Did Vince McMahon And Brock Lesnar News Help WWE SmackDown?

"WWE Friday Night SmackDown" saw a major boost following the announcement that Vince McMahon was retiring from the company. Wrestlenomics came out with the viewership information for the 7/22 episode and "SmackDown" came in with 2,256,000 viewers on average, in comparison to 2,077,000 viewers on average last week, a 9% increase. This is "SmackDown's" highest total viewership since the June 17 episode

Demo wise, the program really impressed as "SmackDown" received 809,000 viewers on average in the 18-49 age demographic. Last week's episode had an average audience in that demo of 613,000, mirroring the number from the 7/8 episode. The latest key demo number saw "SmackDown" getting a 32% boost from the week before with a 0.62 P18-49 rating. This is the highest key demo viewership "SmackDown" has seen since January 21.

"AEW Rampage" had a little bit of a different outcome last week. The 7/22 episode was seen on average by 428,0000 viewers, down 2% from last week's program. From a key demographic standpoint, "Rampage" was in good shape gathering an average audience of 222,000, a 0.17 P18-49 rating for the night, up 21% in comparison to last week.

"SmackDown" came in at #1 overall in the 18-49 demographic. "Rampage" ranked in at #6 in cable originals, #20 for broadcast primetime.

Annually, "SmackDown" exceeded in both from total viewership and the key demo over last year. Last year's 7/23/2021 "SmackDown" saw an average audience of 2,137,000, a 5% decline compared to Friday's episode. Demographic-wise, last year's "SmackDown" saw an average of 709,000 viewers, 12% less than this past Friday.

"WWE SmackDown" kicked off its suddenly historic episode by having then-interim CEO of WWE walk out, Stephanie McMahon. Stephanie addressed her father's exit before she led the live audience in a "Thank you, Vince" chant. There was added intrigue due to the unknown status of Brock Lesnar who reportedly walked out of the arena hours before the show. "The Beast Incarnate" did end up appearing as he closed the show out with a brutal beatdown of current Money In The Bank winner, Theory.