Did Vince McMahon Controversy Lead To Big WWE SmackDown Viewership?

Brandon June 20, 2022
Updated 2022/06/20 at 5:14 PM
Photo Credit: WWE

Vince McMahon issued a short promo to open “WWE SmackDown” and the viewership numbers for the 6/17 episode show that there was definitely interest in what he had to say, or do.

Wrestlenomics just released all the numbers behind this past Friday’s wrestling programs and “SmackDown” saw an average viewership of 2,290,000. This means that the show, in comparison to the 6/10 episode, received a 20% increase in total viewership.

Looking at the key demographic, “SmackDown” also saw a boost. The 18-49 number had 750,000 viewers on average, giving the demo a 32% jump up in total viewership from the previous week. This is SmackDown’s highest demographic viewership number since the episode after WrestleMania and its highest total viewership number since the go-home show before WrestleMania.

From a year ago, “SmackDown” saw a considerable change in average viewership. The 6/18/2021 episode had an average viewership of 2,045,000, giving this week’s program 245,000 more sets of eyes on it. The key demographic average viewership number was up 50,000 from the 6/18/2021 episode.

As far as “AEW Rampage” is concerned, the episode didn’t see any residual intrigue from that “SmackDown” audience. The 6/18 episode was watched by 331,000 viewers on average, down 145,000 from last week’s number of 476,000. The key demographic number encountered a big drop too with an average viewership of 132,000, a 72,000 decrease from the previous week’s. That gave the program a 30% drop in total viewership and a 37% drop in the 18-49 demographic. This was the lowest average viewership in the key demo for “AEW Rampage” and the second-lowest average total viewership, only behind the 5/6 episode that drew an average of 292,000 viewers.

“SmackDown” not only benefited from having the unplanned hype for the Vince McMahon promo to kick off the show but featured a WWE Universal Heavyweight Championship main event between Roman Reigns and Riddle. Reigns successfully defended his title after catching Riddle mid-air with a spear before Brock Lesnar returned to challenge Reigns for SummerSlam.

“Rampage” had a “Road Rager” themed episode that saw Jade Cargill defending her TBS Women’s Title against Willow Nightingale, the return of Sting, Jon Moxley vs. Dante Martin, and Darby Allin battling Bobby Fish.

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