WWE SmackDown Ratings Up Slightly with Aleister Black's Return, IC Title Fatal 4-Way

Mike Chiari@@mikechiariFeatured Columnist IVMay 22, 2021

Photo credit: WWE.com

Ratings for Friday night's episode of SmackDown featuring a Fatal 4-Way main event for the Intercontinental Championship and the return of Aleister Black were up slightly compared to last week.

According to TV Line, SmackDown averaged 1.83 million viewers, which was an increase from last week's 1.80 million in the overnight ratings. SmackDown also did a 0.5 rating in the 18- to 49-year-old demographic, which was tied for No. 1 on the night.

The main event of SmackDown saw Apollo Crews put the Intercontinental title on the line in a Fatal 4-Way against Big E, Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn.

Big E was seemingly on his way to winning the match and reclaiming the IC title, but Black emerged and hit him with Black Mass, allowing Crews to pin Big E and retain the Intercontinental Championship.

Black's return has been teased through a series of vignettes in recent weeks, but SmackDown marked his first in-ring appearance since October.

SmackDown also featured a promo segment involving Universal champion Roman Reigns. While Paul Heyman was espousing Reigns' greatness, Cesaro interrupted and confronted The Tribal Chief.

Reigns beat Cesaro to retain the Universal title at WrestleMania Backlash, and after the match, Cesaro got attacked by Seth Rollins. Because of that, Cesaro's arm was in a sling on SmackDown.

Rollins once again jumped Cesaro on SmackDown and took him out with multiple Curb Stomps, resulting in paramedics taking Cesaro away on a stretcher.

The storyline between The Usos continued to play out as well, with Jimmy Uso getting them booked in a match against The Street Profits next week. Jey Uso seemed conflicted, while Reigns was none too pleased.

Other key moments on SmackDown included Bayley, Nia Jax and Shayna Baszler beating Bianca Belair, Natalya and Tamina in a six-woman tag team match, Shinsuke Nakamura getting played out to the ring by Rik Boogz and then defeating King Corbin, and Dominik Mysterio beating Robert Roode.

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