WWE SmackDown Ratings Hold Steady Post-Payback With Return Of LA Knight

Last week's "WWE SmackDown" showed a slight increase in viewership compared to the previous week, but experienced a decrease in the 18-49 key demographic.

According to a report by "SportsTVRatings," the viewership for the September 29 episode of "SmackDown" rose to 2,303,000 viewers, a 3% rise in contrast to the 2,227,000 viewership from the September 22 episode of the show. However, the viewership of the 18-49 key demographic declined from 0.62 to 0.60 for last week's show — a 4% decrease. "SmackDown," though, was the most viewed sports show on Friday, September 29, ahead of College Football matches.

The viewership of the September 22nd episode of "SmackDown" declined significantly by 13% compared to the previous week, when The Rock made his return, resulting in a 23% boost in ratings.

The return of LA Knight last week, who had been out with COVID the previous week, could have been one of the key reasons for the increase in viewership. This was reflected in the YouTube viewership numbers as his full segment with John Cena and The Bloodline was the most-viewed segment, with over 800,000 views. The shorter clip showing Knight aligning with Cena was viewed by over 450,000 people. Another noteworthy segment from last week's "SmackDown" was Asuka coming to the aid of Charlotte Flair after Flair had been subjected to a beatdown by Damage CTRL, which was the third most-viewed YouTube segment.

In the final segment of "SmackDown," Cena discussed his upcoming match against Jimmy Uso and Solo Sikoa at Fastlane, confirming his commitment to honor the contract and face them in a handicap match. The Bloodline members then tried to inflict some damage on Cena. However, LA Knight appeared to save Cena and then signed the contract to become Cena's tag team partner for this Saturday's show.