WWE SmackDown Ratings Down Despite Daniel Bryan Risking Career vs. Roman Reigns

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistMay 1, 2021

Photo credit: WWE.com

Friday night's episode of WWE SmackDown featuring a Universal Championship main event between Roman Reigns and Daniel Bryan included a ratings decline compared to last week.

According to Showbuzz Daily, SmackDown averaged 1.923 million viewers during its two-hour broadcast on Fox, which was down from last week's 2.042 million. SmackDown also scored a 0.5 rating in the 18-49-year-old demographic, which was No. 1 on the night.

SmackDown faced stiff competition in the form of the second night of the 2021 NFL draft, but it beat the draft in the 18-49-year-old demo.

Reigns and Bryan clashed in a huge main event match with major implications, as Bryan agreed to the bout last week with the stipulation he would leave SmackDown if he lost.

Bryan did indeed lose when Reigns made him pass out in a guillotine choke, meaning Reigns retained the Universal Championship, and Bryan is no longer part of the blue brand.

After the match, The Tribal Chief tried to put Bryan on the shelf once and for all, but Cesaro ran down to make the save. Jey Uso then attacked, however, and tied Cesaro up in the ropes, forcing him to watch Reigns hit Bryan with a conchairto.

SmackDown also featured an Intercontinental Championship match with Apollo Crews putting the title on the line against Big E. While Big E won by disqualification due to interference from Commander Azeez, Crews retained the title.

After the match, Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn got involved, which means the IC title may be defended in a Fatal 4-Way at WrestleMania Backlash.

Another big SmackDown match featured SmackDown Women's champion Bianca Belair and The Street Profits beating Bayley and SmackDown Tag Team champions Dolph Ziggler and Robert Roode in a six-person tag team match ahead of Belair vs. Bayley at WrestleMania Backlash.

Also, Natalya and Tamina beat WWE Women's Tag Team champions Nia Jax and Shayna Baszler in a non-title match, Aleister Black read another chapter of his tale, and WWE announced that next week's SmackDown will be a throwback edition.


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