Despite heavy promotion for last night’s John Cena vs. Shinsuke Nakamura main event, SmackDown ratings were only up a bit more than one percent from last week. The show averaged 2.569 million viewers, the highest number since June 27th.
As it was last week, SmackDown was third on cable in terms of total viewers, trailing Tucker Carlson Tonight and the Rachel Maddow Show. It was first in the 18-49 demo with a 0.76 rating.
SmackDown retained 81 percent of the strong Raw number from the previous night, right in the range of what it usually does. In year-over-year comparisons, the episode was down just four percent, which is better than most shows on cable.
The year-over-year comparisons should look even better in the coming weeks as both Raw and SmackDown were airing opposite Olympic coverage in 2016, which cost both shows 15-20 percent of their audience.
Here’s a look at SmackDown viewership in 2017 as compared to Raw from the same week: