WWE SmackDown Ratings Decline Despite Reigns vs. Strowman on Season Premiere

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistOctober 17, 2020

IMAGE DISTRIBUTED FOR WWE - WWE superstar new world heavy weight champion Roman Reigns celebrates his victory at WrestleMania 32 at AT&T Stadium on Sunday, April 3, 2016, in Arlington, Texas. (Brandon Wade/AP Images for WWE)
Brandon Wade/Associated Press

Friday night's season premiere episode of WWE SmackDown on Fox saw its ratings decrease compared to last week.

According to Showbuzz Daily, SmackDown averaged 1.987 million viewers during its two-hour broadcast, which is down from last week's 2.178 million. SmackDown also scored a 0.5 rating in the 18-49-year-old demographic, which was No. 2 on the night.

The main event of SmackDown was a Universal Championship match between Roman Reigns and Braun Strowman. Reigns won the match in a surprising manner, as he forced Strowman to tap to a guillotine chokehold.

Reigns beat Strowman down with a steel chair after the match to serve as an example to his cousin, Jey Uso, who is facing him in a Hell in a Cell I Quit match at the Hell in a Cell pay-per-view. Uso was initially reluctant to attack Reigns, but he laid him out with a superkick and then hit him with the chair.

SmackDown also featured the contract signing for the SmackDown Women's Championship match between Bayley and Sasha Banks at Hell in a Cell. As expected, things got tense, and the former best friends had some choice words for each other.

Banks signed the contract, but Bayley left without doing so, and The Boss vowed she would make Bayley sign on the dotted line before Hell in a Cell.

The final match for New Day as a three-man unit occurred on SmackDown as well. Before the match, Big E, Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods cut a heartfelt promo, but the team of Sheamus, Cesaro and Shinsuke Nakamura made it clear they wanted to play spoiler.

New Day won the match and embraced afterward. With Kingston and Woods moving to Raw and Big E remaining on SmackDown, they may not share a ring again for quite some time.

Other significant happenings on SmackDown included Daniel Bryan making his return and mixing it up with Seth Rollins; Lars Sullivan beating Jeff Hardy; and the SmackDown Tag Team Championship match between The Street Profits and the team of Dolph Ziggler and Robert Roode getting thrown out as a double disqualification.

Next week's SmackDown will be the go-home episode prior to the Hell in a Cell pay-per-view.


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