CM Punk vs. Matt Sydal commercial-free on AEW Rampage

Credit: AEW

Friday Night SmackDown on FS1 beat Rampage handily in total viewership, as many expected, however the 18-49 viewership was much closer.

SmackDown’s final viewership came in at 866,000, while AEW Rampage drew a total viewership of 578,000 per Brandon Thurston of Wrestlenomics. SmackDown drew 314,000 in the 18-49 demographic, while Rampage came in at a nearly identical 313,000.

SmackDown’s total viewership on FS1 represents a 60% DECLINE for SmackDown, while Rampage was up 13%. SmackDown’s 18-49 rating was down 54% after drawing 0.52 in 18-49 ratings last week on Fox, while AEW Rampage was UP 29% after drawing 0.17 in the demo last week. The MyNetworks in New York and Chicago add an estimated 89,000 total viewers for WWE, with 17,000 in 18-49 viewership, meaning WWE’s viewership could be as high as 955,000 overall with 331,000. Either way, while SmackDown handily defeated AEW Rampage in total viewership, both shows offered up a competitive 18-49 fight.

WWE’s Supersized SmackDown on FS1 defeated AEW Rampage in total viewership per fast nationals overnight ratings data, with SmackDown garnering 793,000 to 549,000 for AEW Rampage.

SmackDown vs. Rampage Ratings | October 15, 2021

  • Friday Night SmackDown Total Viewership on FS1—866,000
  • Friday Night SmackDown Rating in 18-49 Demo—314,000 (0.24 Rating)
  • AEW Rampage Total Viewership—578,000
  • AEW Rampage Rating in 18-49 Demo—313,000 (.24 Rating)

SmackDown was preempted to FS1 due to the baseball playoffs, and is set to return to Fox FOXA next week. SmackDown going head-to-head against Rampage opens the door for future counter-programming efforts when the show is bumped to FS1. With SmackDown currently airing on Fox, the broadcast must be off the air at 10 p.m. EST to accommodate local news. With no local news mandates, SmackDown’s preemption allowed WWE, and its uber-competitive Chairman Vince McMahon, to counter AEW with a 2.5-hour Supersized SmackDown on FS1.

Looking ahead, the MLB World Series will air exclusively on Fox, and Game 3 of the World Series will air Friday, October 29. WWE announced an hour-long broadcast of Talking Smack to go head-to-head with AEW Rampage on that night as Friday Night SmackDown returns to FS1.

SmackDown’s extra half-hour, which went head-to-head with CM Punk vs. Matt Sydal, was loaded with top stars including a match between Becky Lynch vs. Sasha Banks and a contract signing between Roman Reigns and Brock Lesnar. Similar to SmackDown’s final 30 minutes, CM Punk’s opening match also aired commercial-free.

Rampage also tried to counter SmackDown with a one-hour AEW Buy In show that featured a technical wrestling showcase between Minoru Suzuki and Bryan Danielson. With no build, and a matchup that only appealed to a niche hardcore following, the Buy In failed to top 100,000 live viewers, however as of this writing, it has since grown to over 900,000 as fans opted to watch after it aired. This number is more than double the viewership of both Monday’s AEW Dark Elevation (402,000) and Tuesday’s AEW Dark (384,000).

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Source: WWE Vs. AEW Ratings: SmackDown Narrowly Defeats Rampage In 18-49 Demo

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