WWE SmackDown Ratings Up Slightly with Fiend-Strowman Confrontation, Retribution

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistAugust 15, 2020

Photo credit: WWE.com.

WWE SmackDown on Fox saw its ratings increase slightly this week, anchored by a confrontation between "The Fiend" Bray Wyatt and universal champion Braun Strowman.

According to Showbuzz Daily, Friday night's episode of SmackDown averaged 1.979 million viewers during its two hours on the air, which was up 0.9 percent from last week's 1.962 million viewers. SmackDown also did a 0.5 rating in the 18-49-year-old demographic, which was No. 1 for the night.

The main event segment of Friday's show saw a new-look Strowman come to the ring only to be interrupted by Alexa Bliss. Alexa attempted to get through to Strowman, but The Monster Among Men insisted that his interaction with The Fiend had changed him and that he no longer cared about Bliss.

Strowman lifted Bliss into a press slam position in order to draw out The Fiend and dropped her to the mat once the lights went out. By the time The Fiend appeared, Strowman was nowhere to be found, but he then showed up on the big screen and began laughing maniacally.

With Strowman tapping into an entirely new side of himself, there is a great deal of intrigue surrounding the universal title match between the champion and The Fiend scheduled for SummerSlam.

SmackDown opened with a singles match between Big E and John Morrison, but it was interrupted by Retribution attacking both Superstars. Big E and Morrison finished their match later in the night with Big E winning by submission, but Retribution made its presence felt again.

The mysterious stable launched a backstage attack, but by the time the SmackDown locker room got to the location, Retribution was gone.

There was also a triple-brand battle royal for the right to face Bayley for the SmackDown Women's Championship at SummerSlam.

Asuka shocked both Bayley and Sasha Banks by entering despite the fact that she was already set to face Banks for the Raw women's title at SummerSlam. Asuka last eliminated Shayna Baszler to win, meaning she will have two championship bouts at SummerSlam.

Other key moments included Kalisto returning from injury to help Gran Metalik beat Shinsuke Nakamura, Sonya Deville accepting Mandy Rose's challenge for a hair vs. hair match at SummerSlam and AJ Styles agreeing to put the Intercontinental Championship on the line against Jeff Hardy at SummerSlam.


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