WWE Smackdown Ratings Up with Reigns-Pearce Contract Signing, Nakamura vs. Uso

Mike Chiari@@mikechiariFeatured Columnist IVJanuary 16, 2021

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Friday night's episode of WWE SmackDown on Fox, which featured a contract signing between universal champion Roman Reigns and WWE official Adam Pearce saw its ratings improve compared to last week.

According to Showbuzz Daily, SmackDown averaged 2.153 million viewers during its two-hour broadcast, which was up from last week's overnight viewership of 2.003 million. SmackDown also did a 0.6 rating in the 18-49-year-old demographic, which was No. 3 on the night.

SmackDown closed with a contract signing for the universal title match at the Royal Rumble. Paul Heyman initially got Pearce to sign a contract for a No Disqualification match before changing it to Last Man Standing.

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Both Pearce and Reigns signed the contract, but as Pearce was walking away, he said an old knee injury was acting up and that he didn't think he would be cleared for Royal Rumble. As a result he would need a replacement, and he brought out Kevin Owens, who signed the contract.

KO was thrown from a platform and through some tables by Reigns and Jey Uso a few weeks ago, but he is back and set to challenge Reigns for the Universal Championship once again.

SmackDown also featured a match between Shinsuke Nakamura and Uso on the heels of Reigns and Uso costing Nakamura a chance to become No. 1 contender for the universal title in last week's gauntlet match.

With Cesaro on commentary, Nakamura won the match and continued his ascent back into a role as a top babyface on the blue brand.

As for Cesaro, he seems to still be occupying a heel role based on his comments. He also had a singles match against Daniel Bryan on Friday and came away victorious in his biggest singles win in quite some time.

SmackDown featured the debut of Bayley's Ding Dong, Hello talk show as well. Bianca Belair was Bayley's guest, and Bayley challenged her to an obstacle course competition next week, which Belair accepted.

SmackDown also saw Apollo Crews beat Sami Zayn, Natalya defeat Liv Morgan and King Corbin beat Rey Mysterio.

                    

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