WWE SmackDown Ratings Increase With The Rock & John Cena

john cena the rock smackdown

The September 15th episode of SmackDown made major viewership gains thanks to the returns of both John Cena and The Rock.

The show opened with a promo segment between Austin Theory and Pat McAfee but McAfee was soon joined by The Rock, who returned to a thunderous reaction from the crown in Denver, Colorado.

Theory tried holding his own against The Rock in a verbal exchange but he ended up getting destroyed. First verbally as Rock got the crowd to call Theory an “a**hole” in unison several times, and then physically as both Rock and McAfee hit him with People’s Elbows.

Later on in the show, Rock had a short confrontation with John Cena, who went on to have his own promo segment with Grayson Waller that also broke down into a fight.

Given the big name value that both Cena and Rock brought, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that SmackDown on Friday was an overwhelming ratings success.

According to the Wrestling Observer, the show averaged 2,569,000 viewers, which is a huge 22% increase from the prior week’s episode. Additionally, Wrestlenomics noted that the opening segment involving The Rock got the highest viewership number at around 2.8 million.

The Rock made unadvertised appearance on SmackDown

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson wasn’t advertised for his SmackDown appearance ahead of time and was simply nearby for other reasons. That lack of prior promotion made his appearance a genuine surprise, with his return video viewed an estimated 103 million times across various social media platforms.

Additionally, WWE is keeping its options for 2024 open as Rock has expressed interest in wrestling at WrestleMania 40.