Tuesday night’s WWE SmackDown Live saw the shows numbers take a dip. According to Uproxx, the show lost 200,000 viewers when compared to the previous week. Of course, the August 22 SmackDown show came hot on the heels of this year’s SummerSlam, and the weekly WWE shows tend to receive a boost in the wake of the major PPV events. That show drew SmackDown’s biggest audience in over three months. The worry for WWE bosses will be that SmackDown is once again lagging behind Monday Night Raw.
Next weeks SmackDown will feature a match between Randy Orton and Shinsuke Nakamura, to earn the right to challenge Jinder Mahal for the WWE Championship. The problem is that, according to Wrestling News World, radio stations in Detroit are advertising Jinder Mahal vs. Shinsuke Nakamura for the SmackDown exclusive Hell In A Cell PPV, which takes place in the city on October 8.
Unless the SmackDown creative team have a real surprise up their sleeve over the next month, it would seem likely that Nakamura is set for victory over The Viper on next week’s SmackDown Live. Given that the match between Orton and Nakamura is a No 1 contenders match, it seems unlikely that Orton can bag a win over the “King of Strong Style.”
As reported on the official WWE website, this week’s SmackDown Live was headlined by a tag match, with Orton and Nakamura teaming up to beat Jinder Mahal and Rusev. That match provided a rerun of Monday Night Raw, in that Orton laid out his tag team partner with an RKO.
This was a carbon copy of the scenes on this week’s Monday Night Raw, that saw Roman Reigns and John Cena turn on each other to set up a match at the No Mercy PPV. As previously reported by The Inquisitr, Reigns, and Cena had also been a tag team on the same show.
Let’s be realistic, the WWE universe is well aware that the weekly WWE shows are used to establish strong storylines heading into PPV events. The trick is making those stories fun and believable, but many will believe that using the exact same formula on both Monday Night Raw and SmackDown Live shows a lack of imagination on the part of the WWE creative team. Randy Orton vs. Shinsuke Nakamura has the potential to provide the SmackDown audience with superb entertainment, but can such a predictable outcome bring the SmackDown viewers back?
Tuesday’s SmackDown Live will give us the answer.
[Featured Image by WWE]