-- Friday's episode of WWE SmackDown did a 1.89 (1.9) cable rating, with 2.66 million viewers. Those numbers are up slightly from the 1.84 and 2.59 million viewers the week before and stops a gradual five-week slide in the ratings since July 20th. The show ranked #4 among cable shows for the night; it was #2 among all key male demographics behind only the first week of Friday night college football on ESPN. The show had a significant increase in the male 18 – 49 demo, but a bit decrease among teen males. Check out the viewer numbers for the last seven shows:
July 20 - 2.96 million viewers
July 27 - 2.83 million viewers
Aug. 3 - 2.78 million viewers
Aug. 10 - 2.73 million viewers
Aug. 17 - 2.61 million viewers
Aug. 24 - 2.59 million viewers
Aug. 31 - 2.66 million viewers
On Michael Clark Duncan's passing: "So sad to hear of our pal Michael Clarke Duncan passing away this week. The Oscar nominated actor was a massive WWE fan and could be seen at many WWE events especially in Southern California. I loved talking wrestling with him as he was a genuinely nice guy. Michael apparently died of a heart attack and I can't help but wonder if he suffered from sleep apnea which, if untreated, puts a tremendous strain on ones heart."
On his issues with sleep apnea: "I was diagnosed with sleep apnea after I moved to Oklahoma but suffered from it throughout my WWE administration career while living in Connecticut. It's likely that I had not had a good night's sleep IE rim sleep in approximately 20 years according to my doctors. When tested, I stopped breathing 40 times in one hour with the longest period of time being 45 seconds. After years of that sort of treatment to ones heart, the heart simply gives out and one dies"peaceably in their sleep." Getting a sleep apnea test at a sleep center is so easy and can extend one's life in a significant way. Think about it."
On Eve Torres: "Congrats to Eve Torres on winning Star and Stripes on NBC and a huge check for the USO. I'm of the mindset that Eve Torres has ample range and can have a career in varying roles on WWE programming or outside of it. She's a MMA aficionado which garners great respect from yours truly. Plus, and most importantly, Eve is a grounded, good person who I feel WWE can depend upon to invest and build."
On the RAW audience: "Loved the Chicago crowd's interaction and contributions to the broadcast. An enthusiastic live audience can make the difference in a fair show becoming a good show. I'm still a fan who also enjoys reading the signs which I see as unique market research to some degree."
On C.M. Punk and Paul Heyman: "Enjoyed the Cena-ADR Falls Count Anywhere bout. Physical stuff. The cheap shot drive by executed by @CMPunk was a hit...no pun intended. Plus the reveal of Punk's 'wheelman' @HeymanHustle Paul Heyman was a helluva end to the three hour broadcast. Heyman and Punk together is a potentially outstanding dynamic with which fans can emotionally invest. It has many potential roads to travel but associating with Heyman will certainly help facilitate Punk being looked upon by many as an antagonist."
On The Miz: "I'd assume that The Miz discovered that coming off the bench to take an extended seat at ringside for commentary is a daunting task. Miz is glib and very bright but performing a wrestling promo and doing color commentary are much different animals. Nonetheless, Miz looked good on camera which is an important facet for any TV producer to facilitate."
Steve Austin's return: "Some fans who follow me on Twitter @JRsBBQ, over 534,000, actually think that (Steve Austin) will be wrestling at WM29 which is not going to happen. Steve is rehabbing his repaired knee aggressively to be able to resume his movie work and has a film set to begin production in early 2013. This was a major knee surgery that would keep many inactive in a large part for up to one year."
Ryback's current push: "Ryback is starting to move the emotion needle seemingly every week. The "Feed Me More" chants are growing. I only wish that I could tie that in to a JR's BBQ Sauce promotion during the football tailgating season and on into the holidays. Hey, an entrepreneur can dream, can't he? I can see Ryback taking the next step sooner than later on WWE TV. "