. Chad drives a Miata and is married to Keighleyanne. He loves WWE with all his heart and soul.