The drop in television ratings has been one of the biggest WWE storylines of 2019 thus far, and things didn't get any better as they built towards Sunday's Stomping Grounds pay-per-view in Tacoma, Washington.
According to ShowBuzz Daily (h/t Marc Middleton of WrestlingInc.com), this week's episode of SmackDown Live netted just 1.859 million viewers -- down considerably from the 1.930 million that tuned in last week. This was the sixth time in the last eight weeks where SmackDown's ratings fell below two million.
This comes a day after it was revealed that Monday Night Raw ratings were also lackluster. This week, there were 2.235 million viewers for Raw - which was better than the 2.125 million viewers for the June 10 episode. That should concern WWE, because every episode from Jan. 14 to Apr. 15 drew higher viewership than the 2.235 million for this week.
Dave Meltzer of Wrestling Observer Radio recently reported that ticket stales for Stomping Grounds are extremely low, to the point where WWE is running a two-for-one promotion. Tickets are as low as $20, which Meltzer noted is extremely cheap for a pay-per-view event.
This week's episode of Raw was quite uneventful for the most part. It focused aplenty on Shane McMahon and Drew McIntyre in a VIP room backstage. Roman Reigns confronted the two men and later attacked the SmackDown Live commissioner, who was then escorted out by McIntyre.
On SmackDown, Dolph Ziggler defeated Xavier Woods in a singles match. Later on, Seth Rollins and Kofi Kingston defeated Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn in a 2-out-of-3 falls tag team match. There wasn't all that much build up for the Stomping Grounds pay-per-view, and it's safe to say that the hype is minimal for Sunday's show.
What This Means
WWE has plenty of problems going on, from disgruntled superstars to the rise of AEW to a decline in TV ratings. A lot of things have to change if WWE wants to fix these issues, but so far, they've ran the same old product with little creativity and few intriguing storylines. The fans have spoken loud and clear with their unhappiness, and WWE has to start taking the hints.