WWE Friday Night SmackDown on Fox witnessed a significant increase in preliminary ratings thanks to the presence of iconic wrestlers such as The Rock and John Cena. In a surprising turn of events, Pat McAfee, who was not advertised for the show, made an appearance, alongside The Rock. McAfee, who was in Boulder, Colorado for his ESPN/YouTube show and the Colorado Buffaloes football game, decided to travel to Denver for Smackdown as well. The Rock accompanied him, as he was a guest on Pat’s show and also appeared on ESPN College Gameday to support the football team coached by Deion Sanders.
A Memorable Segment
The Rock and McAfee took part in an in-ring segment with Austin Theory, where The Rock led the crowd in calling Theory an “a**hole”. When Theory attempted to get physical, The Rock quickly put him in his place, delivering a spinebuster and his trademark People’s Elbow. McAfee, taking inspiration from his idol, also performed his own version of the People’s Elbow. This 20-minute segment was met with immense enthusiasm from the WWE fans in attendance as well as those watching at home.
The latest episode of WWE SmackDown on Fox garnered a viewership of 2.445 million, marking a 24% increase from the previous week. In the sought-after 18-49 age demographic, the show attracted 834,000 viewers, a 36% increase compared to last week, and ranked as the most-watched program on all of broadcast television.
Industry analyst Brandon Thurston of Wrestlenomics predicts that the final rating for the episode will be around 2.57 million viewers. This information is expected to be confirmed on Monday. Thurston also noted that the first hour of the show, featuring appearances from The Rock and Pat McAfee, received higher viewership compared to the rest of the episode.
Additional Boost from John Cena
In addition to The Rock’s surprise return, John Cena’s appearance on Grayson Waller’s talk show during the main event likely contributed significantly to the ratings. Cena had not appeared on the previous week’s episode of SmackDown due to his involvement in a WWE show in India.
Source : tjrwrestling.net