This week was a historic one for the WWE Smackdown Live brand, as it not only celebrated its 1,000th episode with a star-studded special, but it also defeated Raw in this week’s WWE TV ratings.
The highly anticipated Smackdown 1000 special was hyped for weeks by WWE, with major announcements such as the reunion of Evolution and the return of Rey Mysterio being made leading up the monumental special.
According to ShowBuzz Daily, WWE fans were certainly interested in the Smackdown 1000 event, as the show averaged 2.545 million viewers for USA Network on Tuesday night.
Not only did this week’s Smackdown viewership number see a big increase from last week’s 2.135 million viewership average, the show also pulled off a feat it has rarely been able to do since its inception, and that is defeat Monday Night Raw in the weekly WWE TV ratings. This week’s episode of Raw averaged only 2.397 million viewers for a show which featured more hype for WWE Crown Jewel, and appearances by Hall of Famers Lita and Trish Stratus as the road to Evolution continues.
Since this week, and the most recent version of the WWE brand split took place, Smackdown Live viewership has only been able to top that of Raw one time, and that was back in December 2016, as Smackdown viewership was able to edge out Raw with a show that aired just days after Christmas.
As noted, this week’s WWE Smackdown 1000 episode featured not only the reunion of Evolution and the return of Rey Mysterio, but a dream match in the form of Mysterio vs Shinsuke Nakamura, and also kicked off with the return of Shane McMahon and Vince McMahon, which resulted in an impromptu dance-beak featuring Vince, R-Truth and Carmella. Smackdown 1000 was the ninth most-watched show on cable television on Tuesday night, behind various news programming, NBA games, and the 2018 Major League Baseball playoffs, which dominated the evening.