SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST (ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)… PWTorch editor Wade Keller presents the Thursday Flagship edition of the Wade Keller Pro Wrestling Podcast with guest cohost PWTorch VIP analyst Todd Martin. Todd and Wade discuss Howard Finkel and what he represented as a great ring announcer but also how Vince McMahon treated him and what that says about McMahon. Todd then gives his strong view on WWE’s decision to release so many wrestlers yesterday during a pandemic just days before the next investor’s conference call. And much more.
(Search “wade keller” to subscribe in podcast app or CLICK HERE to subscribe in Apple Podcasts.)
Last night’s episode of WWE Smackdown (4/17) on Fox drew a series low viewership total for Fox with first hour viewership of 2.239 million and second hour viewership of 2.145 million. They finished second in the 18-49 key demo rating with a 0.6 behind several shows that drew 0.7 ratings on ABC and CBS. They also were tied with NBC programing in that demo.
Last week, the first hour drew 2.372 million, so they opened down 131,000. Last week, the second hour drew 2.235 million, so they closed down 90,000.
The average viewership for Smackdown’s two hours this year was 2.484 million through Apr. 3. Last week Smackdown’s two hours in the overnight ratings averaged 2.303. This week’s average of both hours is 2.192 million.
In addition to the Triple H “25th Anniversary Celebration” next week, they’ve already announced part three of the Jeff Hardy mini-docu-series, a feature on the history of Braun Strowman and The Fiend,, Sasha Banks vs. Lacey Evans in a MITB qualifier, King Corbin vs. Drew Gulak in a MITB qualifier, and Alexa Bliss & Nikki Cross vs. Dana Brooke & Carmella for the WWE Women’s Tag Team Titles.
Keller’s Analysis: This isn’t good, obviously. The demo rating at least puts them in the mix with other top broadcast network shows still, but the question that no one knows is whether this downward slide will continue as more people get disenchanted with empty-venue wrestling (either due to the lower energy level or because they are uncomfortable watching WWE’s inexcusable violations of social distancing when there’s no reason for people to be near each other (such as several wrestlers within inches of Michael Cole throughout last night’s show). This show built toward Big E vs. Jey Uso vs. The Miz in a triple threat match for the Smackdown Tag Team Titles, and that’s hardly a big-time main event. Smackdown has benefitted from segments built around John Cena, The Fiend, and Goldberg at times in recent weeks, and this was the first show in a while without anything special built up to try to hook viewers into tuning in or sticking around. Next week’s 25th Anniversary Celebration of Triple H will be a test of his current drawing power and whether a show featuring him can give a needed boost to the viewership numbers.
RECOMMENDED: NXT scores another narrow same night viewership victory over AEW, AEW keeps demo and 7-day lead