John Cena ensured that it was a huge night for WWE SmackDown on December 30th.
On the show Cena teamed with Kevin Owens to see off Undisputed WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns and Sami Zayn. The match was Cena’s first for WWE since competing at a Madison Square Garden house show in September 2021. His most recent televised match ahead of SmackDown was at SummerSlam 2021 when he lost out to Reigns as he attempted to win the World Championship for a record 17th time.
John Cena Return Gives Massive Ratings Boost
It has now been confirmed that the most recent episode of SmackDown drew the biggest rating for the show in 2022. A total of 2.63 million viewers tuned in, which was an 11% increase from the previous week. There was a sharp increase in viewership in the often-discussed 18-49 year-old demographic with 842,000 viewers in that bracket watching the show.
The rating was the biggest for SmackDown since Christmas Day in 2020 when the show was aided by an NFL lead-in which saw 3.3 million people tune in.
John Cena’s match on SmackDown meant that he maintained his record of wrestling at least once every year since making his debut in 2002.
Elsewhere on the show Charlotte Flair returned to action having not being seen since WrestleMania Backlash in May. Not only did Flair return to the ring, she also won the SmackDown Women’s Title after dispatching Ronda Rousey in an impromptu match in under a minute. The victory means that Flair has now won Women’s Championship gold in WWE a record 14 times.
The show had opened with another appearance from Bray Wyatt. After being confronted by LA Knight it was confirmed that the pair will meet at the Royal Rumble in a Pitch Black Match. Wyatt was also attacked by the mysterious Uncle Howdy who left him laying with a Sister Abigail.