WWE SmackDown Ratings Decline Despite WWE Draft, Bayley vs. Sasha Banks

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistOctober 10, 2020

American businesswoman Stephanie McMahon participates in AOL's BUILD Speaker Series at AOL Studios on Friday, Oct. 16, 2015, in New York. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)
Evan Agostini/Associated Press

Friday night's WWE draft episode of SmackDown on Fox saw its viewership fall compared to last week's show.

According to Showbuzz Daily, SmackDown averaged 2.086 million viewers during its two-hour broadcast, which was down from last week's 2.155 million. SmackDown also did a 0.6 rating in the 18-49-year-old demographic, which was No. 3 on the night.

The main focus of Friday's show was the WWE draft, with Stephanie McMahon announcing every pick for both SmackDown and Raw.

As expected, several top stars remained on their respective brands, as WWE champion Drew McIntyre and Raw Women's champion Asuka stayed on Raw, while Universal champion Roman Reigns and Sasha Banks remained on SmackDown.

There were also several significant changes, however, including Seth Rollins going from Raw to SmackDown and AJ Styles going from SmackDown to Raw.

The biggest surprise of the night involved New Day. Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods returned after missing months because of injury and immediately challenged for the SmackDown Tag Team Championships, beating Cesaro and Shinsuke Nakamura for the titles.

After the big win, it was announced that Kingston and Woods had been drafted to Raw, while Big E—who won a Falls Count Anywhere match against Sheamus earlier in the night—would remain on SmackDown, meaning New Day is no longer a three-man group.

SmackDown also featured a SmackDown Women's Championship match between Bayley and Banks. Not surprisingly, there wasn't a clean finish, as Bayley purposely got herself disqualified by hitting Sasha with a steel chair.

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That led to Banks challenging Bayley to a SmackDown Women's Championship match at the Hell in a Cell pay-per-view inside the Hell in a Cell structure.

Another big moment on SmackDown saw Lars Sullivan return after being on the shelf for several months because of injury. Sullivan destroyed the likes of Matt Riddle, Jeff Hardy, The Miz and John Morrison following a tag team match.

The main event of SmackDown featured "The Fiend" Bray Wyatt facing Kevin Owens. The Fiend won the match and posed with Alexa Bliss atop the stage to close the show.


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