The go-home episode of SmackDown Live, before this Sunday’s Battleground pay per view, saw another positive ratings bump. The July 18 broadcast averaged 2.548 million viewers through its two hours on the USA Network, which represented a 3.4 percent increase from last week’s 2.465 million viewers. This week’s SmackDown Live opened with WWE Champion Jinder Mahal, the Singh Brothers, and No. 1 contender Randy Orton speaking as the Punjabi Prison structure made its presence in Birmingham, Alabama.
SmackDown Live last night also saw Mike Kanellis make his in-ring debut against Sami Zayn, Becky Lynch and Charlotte Flair fought in a very good match, and Kevin Owens and Baron Corbin battled against United States Champion AJ Styles and Shinsuke Nakamura. John Cena was also on the show to promote his Flag Match against Rusev at Sunday’s Battleground.
Despite the viewership increase, SmackDown Live finished second in the overall among cable, losing to The Rachel Maddow Show on MSNBC, which scored 2.626 million viewers. In the lucrative 18-49 age demographic, which is important for advertisers, SmackDown Live was the No. 1 show on cable with 0.81 rating. This is up from last week’s .76 rating in the same demographic.
As Top Rope Press reported, Monday Night RAW also had its ratings increase to 3.153 million viewers, up five percent from last week’s 3.009 million viewers.