WWE SmackDown Rating Soars On Buzzard Wings For Bray Wyatt/Terry Funk Tribute Episode

This past Friday's "WWE SmackDown" was a tribute to two icons from different generations of professional wrestling, former WWE Champion Bray Wyatt and WWE Hall of Famer Terry Funk.

According to Wrestlenomics, the episode featuring tributes to the two fallen stars saw a 26 percent jump in overall viewership from last week, with an average of 2,094,000 overall viewers, and a meteoric 41 percent rise in the coveted P18-49 demographic with an average of 1,022,000 viewers in that age range.


The highest-rated segment in both demographics was the opening segment, which included a tribute video for Wyatt, followed by a tribute to Funk. The lowest-rated segment for both demographics was the main event match between Finn Balor and L.A. Knight.

The ratings are obviously an aberration due to the tragic nature of the broadcast but they do speak to how beloved the two stars were. Plans for this week's "SmackDown" were scrapped when news broke of Wyatt's death. Wyatt reportedly died in his sleep on Thursday at the age of 36, suffering a heart attack while taking a nap, just 24 hours after news broke that Funk had passed away at the age of 79 after a long battle with health issues that extend all the way back to his in-ring career.


WWE World Heavyweight Champion Seth Rollins was not in attendance for the Wyatt-Funk tribute show, opting instead to spend time with his wife Becky Lynch, and their young daughter, citing a conversation he'd had with Wyatt about the importance of time with one's family for wrestlers, as the time on the road already robs them of so much time.