What a debut! Last Night’s “Friday Night SmackDown” debut drew 3.869 million total viewers, according to Nielsen. Within that, it obtained a 1.4 rating in the advertiser target demographic of 18-49. It is already faring much better on its new home compared to USA, where it used to draw 2.066 million total viewers on average (and 850,000 in that key target area mentioned above).
The Rock returned for an awesome opening segment with Becky Lynch and Baron Corbin. Once again he reminded everyone why he was the best and why he is where he is now as the world’s highest-paid actor.
Later on in the show, Brock Lesnar completely annihilated Kofi Kingston in less than 10 seconds to recapture the WWE Title. Kofi’s title run was the best run with the WWE title that a champion has had in a long time. For him to lose the belt like that was unfortunate so hopefully, he receives another shot at Brock for a proper match down the line. Cain Velasquez then came out and attacked Brock Lesnar for what he did to Rey Mysterio’s son on WWE Raw. A very interesting development as Cain Velasquez has defeated Brock Lesnar in a UFC match years ago so a cross-promotional storyline is cool to have.
With the new sets, opening theme songs, bringing pyro back, and dedicated writers under Paul Heyman and Eric Bischoff for both “WWE Raw” and “Friday Night SmackDown”, it’s clear that WWE is finally taking AEW seriously. In the end, the viewers are the winners.