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WWE SmackDown TV Ratings Increase for Cesaro vs. Seth Rollins, 'Throwback' Episode

Tyler Conway@@jtylerconwayFeatured Columnist IVMay 8, 2021

Courtesy of MTV via Getty Images

It turns out going retro is good for WWE ratings.

Friday's throwback edition of SmackDown drew an average of 2.16 million viewers and an 0.6 rating in the 18-49 demographic. Those numbers are slightly up in both overall viewership and the demo from last week's SmackDown, which averaged 1.92 million viewers and drew an 0.5 among people aged 18-49.

The retro SmackDown featured elements of the 1980s, 1990s and 2000s as part of a themed weekend on Fox. Roman Reigns, Jey Uso, Jimmy Uso and Cesaro handled the main-event segment, with the Head of the Table attempting to get the returning Jimmy to fall in line before Cesaro took advantage of the family squabble to attack him from behind.

Jimmy Uso's return and his attempts to break the bond between his brother and Reigns was the top story of SmackDown. The show opened with Reigns welcoming Jimmy back with open arms before things quickly began falling apart.

After Jimmy Uso interfered in Seth Rollins' match with Cesaro, super-kicking Rollins to help Cesaro win and earn a Universal title shot at WrestleMania Backlash, Reigns confronted his cousin. Jimmy quickly began pushing back on Reigns' domineering ways and then started recruiting Jey to step away from the Universal champion and reform their tag team.

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This led to the main-event segment where Reigns attempted to get Jimmy Uso to "acknowledge" him before Cesaro interrupted proceedings. While Jimmy was seemingly OK with watching Cesaro stomp out his cousin, he stepped in once the Swiss Superman started taking on his brother. 

The show also featured Apollo Crews, Sami Zayn, Otis, Chad Gable and King Corbin defeating Big E, Kevin Owens, Angelo Dawkins, Montez Ford and Shinsuke Nakamura in a 10-man tag team match set by Teddy Long, who made an appearance for the retro night. 

The house show-esque tag team furthered several ongoing storylines heading into WrestleMania Backlash while also largely serving as an excuse to get the stars on television in a program dominated by Reigns content. 

Tamina also defeated Reginald via disqualification after interference from Nia Jax and Shayna Baszler, Carmella returned to television with a win over Ruby Riott, and Dominik Mysterio defeated Dolph Ziggler in one-on-one action. 

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