WWE SmackDown Delivers All-Time Best Ratings On FS1

The fan interest in WWE's critically-acclaimed Bloodline saga isn't waning anytime soon. Last Friday's "WWE SmackDown" was viewed by an average of 1.23 million viewers on FS1, according to Wrestlenomics, and thereby became the most-watched episode of WWE's blue brand show on the Fox Sports cable channel.

Although the show saw a significant drop from last week's viewership of 2.309 million viewers on FOX, a decline was expected due to the switch from network to cable television, meaning fewer homes had access to WWE's flagship Friday night program, which was preempted to FS1 to accommodate the ongoing FIFA Women's World Cup 2023.

For context, the last airing of "SmackDown" on FS1, on December 12, 2022, averaged 902,000 viewers, and the one prior to that, on October 28, 2022, averaged 835,000 viewers. As such, Friday's show saw a significant bump from the previous two FS1 episodes, so much so that the 0.36 rating represented its best-ever number in the 18-49 key demographic most valued by advertisers. Furthermore, Friday's show marked only the third instance of "SmackDown" drawing over a million viewers on FS1, following the episodes on October 29, 2021, and December 18, 2020, both of which garnered a little over a million viewers.

Last week's "SmackDown" was much-hyped due to the return of Undisputed WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns, who participated in a "Rules of Engagement" segment with his cousin Jey Uso ahead of their high-stakes match at SummerSlam. The segment ended with Reigns stopping Solo Sikoa from hitting Uso with a Samoan Spike, inadvertently giving Uso an opening to superkick Sikoa out of the ring. The frantic scenes were followed by Uso and Reigns staring down intensely, with a worried Paul Heyman looking on from the corner. The segment also confirmed that Reigns would be putting both his historic title reign and his "Tribal Chief" status on the line against Jey at SummerSlam, something he alluded to by placing his lei on top of his title belt while staring down his cousin.