As noted earlier, the Friday Night SmackDown ratings on FOX bounced back this week for the show that featured an NXT invasion. Although the numbers are down from the first two weeks of shows, this week's show drew 2.543 million viewers. Last week's viewership on FS1 was 888,000 viewers. Going into last week's show, it was expected that they would be hurt by the World Series and the temporary move to FS1 but the number ended up being much lower than many in the company were predicting.
Dave Meltzer noted in this week's Wrestling Observer Newsletter that Vince McMahon was not reacting at all to last week's shockingly low number. He also noted how nobody else brought the numbers up when they were around McMahon.
This is no surprise. McMahon will never sell negative news about the company and his thinking on negative news (ratings, Saudi Arabia, etc) is that WWE can always get the fans back next week.
That is exactly what they did this week when they were forced to use NXT talent in place of the main roster talent that was stuck in Saudi Arabia.
The bigger story will be what the number looks like next week. This week's show may have benefited from the curiosity from fans wondering what the show would look like without most of the roster available.
Next week's show will give a better indication of what their numbers will look like on a week-to-week basis.
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