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WWE SmackDown Draws Over 2.6 Million Viewers For Bray Wyatt & Terry Funk Tribute Episode

10 months ago By Sports Desk

In a rare convergence of emotional tribute and professional wrestling entertainment, WWE SmackDown’s August 25th episode garnered its highest ratings in months. The show was dedicated to the memory of Bray Wyatt and Terry Funk—two icons who had recently passed away. With the wrestling world still reeling from the shocking news, SmackDown managed to draw an impressive 2.6 million viewers, according to reports by Brandon Thurston of Wrestlenomics.

Remembering The Fallen

Bray Wyatt, who had been absent from WWE television since February, tragically passed away on August 24th at the age of 36, from heart-related complications following a severe case of COVID-19. The legendary Terry Funk, aged 79 and a WWE Hall of Famer, had passed away just a day earlier. The wrestling community, still coping with the loss of these icons, tuned in to say their farewells.

The show opened with a ten-bell salute and included numerous tributes throughout the broadcast. RAW stars like Cody Rhodes and Braun Strowman flew in last-minute to partake in the ceremony, with Cody delivering a heartfelt speech honoring Terry Funk.

Ratings Surge Amidst Sorrow

According to Wrestlenomics, the tribute episode amassed an average total viewership of 2,647,000, scoring a 0.78 rating in the key 18-40 year-old demographic. Remarkably, this marked a 26% increase in total viewership from the previous week’s 2,094,000 viewers and a 41% increase in the key demographic rating over the previous week’s 0.55. The numbers have not been this high since the December 25, 2020, episode of SmackDown.

In a night already heavy with emotion, the main event saw LA Knight face off against The Judgment Day’s Finn Balor. LA Knight secured the victory, but what transpired next left hardly a dry eye in the house. The arena lights dimmed and a lantern appeared in the ring. Fans lit up the arena with their cell phones, creating a sea of fireflies to say a final goodbye to Bray Wyatt.

Also Read: Bray Wyatt Reportedly Passed Away In His Sleep, Was Not Wearing Doctor-Recommended Defibrillator

A Night to Remember

In a world where ratings often dictate the success of a broadcast, it’s poignant that an episode dedicated to the memory of fallen stars would be the one to break records. While the world of wrestling won’t be the same without Bray Wyatt and Terry Funk, their legacies were honored in a fitting tribute that fans won’t soon forget.

Despite the triumph in viewership, the air was thick with bittersweet nostalgia and grief, serving as a reminder that the wrestling community is a family—united in joy and sorrow. The high ratings prove that the legacy of these two wrestling legends will continue to inspire and draw communities together, even in the face of immense loss.

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