WWE SmackDown Ratings Drop Sharply Despite AJ Styles, Matt Riddle Matches

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistJuly 4, 2020

TOKYO,JAPAN - JUNE 28: AJ Styles enters the ring during the WWE Live Tokyo at Ryogoku Kokugikan on June 28, 2019 in Tokyo, Japan. (Photo by Etsuo Hara/Getty Images)
Etsuo Hara/Getty Images

This week's episode of WWE SmackDown took a major hit in the ratings and posted a record low since moving to Fox in October.

According to Showbuzz Daily, SmackDown drew an average of 1.777 million viewers during its two-hour broadcast Friday, which was down 18.3 percent from last week's 2.174 million. SmackDown still performed fairly well in the 18-49-year-old demographic, however, as its 0.4 rating was tied for second on the night.

The fact that it is Fourth of July weekend may have played a role in SmackDown's ratings dropping so significantly.

SmackDown started with an in-ring interview segment featuring Matt Riddle. The Original Bro was interrupted by King Corbin, which prompted Riddle to challenge him to a match, but Corbin backed down and revealed that Riddle would be facing John Morrison instead.

Riddle and Morrison did battle in a back-and-forth, entertaining affair that Riddle eventually won with a surprise roll-up.

Following that lengthy bout was an Intercontinental Championship match pitting AJ Styles against Drew Gulak. While Gulak looked good at times and nearly upset The Phenomenal One on a couple of occasions, Styles prevailed and retained the IC title.

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The main event segment was Sheamus' toast to Jeff Hardy. Sheamus appeared via satellite from a bar inside his home, while Hardy stood in the ring in front of a table that held several bottles of liquor.

Sheamus called for Hardy to embrace his demons and have a drink, but Hardy poured a glass of champagne over the bartender's head and then broke a bottle over his head before hitting him with a Swanton Bomb to end the show.

Other key moments on SmackDown included Bayley beating Alexa Bliss by disqualification in an impromptu match after Nikki Cross attacked her, and Shinsuke Nakamura beating Kofi Kingston to set the stage for a SmackDown Tag Team Championships match next week between The New Day and Nakamura and Cesaro.

WWE also set the stage for the upcoming Wyatt Swamp Fight between universal champion Braun Strowman and Bray Wyatt at Extreme Rules by playing a video package highlighting their history together.

                

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