Last Friday’s SmackDown on FOX match between Bayley and SmackDown Women’s Champion Sasha Banks topped more than 2.5 million fans, according to Dave Meltzer on Wrestling Observer Radio.
We noted before how the opening quarter segment of SmackDown, featuring Bayley vs. Banks, brought a “tremendous” opening for the show, one that was described as absolutely fantastic. The numbers fell from there, ending in a significant drop for the main event.
In an update, the more than 2.5 million viewers for the quarter is one of the highest numbers of any pro wrestling show since the COVID-19 pandemic started, and almost back to doing normal pre-pandemic numbers.
If it weren’t for the strong performance that Banks vs. Bayley did, then the rest of SmackDown would’ve been down a lot. The first half of the show was the most-watched portion of WWE TV since March when the pandemic hit. The drop in SmackDown from start to finish, for a two hour episode, was similar to the usual drop for a three hour RAW episode, at more than 15%. This is considered to be a very big drop from beginning to end for SmackDown.