Smackdown’s ratings had been trending downwards after the Draft episode, but that trend is officially over as of this week. The show, which featured the introduction of the Smackdown Tag Team and Women’s title belts, as well as a main event of AJ Styles vs Dolph Ziggler in order to determine the WWE World Heavyweight Title match at Backlash, scored 2.71 million viewers and 0.98 rating in the 18-49 demographic, the highest rating for the show since the Draft, and the most viewers since the brand extension officially began. While the show was still bringing in numbers higher than pre-Draft episodes, this jump will certainly be seen as a welcome one for WWE and the USA Network, which have both declared a desire to see Smackdown treated as an equivalent show to the flagship, Raw. Smackdown also easily won the night for original cable programming, and most importantly, was a pretty good show!
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