The Rock’s segment received high ratings on SmackDown.

As expected, the segment featuring The Rock’s return to WWE recorded a high ratings peak for last Friday’s episode of SmackDown.

Half hour rush with The Rock

As highlighted by industry journalist Brandon Thurston of Wrestlenomics, The Rock’s presence saw sentiment peak on FOX during the latest episode of SmackDown. Apparently this was easy to predict when The Great One made a surprise appearance in the opening segment. According to Thurston, the first half hour extended the rest of the episode, which waned a bit (probably when it became clear that The Rock would not appear again).

The first two quarter hours averaged 2.8 million and 2.79 million viewers respectively. In the first quarter of an hour, the real peak came after the first minutes, which coincided with the moment when The Rock joined Pat McAfee and Austin Theory. The increase in numbers was very rapid, but was obviously dependent on public buzz and rumors about Dwayne Johnson’s presence in the episode.

Record numbers

At the time of writing, the total viewing figures for the episode are not yet known. Early numbers, as previously reported by Fightful, indicate 2.455 million viewers tuned in to SmackDown. Therefore, the drop in the average has been evident since The Rock disappeared from screens. However, this figure is a significant increase from recent weeks, especially compared to 7 days earlier. SmackDown on September 8th actually recorded 1.949 million tuners (+24%).

Those two quarters alone, kept high by the fact that the segment of The Rock fighting Theory was at the end of the first quarter hour, as well as the subsequent backstage exchange with John Cena, are not records for SD in 2023. but there are some minor drawbacks. The only three times the blue show’s quarter hour topped those numbers were the July 7 tribal court segment (3.070 million), the June 2 1000 Days of Reign celebration segment, and the kickoff segment from the August 25 episode (2.901 million) with an opening tribute to Bray Wyatt and Terry Fanku (2.893 million).

However, what strongly highlights the difference between the two is the fact that the presence of Pat McAfee and especially The Rock in this segment and specifically in the episode was not advertised. The appearance of Brahma Bull came as a complete surprise to both the Denver public and the residents of the house. Therefore, unlike other examples, there was no wait for The Rock to appear, which would likely have boosted the data further. As McAfee himself confirmed during his podcast, this segment and their presence were agreed upon very close to the episode, so there was no way to make it public.

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