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The Friday Night Dip: SmackDown Sees Significant Drop in Viewership Post-Payback

WWE SmackDown this week experienced a significant slump, as many fans chose to give the post-Payback episode a miss. Without Roman Reigns and Jey Uso in action, the broadcast felt a significant sting in viewership ratings, according to Wrestlenomics. This Friday night tradition saw a notable 14 percent decline in overall viewership, while the key P18-49 demographic faced an even steeper drop of 18 percent.

Clocking in an average of about 2,094,000 viewers on the night, with approximately 692,000 of them from the coveted P18-49 demographic, SmackDown’s numbers were the lowest since May 26th and August 18th for that demographic and overall viewership respectively. This follows last week’s trend where even the Payback go-home show failed to pull in expected viewer numbers.

Yet, despite this apparent dip, SmackDown dominated all other sports telecasts – scoring highest in the P18-49 demographic on the night of the broadcast. The eyeballs were maximum at the start of the broadcast, with the demographic peaking for the climactic conclusion of AJ Styles’ main event face-off against Jimmy Uso. Adding to the climactic ending was Solo Sikoa surprising the crowd by launching attack on the previous WWE champion post-match.

Elsewhere on SmackDown, fans saw high-stake matches such as the bout between L.A. Knight and former United States Champion Austin Theory, where Knight triumphed despite the threatening presence of Grayson Waller in Theory’s corner. Popular team ‘The Judgment Day’ saw action too, with WWE Undisputed Tag Team Champions Finn Balor and Damian Priest securing a win over The Brawling Brutes’ Butch and Ridge Holland.

In contrast, AEW Dynamite held up its viewership numbers last Wednesday, even post the All Out pay-per-view, with a minor boost in viewers. WWE Raw managed to remain constant in its ratings last week, even seeing a small 2% bump in viewership following Payback. The fluctuating flight of pro wrestling viewership ratings continues as SmackDown and WWE aim to bounce back from last week’s numbers.

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