Looks can be deceiving! If you were like the millions of other people who watched SmackDown Live last night on TV (or your Tablet or Smartphone) everything probably seemed normal—aside from that somewhat racist promo from Jinder Mahal (but that is a different issue).
The point is, the arena looked full and the crowd seemed excited. But, while those in attendance were amped to be there, the issue is that there just weren't many of them!
According to people who were in attendance last night at the Oracle Arena in Oakland, California, the place was only about 30 percent to 40 percent full. And as you can see from the photos tweeted out by fans in attendance, they made sure to put everyone who was there on the side opposite the hard camera to create that full-arena feeling TV magic:
This poor attendance showing will happen at times and doesn't necessarily mean there is anything wrong or there is any specific reason other than people just didn't come out that night. The WWE does so many shows every year that this kind of thing is bound to happen even though it is disappointing for the organization, the people who actually did show up and the wrestlers who have to wrestle in front of such a paltry crowd.
It might also be a little more disappointing for the WWE given that last week's episode of SmackDown Live drew 2.754 million viewers, which Top Rope Press reported was their best showing for a SmackDown Live episode since mid-April. And yes, the return of Vince McMahon probably had a lot to do with that, and maybe when the TV ratings come out for last night's show, it will prove people still tuned in. But for some reason, n Oakland fans just weren't very interested in going to the show last night.
And this doesn't just happen at SmackDown Live tapings either. The jewel in the WWE crown, Raw, isn't immune to smaller-than-average crowds as we saw last week at the Sept. 11, 2017, taping of the red brand's show in Anaheim, California.
It wasn't as low as 30 percent to 40 percent full, but in the photo below you can see plenty of empty seats on the side of the hard camera: