Over the years, Roman Reigns has unmistakably become one of the most must-see stars on the WWE roster. After all, The Tribal Chief has been ruling the roost with an iron fist for over three years. Sadly, it’s a common occurrence in WWE for a top star to have their appearance strategically reduced while reigning as the unquestioned top talent. 

And so, watching SmackDown without catching Roman Reigns is common at this point. But how does that affect WWE’s numbers? Is limiting Roman Reigns’ appearance having more drawbacks? Let’s analyze the numbers. 

Is Roman Reigns’ absence affecting the SmackDown viewership?


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It’s fair to say that The Bloodline storyline attracted a sizable viewership to SmackDown. Without a doubt, The Bloodline rigamarole turned out to be one of the hottest acts in WWE. The mystique surrounding what lies ahead for the faction keeps fans eager for the next episode. However, Roman Reigns’ limited appearance on the show is seemingly affecting viewership. 

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The WWE Undisputed Universal Champion was last seen on August 11. The fallout show from SummerSlam saw Jey Uso take down Roman Reigns and his empire before quitting the WWE. That edition of the show saw a whopping 2.650 million preliminary viewers tune into SmackDown. In the end, the show registered a total of 2.097 million final viewers. 

The following edition of SmackDown, On August 18th, marked Edge’s last match in Toronto. Initially, a total of 2.233 million viewers tuned in, which was less than the number of preliminary views WWE got on the previous edition of SmackDown. Ultimately, the show closed with 2.094 million final viewers. The final viewership was almost the same as the SmackDown edition that saw Roman Reigns’ last appearance. 

The August 25th edition of SmackDown had a greater final watch rate than August 11. This particular episode was dedicated as a tribute to the memory of the late wrestlers Bray Wyatt and Terry Funk. The show attracted a substantial 2.505 million viewers. Subsequently, the numbers increased to 2.647 million by the end of the show.

via Imago

Moving on, the SmackDown episode on September 1st drew a preliminary viewership of 2.28 million. The show settled with a total of 2.443 final viewers. And finally, the latest edition of SmackDown saw a drastic drop in viewership. The show opened with a total of 1.969 million viewers, a far cry from the August 11 edition. All in all, it is safe to say that Roman Reigns’ absence has affected the viewership of the show to a certain extent.

It’s also interesting to note that the August 11 and 18 episodes of Smackdown, that is, the last episode Reigns featured on and the one right after that, are the only two to have final viewership drastically drop from its preliminary viewership.

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We will have to wait and see when Roman Reigns makes his return to the show. Shifting gears, fans are wondering what’s next for Reigns. The way things unfolded on SmackDown, he may have found his next opponent. 

Did WWE hint at Roman Reigns’ next challenger?

The Head of the Table last defended his throne against Jey Uso at SummerSlam. Once again, Roman Reigns managed to reign supreme. After Jey Uso left SmackDown for Raw, fans are wondering who could challenge the Champion next. 


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USA Today via Reuters

Well, WWE may have hinted at Reigns’ next challenger on the last edition of SmackDown. The star in question is none other than AJ Styles. The Phenomenal One has been feuding with Jimmy Uso and Solo Sikoa. Last week, Styles defeated Jimmy Uso before being picked apart by Solo Sikoa.

Given the history between Reigns and Styles, it will be interesting to see the duo collide. But, a lot remains to be seen until Roman Reigns finally arrives on SmackDown. 


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What are your thoughts on SmackDown’s declining viewership?

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