Shock Return Of The Rock Delivers Monster Numbers for SmackDown

The Rock and Austin Theory on SmackDown

Yesterday’s episode of SmackDown, which saw the return of The Rock for the first time in almost four years, has delivered huge preliminary ratings for WWE!

Hollywood sensation Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson made his shock return to WWE last night and confronted Austin Theory alongside Pat McAfee – who also returned on the show. Later, Johnson confronted long-time rival John Cena backstage and the two shared a hug.

As well as creating a huge buzz on social media, The Rock’s return has also garnered a big ratings boost for the company in terms of preliminary figures, ahead of the final ratings that will likely be reported on Monday.

WWE has noted that the show’s preliminary total viewership was 2,445,000 and that 834,000 of those were in the key 18-49 demographic. Versus preliminary figures for the September 8th edition last week, this is a 24% and 36% increase respectively.

It was also noted that SmackDown was the top program in terms of viewership in the 18-49 demographic across all of broadcast television in the United States last night.

Brandon Thurston of Wrestlenomics projected that the show will garner a final rating of around 2,570,000 in a post on X earlier today. He also reported that, unsurprisingly, the first hour featuring The Rock and Pat McAfee’s returns was the show’s highest-viewed hour.

When Did The Rock Last Appear In WWE?

Before his return last night, The Rock was last seen in WWE almost four years ago on the October 4th, 2019 edition of SmackDown. This was the blue brand’s debut episode on FOX.

The Rock appeared in a segment alongside then-RAW Women’s Champion Becky Lynch and King Corbin. After a war of words between The Rock and Corbin, the latter ended up on the receiving end of a People’s Elbow and Rock Bottom from The Great One.