Next week's WWE SmackDown is already shaping up ahead of time. This is in stark contrast to several of the most recent editions of the show, many of which didn't have any matches announced the day of the show, let alone seven days prior. However, next week's SmackDown will be airing on a different network due to the PAC-12 Championship Game, so WWE is trying to drum up some hype for the show to get people to tune in.
First and foremost, we are getting a Bianca Belair vs. Bayley match next week. Obviously the most significant match for Belair since she was called up to the main roster, and with hopes high for her prospects in 2021, this is a big time match.
Also announced for next week is a tag team match pitting The Street Profits against Bobby Roode and Dolph Ziggler. This one followed a rather paint by numbers WWE set-up, as Montez Ford wrestled Dolph Ziggler on this week's show.
WWE SmackDown will be moving networks next week for the second time this year due to a major sporting event. Next week's show conflicts with the PAC-12 Championship football game, forcing SmackDown to move to FS1, just like the show has during the past two World Series. Both times SmackDown has aired on FS1, it has resulted in a massive drop-off in viewership despite the company trying their best to get word out to their viewers.
Next week's SmackDown is the final WWE broadcast ahead of the TLC PPV event. Following SmackDown's airing on FS1, there will be a one hour edition of Talking Smack that will also air on the network.
The October 23rd edition of SmackDown that aired on FS1 drew 883,000 viewers, less than half of what the show normally draws. It did a 0.25 rating among 18-49 year olds, also less than half the typical number the show does. We'd expect more of the same next week.
One year earlier on October 29th, 2019, the only other time the show has been moved from FOX proper to FS1, SmackDown did 888,000 viewers and a 0.27 18-49 demographic rating.