Despite his brief appearance during Friday’s WWE SmackDown on FOX, WWE Hall of Famer Bill Goldberg brought a big ratings boost for his return to TV last week.
It was noted on Wrestling Observer Radio that the quarter with Goldberg’s “live via satellite” appearance was “through the roof” and the biggest quarter SmackDown has had in a long time. Dave Meltzer noted that he doesn’t get full data on the quarters for SmackDown, but he does receive data for the top 10 markets. The quarter with Goldberg’s appearance, which was interrupted by WWE Universal Champion Bray Wyatt, drew around 3 million viewers. The quarter also featured the brawl with Roman Reigns and King Baron Corbin, but the draw in the segment was Goldberg, who was good for an increase of around 19%.
It was noted that the last half hour of the second hour line-up was down, but the first and second quarters were through the roof, especially the first. The audience reportedly stayed for Goldberg’s segment, which elevated the ratings so high that the rest of the show dropped, but the final number was still 2.538 million viewers, which was up from last week’s final number of 2.422 million viewers for the post-Royal Rumble episode.
As noted, Goldberg and Wyatt went back & forth on Friday’s SmackDown to set up Goldberg vs. The Fiend for the WWE Universal Title at WWE Super ShowDown in Saudi Arabia on Thursday, February 27.