WWE SmackDown With The Rock Leads To Significant Rise In Ratings

wwe smackdown the rock austin theory

The presence of The Rock, John Cena, and others led to a significant rise in the preliminary ratings for WWE Friday Night SmackDown on Fox.

On WWE Friday Night Smackdown in Denver, there were two surprises in the opening segment. Pat McAfee started the show even though he wasn’t advertised for it. Since McAfee’s ESPN/YouTube show was in Boulder, Colorado for tonight’s Colorado Buffaloes football game (Pat works on the ESPN College Gameday show on Saturdays as well), he made the trip to Denver to be at Smackdown as well.

It turns out that Pat didn’t make the trip alone because Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson was with him on Smackdown. The Rock was also in Boulder as a guest on Pat’s show and as a guest on ESPN College Gameday to support the Colorado Buffaloes football team that is coached by Pro Football Hall of Famer Deion Sanders.

The Rock and McAfee did an in-ring segment with Austin Theory that saw The Rock lead the crowd in calling Theory an “a**hole” and when Theory tried to get physical, it didn’t turn out well. The Rock dropped Theory with a spinebuster along with a People’s Elbow while McAfee did his own People’s Elbow too. That 20-minute segment was loved by the WWE fans in the arena and at home as well.

WWE Smackdown draws big Preliminary ratings

This week’s WWE Smackdown episode on Fox drew 2.445 Million viewers, which is 24% higher than last week.

In the coveted 18-49 age demographic, the show did 834,000 viewers. That’s an increase of 36% over last week and was number one on all of broadcast television.

According to Brandon Thurston of Wrestlenomics, the final rating number should be around 2.57 million viewers. We should have that information on Monday. It was also noted by Thurston that the first hour of the show with appearances from The Rock and Pat McAfee was the more highly-viewed hour.

While The Rock’s return to WWE TV was unadvertised, John Cena’s appearance on Grayson Waller’s talk show in the main event likely helped the ratings a lot too. Cena was not on last week’s Smackdown since he was wrestling in India at a WWE show.