It smells like The Rock was cooking up a nice healthy boost in viewership for SmackDown.
Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson and Pat McAfee opened the September 15 episode of WWE SmackDown in Denver. Johnson appeared on McAfee’s show earlier in the day in Boulder, which generated considerable speculation that they might be on SmackDown.
The appearance resulted in 2.445 million viewers (preliminary) tuning in, a nearly 15% increase from 2.094 million last week. In addition, SmackDown earned 834,000 viewers (0.64) in the 18-49 demographic, which was up 36% from last week.
With the boost, SmackDown was the number one show on broadcast TV on Friday night.
The Rock ended up doing a promo with Austin Theory, who interrupted Pat McAfee to start the show. The Rock told Theory to shut his bitch ass up. Then he got the crowd to chant “asshole” at the former United States Champion. Theory went after The Great One, who ended up beating Theory down and hitting him with the People’s Elbow.
The Rock’s appearance on SmackDown marked his first live appearance in a WWE ring October 2019. The appearance on the Pat McAfee Show featured Johnson revealing that a match with Roman Reigns was ‘locked’ at one point. He detailed how he met with Vince McMahon and Nick Khan to confirm it, but things were eventually put on pause.
Read more about the match with Roman and The Rock’s WrestleMania 40 tease here.