Smackdown has been a pretty good show the past few months. The only issue I see is that so many new talents are on the Blue Brand without much to do. While that may or may not be the reason for recent ratings slump, it is still worth noting.
This past Friday's show drew a 1.8 rating with 2.63 million viewers.
My Thoughts on This News
With the Raw rating being delayed this week due to the holiday, it is time to look at how well Smackdown is performing on television. Needless to say, it is very disappointing to see the rating drop as of late.
For the record, Smackdown was still the No. 1 most watched original show on Friday night. They are still performing great for cable standards, yet are way down recently. I want to make that clear.
A few months ago, Smackdown was at or near the 2.2 rating level with well over 3 million viewers each week. From January to May, something drove viewers away from the Blue Brand. Now, it is rare to see him get near that.
Let's get the usual excuses out of they way!
It is not the taped format. It is not the Friday night time slot. It is not even anything related to WrestleMania season awhile back.
As I mentioned above, my belief is all the debuts are not keeping fans engaged. It is the same routine of short match after short match with relatively "no-names" right now.
On top of that, fans do not know Ryback yet. Nobody really can call Damien Sandow an established star. The same can be said with Darren Young, Titus O'Neil and even Antonio.
It is always great to see more wrestlers on the main roster. However, it is clear that not many of them are doing anything interesting. I wrote about my concerns of that happening over a month ago.
That is why I just laugh when some want even more people to debut now. Bring up Dean Ambrose! Bring up Seth Rollins! Bring up anyone else in FCW! They won't do anything, but let's do it anyways.
Another interesting factor is Teddy Long not being in charge anymore. Many called him boring. Others called him stale. Some just wanted him out as general manager of Smackdown.
Well, now ratings are down.
I liked Long in his role. He was not flashy. The man didn't talk for 10 minutes every week. He just made a few matches and looked over the show.
It seems as if viewers were OK with that for for the past several years.
Now, John Laurinaitis is in charge of Raw and Smackdown. Clearly, he was not on last Friday night. However, the point remains the same, even if Eve Torres took his place for one night.
CM Punk vs. Kane?
Fans were more than willing to watch Smackdown run by Teddy, not Laurinaitis.
WWE seems to have taken notice.
This week, CM Punk will defend his WWE Championship against Kane on Friday night. That is a major match to give away, but that rating has to go up eventually. It also gives Punk another test to see how many fans are willing to watch him as a "draw."
As the WWE Universe heads in to the summer, it looks like more star power will be brought over. John Cena has already been advertised for some Smackdown shows coming up. Dolph Ziggler even teased a run on the Blue Brand.
The positive is, at least WWE is trying to fix the ratings problem somehow. The negative is, using all your big stars twice a week (instead of once) will burn fans out at some point. That is the entire point of the brand extension even existing.
However, that is an entirely different problem in 2012...