WWE SmackDown Ratings Dropped Ahead Of Payback

WWE SmackDown

The go-home episode of SmackDown saw a decrease in viewers.

As reported by Wrestlenomics, the September 1st episode of the blue brand obtained an average audience of 2.443 million viewers with an 18-49 rating of 0.65.

Compared to the August 25th episode of SmackDown which had an average audience of 2.647 million, the decrease calculates to approximately 7.7%. It should be noted that the August 25th episode saw a rise in viewership as this episode paid tribute to Terry Funk and Bray Wyatt, who both sadly passed in the days prior to the broadcast. Many would have likely tuned into the episode to see how WWE would pay tribute to both Wyatt and Funk.

John Cena Returned On WWE SmackDown

Along with being the final episode of the Friday night show before Payback, the September 1st edition also saw John Cena make his return to the blue brand to kick off the first of 8 appearances already announced. Making headlines in the opening segment, Cena announced that he would also be at the upcoming Premium Live Event to provide guest host duties for the evening.

The main storyline that ran throughout the broadcast saw Jimmy Uso try to figure out what was next in his wrestling journey. Beginning by going face-to-face with Cena, Uso got the worst of the exchange as he was hit with an Attitude Adjustment. Seething at what happened, the former Tag Team Champion got into a backstage altercation with AJ Styles that saw Solo Sikoa unexpectedly come to his aid. Sikoa defeated Styles in the main event and seemingly signal that he wants to be back in The Bloodline.