What do you consider when measuring the success of a wrestling show? There are many things to consider when measuring a show like Smackdown. You can look at the television ratings, You can look at the reviews by critics and fans reactions, and you can consider the longevity of Smackdown.
An easy way to measure the success of Smackdown is to look at the television ratings. TV ratings have been a big thing in the wrestling business. The tv ratings have literally started wars in the wrestling business. In the mid to late 1990s, The WWF and WCW battle each other on a weekly basis for tv ratings during their Monday night shows which was dubbed “The Monday Night War”. In the end, The WWF eventually won and purchased WCW in 2001. Since then, we don’t hear as much about the television ratings for shows, but they are still important non the less. Smackdown recorded their highest television ratings on the January 27th, 2000 and April 27th, 2000 episodes, both with a rating of 5.4. Smackdown has also recorded their lowest ratings on the the September 8th and 15th with ratings of 1.0. I believe that it should be also noted that the ratings are also a reflection of the wrestling business as a whole. When Smackdown recorded its highest ratings it was during the peak of the success of the attitude era, which is considered one of the most successful periods in wrestling history. Today, Smackdowns ratings stay around the 2.5 area, but you also need to consider the multiple viewing options people have now a days. Not only can people watch Smackdown Live on the USA network, they can also watch the latest episodes on Hulu and on the WWE network.
Another way you can measure the success of Smackdown is to look at critical reviews and fan reactions online. Most of the time, regular television critics don’t review wrestling shows, so we have to look at websites that only review wrestling. My favorite wrestling reviewers are Cultaholic.com and What Culture Wrestling. These wrestling reviewers post weekly articles and videos reviewing a number of weeks wrestling shows. Wrestling fans are also not shy to voice their own opinions on social media and every fan is a critic. WWEs weekly shows are often times the most socially active shows on cable television and the company encourages fans interaction.
The way an episode of Smackdown is reviewed depends on who it’s reviewed by. When ranking the best episodes of Smackdown, I found that critics either consider the show as a whole or specific matches or segments on the show. More critics focus more on specific moments that make an episode of Smackdown memorable. This reminds me of a quote by wrestling legend Mick Foley, “No one cares about statistics or the dates, people care about the moments that define us, the moments of greatness is what’s remembered.” One thing that I found that all critics agree on is the the July 25th, 2002 episode of Smackdown is the greatest episode of Smackdown ever. This episode is considered the greatest because the entire show was full of memorable moments.
While Smackdown General Manager Stephanie McMahon tries to prevent her superstars from from defecting to RAW, the rivalry between Edge and Chris Jericho proves too big to contain as they face off in a Steele Cage match main event. After sending a message to the Smackdown locker room by attacking Mark Henry, Brock Lesner sends a message to WWE Undisputed Champion The Rock when he targets Hulk Hogan. Plus, Rey Mysterio makes his WWE debut against Chavo Guerrero, John Cena faces Test, and much more!
This show is stacked with big names and big matches and the show ends with Rey Mysterio jumping off the top of the Steele Cage onto the Anti-Americans.
Another way you can measure the success of Smackdown is to consider the longevity of the show. Smackdown has been on the air for 20 years and has broadcasted over 1000 episodes and there are no signs of it stopping. The rights to broadcast Smackdown was just purchased by FOX for $1 billion. Thats right. Thats a billion with a b. Smackdown will start broadcasting on FOX in October.