WWE SmackDown Ratings Decline with Bayley vs. Cross, AJ Styles vs. Gran Metalik

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistAugust 1, 2020

Photo credit: WWE.com.

Friday's episode of WWE SmackDown on Fox saw its ratings drop slightly compared to last week despite two championship matches.

According to Showbuzz Daily, SmackDown averaged 1.892 million viewers during its two-hour broadcast, which was down 1.7 percent from last week's 1.924 million. SmackDown did tie for No. 1 on the night with a 0.5 rating in the 18-49-year-old demographic, however.

SmackDown was headlined by a SmackDown Women's Championship match between Bayley and Nikki Cross, which Bayley won. Also, Intercontinental champion AJ Styles opened the show with a successful defense against Gran Metalik.

After Bayley retained her title against Cross, there was some tension between Cross and Alexa Bliss, which resulted in Cross pushing her partner down.

"The Fiend" Bray Wyatt then appeared in the ring and circled Bliss as she was paralyzed in fear. SmackDown ended with The Fiend viciously clamping the Mandible Claw onto the helpless and defenseless Bliss.

That angle was a callback to the Wyatt Swamp Fight between Wyatt and universal champion Braun Strowman at Extreme Rules. At one point during the Swamp Fight, Bliss appeared and lured in Strowman, which allowed Wyatt to attack him.

Bliss' appearance was likely a figment of Strowman's imagination, as Wyatt used Braun's history with Alexa to get inside his head and catch him off guard.

The Swamp Fight ended with The Fiend pulling Strowman underwater, but based on what happened on SmackDown, a universal title match between The Fiend and Strowman at SummerSlam seems like a virtual certainty.

Also on SmackDown, Big E had a successful return to singles competition by beating The Miz despite constant interference from John Morrison, plus Naomi beat Lacey Evans and King Corbin defeated Drew Gulak. Corbin was attacked by Matt Riddle after the match, but Shorty G ran down and took out Riddle in an attempt to collect the bounty Corbin placed on the former MMA fighter.

WWE ran an intriguing angle involving Mandy Rose as well, with Sonya Deville attacking her and cutting off some of her hair while she was preparing for her date with Otis.

Miz and Morrison cracked some jokes about the incident before Tucker ran them off, which suggests a match between Heavy Machinery and Miz and Morrison may be in the works.

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