WWE SmackDown Ratings Spike with NFL Lead-In, Reigns vs. Owens Title Match

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistDecember 26, 2020

Credit: WWE.com

Perhaps WWE should consider moving SmackDown to Sunday nights.

Friday's edition of the show averaged 3.336 million viewers in the overnight ratings, according to Showbuzz Daily. SmackDown likely got a boost by hitting the airwaves immediately following Fox's broadcast of the New Orleans Saints' 52-33 victory over the Minnesota Vikings.

Wrestling Inc's Raj Giri noted the rating was the best for WWE's blue brand since its debut episode on Fox in October.

Booking a massive WWE Universal Championship match to open SmackDown didn't hurt in terms of building an audience.

Roman Reigns put the title on the line inside a steel cage against Kevin Owens in a rematch from TLC: Tables, Ladders & Chairs. Reigns once again walked away as the champion after Jey Uso handcuffed Owens to the cage.

That wasn't the only championship bout on Christmas. Big E dethroned Sami Zayn to become an intercontinental champion for the second time. 

Because this was a Lumberjack match, Zayn didn't have anywhere to hide and couldn't run away in the face of adversity. As the lumberjacks brawled on the outside, Zayn attempted to sneak away, only to be caught on the entrance ramp.

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Charlotte Flair and Asuka didn't have very long to savor their win at TLC before they faced their first challenge as tag team champions. They fended off the pair of Sasha Banks and Bianca Belair and Carmella and Bayley to successfully complete their first title defense.

In the only other clash during SmackDown, Daniel Bryan bested Uso in a singles encounter.