Look: Depressing Turnout for Latest SmackDown Episode

Shocking photos of the most recent episode of SmackDown makes WWE’s “B-Show” look more like public access television.

Even though Tuesday nights are routinely armed with Shane McMahon, Daniel Bryan, AJ Styles, Randy Orton, Kevin Owens, Shinsuke Nakamura, Charlotte Flair and Sami Zayn WWE is apparently having a hard time moving tickets. Wrestle News Daily document SmackDown’s latest show from Phoenix, AZ, and the crowd was sparse, to say the least.

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Photos: Wrestle News Daily

This is hardly a new occurrence as similar photos made rounds on the internet for most of 2017. Even more, the Blue Brand’s TV ratings are subject to volatility that RAW would never experience.

So what does this indicate?

Well, outside of Orton, SmackDown doesn’t feature any tenured WWE talent. While AJ Styles is fantastic, he’s still relatively new to the company. The same goes for Kevin Owens and Shinsuke Nakamura, who have had their success but have yet to be established major draws for the company. In short, SmackDown’s roster, along with the stigma of being the lesser show likely contribute to the lack of excitement about attending an episode in person.

However, a fix or at least a temporary one may be on the way. Rumors have WWE conducting a company-wide talent draft after WrestleMania. Hopefully, WWE will use this to re-distribute the balance of talent between its two shows.

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Regardless, photos like this leave room for the ominous suggestion, ones that already have room to grow. Not only does SmackDown carry demonstrable signs of apathy, but WWE, on the whole, may be dealing with a growing disconnection with fans. Apparently, this Sunday’s Elimination Chamber is struggling to move its tickets - not a great sign consign how close we are to WrestleMania. Then a report came out on Wednesday that claimed NXT, WWE’s developmental brand, loses millions of dollars per year.

This is something to keep an eye on, but anyone preaching a looming doomsday for WWE should be ignored.