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WWE SmackDown Ratings Down for Cesaro, Reigns and WrestleMania Backlash Go-Home Show

Mike Chiari@@mikechiariFeatured Columnist IVMay 15, 2021

Photo credit: WWE.com

Ratings were down for Friday night's go-home episode of WWE SmackDown prior to Sunday's WrestleMania Backlash pay-per-view.

According to TV Line, SmackDown averaged 1.8 million viewers in the overnight ratings for its two-hour broadcast on Fox, which was down from last week's 2.2 million for Throwback SmackDown. This week's SmackDown also did a 0.4 rating in the 18-49-year-old demographic, which was No. 3 on the night.

SmackDown was headlined by a match between Cesaro and Jimmy Uso ahead of Sunday's Universal Championship bout between Cesaro and Roman Reigns.

After a heated conversation between Reigns, Jey Uso and Jimmy Uso to start SmackDown, Cesaro vs. Jimmy was made official for the main event, marking Jimmy's first match since WrestleMania 36 in April 2020.

Jimmy returned from a torn ACL last week and questioned why Jey had become Reigns' lackey, also making it clear he didn't want to be placed in a similar role. Jimmy said Friday that he didn't think Reigns could beat Cesaro at WrestleMania Backlash, so The Tribal Chief challenged Jimmy to prove he could get the job done.

Cesaro won by disqualification when Reigns attacked Cesaro from behind. Jimmy refused to help despite appeals from Reigns and Jey, and the show ended with Cesaro hitting the Neutralizer on Jey.

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Another significant moment on SmackDown saw Natalya and Tamina beat Nia Jax and Shayna Baszler to win the WWE Women's Tag Team Championships, ending a 103-day reign by Jax and Baszler.

It also marked the first major title win of any kind in Tamina's WWE career, 11 years after she debuted on the main roster.

SmackDown also saw King Corbin beat Shinsuke Nakamura and Rey Mysterio defeat Dolph Ziggler ahead of Ziggler and Robert Roode defending the SmackDown Tag Team Championships against Rey and Dominik Mysterio at WrestleMania Backlash.

WWE official Adam Pearce announced a huge match for next week's SmackDown as well, with Apollo Crews defending the Intercontinental Championship in a Fatal 4-Way against Big E, Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn.

Listen to Ring Rust Radio for all of the hot wrestling topics. Catch the latest episode in the player below (warning: some language NSFW).

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