With the Royal Rumble traditionally being one of the WWE's flagship events (and what has been considered the kickoff on the road to WrestleMania), one would imagine that viewership for the first post-Royal Rumble Raw and Smackdown shows would indicate a bump historically.
In reviewing viewership data from the last seven years (2013-2019), the post-Royal Rumble episode of Raw has had a viewership increase in five of the seven years over the previous week (with the exception of 2018 and 2014). Smackdown viewership has been down slightly in four of the seven years and up slightly in the other years for the week following the Royal Rumble.
In numbers courtesy of ShowBuzz Daily and reported on this site, this year's Raw drew 2.703 million viewers, which was up 9.8% from the previous week's "go home" show. However it was lower than the January 14th episode, which averaged 2.722 million viewers.
The 2018 show dropped 25% from the previous week in a strong exception to the rule, as the previous week's show had been the Raw 25th Anniversary (a rare destination episode that would overshadow any news from the Royal Rumble). In 2014, the show drew 4.718 million viewers but was down 3.09% from the previous week. The other years had a variance between a 9.81% increase in 2017 to a 17.22% increase in 2016. Below are the ratings for the past six years for RAW, as well as the increase or decrease from the previous week:
2019: 2.722 million (+9.85 from the previous week)
2018: 3.395 million (-25% from RAW 25 the week before)
2017: 3.615 million (-1.5%)
2016: 4.098 million (+17%)
2015: 4.420 million (+7.8%)
2014: 4.719 million (-3%)
2013: 5.020 million (+16.28%)
Smackdown has shown less variance in viewership between the post-Royal Rumble programming and the go home show the previous week. This year's program drew 2.137 million viewers as compared to the previous week's 2.142 million (down 2.5%). Last year's post-week Smackdown was down similarly compared to the previous week, 2.5%. In 2017, Smackdown increased by 10% for the post show compared to the previous week while most other years it was up or down no more than a percentage point or two.
Generally, The Royal Rumble is a big bump to Raw viewership the next day. For Smackdown, it is not a significant influence, positively or negatively. One could imagine that Raw is a draw to view the fallout of who won and the next steps on the Road to WrestleMania while Smackdown comes at a time that viewers have had a fair amount of programming to digest and the fallout has mostly been addressed. Below are the ratings for the past six years for SmackDown, as well as the increase or decrease from the previous week:
2019: 2.137 million (-2.5% from the previous week)
2018: 2.509 million (-2.75%)
2017: 2.817 million (+10%, SmackDown is now live on Tuesdays)
2016: 2.720 million (-1.34%, now airing on USA after airing on Syfy the years prior)
2015: 2.952 million (+4.9%, live special)
2014: 3.027 million (-0.10%)
2013: 3.030 million (+5.06% on SyFy)
Follow Lavie Margolin on Twitter @Laviemarg