Sans Cena, SmackDown starts the new year third in the ratings



Dec. 30’s SmackDown was a big deal. The main event saw John Cena return to the ring for the first time in more than a year as part of WWE’s biggest angle.

That angle continued on the first episode of the new year, with fans anticipating that Roman Reigns might finally kick Sami Zayn out of The Bloodline (with extreme prejudice). While we didn’t get that, what we got was pretty great. But it wasn’t so great that it kept everyone who sought out Cena’s only match of 2022.

WWE’s latest Friday offering was watched by 2,257,000 people, and had a .53 rating among 18-49 year olds. Respectively, those are 14% and 17% declines from the previous week. They’re in line with the numbers SmackDown’s been doing over the past few months, albeit on the lower end of that range.

Broadcast networks are rolling out new episodes of shows again with the holidays behind us, and that means SmackDown did not win the night for FOX. The CBS drama Fire Country did with a .56 in the demo. ABC’s Shark Tank has the same rating as the blue show, but a significantly larger overall audience (more than four million).

We’ll see if business picks up on the road to Royal Rumble. Here’s a rundown of the past eight months or so of the blue show’s numbers:

* Aired on FS1

For complete results and this week’s SmackDown live blog click here. To read a recap & review of the night’s events click here. For video highlights of the show click here.

Numbers via Showbuzz Daily

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