The ratings battle between WWE’s SmackDown and AEW’s Monday Night Raw was a close one, but in the end, it came down to an error. Which show got the most viewers?
The “smackdown ratings” is a question that has been asked by many wrestling fans. The answer to this question is WWE SmackDown, which won Friday Night’s Ratings Battle between WWE SmackDown and AEW Rampage.
On Friday, the world of pro wrestling saw a once-in-a-lifetime event. With Friday Night SmackDown being relegated to FS1 for the evening, WWE decided to add an additional 30 minutes of commercial-free programming, which clashed with AEW Rampage on TNT. AEW president Tony Khan reacted quickly, claiming that he was looking forward to ultimately defeating WWE’s primary show. The next week, he gave a slew of interviews to promote the event, including a one-hour Buy-In that aired opposite SmackDown’s second hour and featured an instant classic between Bryan Danielson and Minoru Suzuki of New Japan.
ShowBuzz Daily released the ratings for the two episodes on Monday. In the 18-49 target demographic, SmackDown and Rampage matched with a 0.24 rating, with SmackDown winning the female side. Rampage won the male demographic by a margin of 0.34 to 0.32. SmackDown had a far greater viewership than Rampage, with 866,000 viewers compared to 578,000 for the Blue Brand, albeit the Blue Brand’s audience dropped sharply from last week’s program on FOX, while Rampage’s audience actually grew despite the competition.
Update: Wrestlenomics’ Brandon Thurston has provided an update on the target demographic figures, claiming that SmackDown only gained 1,000 additional viewers over the course of its two-and-a-half-hour run.
313,000 people on the rampage 314,000 smackdowns
The demos and margins are listed below.
Quarter-hours are on their way.
https://t.co/EWZNV3BUfs pic.twitter.com/IGfdUctObY Updated report here: https://t.co/EWZNV3BUfs
October 18, 2021 — Brandon Thurston (@BrandonThurston)
Update: According to Pro Wrestling Torch, Rampage had the better rating in the target demographic after a 30-minute head-to-head match.
FANS, WRESTLERS, AND STAFF, LET’S GO @AEW! LFG #AEW, EVERYONE!!!! https://t.co/CMAT5F0jCd
18 October 2021 — Tony Khan (@TonyKhan)
Khan highlighted why having AEW fight against WWE is beneficial for business in an interview with The New York Post last week.
“This weekend, we can generate a massive audience,” Khan remarked. “With three hours of live wrestling on TNT on a Sunday other than a pay-per-view, we’ve never had anything like this before.” This time of year, there are a lot of things going on, including a lot of sports. Outside of wrestling, there is a lot of competition. So, if we’re going to attempt to compete directly against each other at this time of year when there are so many other things going on in sports, let’s go. I wasn’t the one who threw the gloves off, but if someone has to do the selling and talking, I’ll be the one to do it. In this scenario, I’m the one doing all of the talking and selling. I believe we need to return to a time when there was so much enthusiasm about the concerts. Because so many people are talking about it, it has certainly created a buzz.
“On the weekend, we had a tremendous chance to pull people in a fresh position for us,” he continued. “Rampage just debuted, and we’ve had a fantastic run on Wednesdays, where we’ve been the No. 1 program on all of cable television for six weeks in a row. Dynamite has been rescheduled to a Saturday night time slot that is pretty unusual. Wrestling for three hours on a weekend is a whole different experience. As a reaction, I put together the Buy-In, although it took some time. That was something I couldn’t accomplish right away. As a result, I wanted to let everyone know that the gloves are off.”
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