A look at the YouTube performance for this week’s SmackDown Live!
As we all know, social media and other outlets have become a huge means of drawing in interaction and viewers for WWE. Most people will point to television ratings like they did during the Monday Night Wars in the late 1990’s, however that can be skewed with so many various means of watching today that do not include cable television.
As you’ve become accustomed to, here is this week’s SmackDown Live YouTube Report (2:30 PM EST, 1/3/19):
- Becky Lynch answers John Cena’s challenge – 3.6 million views
- John Cena & Becky Lynch vs. Andrade ‘Cien’ Almas & Zelina Vega – 2.1 million views
- Who will challenge Asuka next? – 869k views
- WWE Title #1 Contender’s Fatal 5-Way – 867k views
- John Cena shares his thoughts on Becky Lynch – 606k views
- Rusev’s US Title celebration is ruined by Shinsuke Nakamura – 490k views
- AJ Styles doesn’t regret punching Mr. McMahon – 484k views
A big difference at the top for SmackDown Live this week compared to RAW (see the RAW YouTube Report) as our numbers one and two clips go into the multi-millions. Now I know that because Becky has such an outpouring of “smart fan” support right now, a lot of these huge views will be attributed to her. I’m here to tell those fans how wrong they are because this is all about John Cena’s return. It’s his first appearance on WWE television in forever and a day, he’s the mainstream star, he’s the reason for such big viewership. Becky helps, but spare me. It’s all about Cena, so much so that a mere post-show interview with him comes in at number five.
Sliding into third we see a bit of Becky again, as a number of SmackDown Live’s female Superstars all make their case to get a shot at Asuka’s title next. There’s a combination of things in play here: you’ve got possible title implications, possible pay-per-view implications, a McMahon and arguably the three hottest stars on SmackDown Live right now. Also, it’s evidence that my reasoning for numbers one and two are correct with Becky being part of this clip and the viewership being drastically lower than the others with Cena.
At number four is the blue brand’s main event, which again, pay-per-view and title implications. I think that WWE could make things more interesting now that they’ve supposedly done away with the automatic rematch clause for Superstars who’ve lost their title. At the same time (and this is certainly no complaint on AJ Styles), if they’re going to do number one contender matches and just have the former champion win anyways, what’s the point? Nothing against great matches, but personally I don’t find them great if the winner becomes predictable.
Lastly, numbers six and seven this week are on the fringe of “best of the rest” territory. On the other hand though, they continued storylines and felt more important than the competition which consisted of Jeff Hardy vs. Samoa Joe, The New Day’s New Year celebration and Naomi vs. Sonya Deville.