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AEW and WWE Ratings Report: AEW Dominates The Wednesday Night War

aew's impressive ratings

The Big News:

AEW Dynamite on TNT scored a huge ratings win on Wednesday December 10th. The show averaged 995,000 viewers, its highest since October 16th of 2019 on a night when both shows aired on Wednesday. The show finished 2nd overall on cable with a 0.45 rating, its best number in any week since October 9th of last year, the 2nd ever episode of the show on TNT.

NXT trailed in both categories, and badly, which we will get into in more detail.

This Week’s Numbers:

The overall viewership for Dynamite was up 8.0% from last week, which an impressive number on its own. The 18-49 number was up 7.1%.

In men’s 18-49, AEW finished atop the cable rankings with a monstrous 0.57 rating, more than 40% higher than the closest competition. The show also finished 2nd in persons 18-34 and persons 25-54 with 0.29 and 0.49 respectively.

NXT trailed distantly, at 659,000 viewers, but was actually up 0.2% from last week. In 18-49, the show finished 37th on cable with a 0.17 rating. That was also up from last week, by 6.3%.

The combined viewership on Wednesday night of 1.654 million viewers was the highest since February 19th. The combined 0.62 rating was the highest since November 20th of last year.

The gap of 336,000 viewers between the two shows was one of the largest in history. The only times it was bigger were:

October 2, 2019: Dynamite’s debut show, when they had their largest audience ever and by a considerable margin

January 1, 2020: NXT aired a best of 2019 episode with old matches as well as year-end awards

March 18, 2020: NXT aired only video packages and no actual matches

The combined 18-49 audience beat all 3 hours of Monday Night RAW. In fact, AEW by itself came very close to beating the 3rd hour of RAW, which did 0.47.

The Wednesday night total audience was higher than the 3rd hour of RAW and came the closest it’s ever come to matching RAW’s 3-hour average.

Speaking of Monday Night RAW, that show averaged 1.736 million viewers on December 7th. That’s down 0.2% from last week, so essentially even.

The show averaged a 0.51 rating in 18-49, which beat everything else on cable except NFL related programming. That’s down 3.8% from last week.

FOX’s Friday Night Smackdown on December 4th averaged 2.13 million viewers. That’s down 0.5% from last week.

The show averaged the same 0.6 rating in 18-49 that it did last week.

Year over Year Numbers:

AEW Dynamite was up 27.9% in total viewers. In an incredible stat that is not a misprint, they were up 60.7% in the 18-49 demo. Bear in mind that this is the most important number to the network and they received a multi-year extension and significant rights fee increase based on the numbers last year. And this is at a time when virtually all television ratings are going down.

NXT was down 15.3% in total viewers and 29.2% in 18-49. This week last year, the two shows actually tied in overall viewership.

Overall Wednesday night viewership was up 6.3% and the combined demo number was up 19.2%.

Monday Night RAW was down 19.3% in total viewers and 26.1% in 18-49.

Smackdown was down 13.1% in total viewers and 14.3% in 18-49.

Ratings Extra:

Last week, I published a list of the top ratings movers on Wednesday nights as well as the top average viewers per segment. This week, I’ll present the same information for Quarter 2, which includes the months of April thru June. This was the first full quarter of the pandemic era and the shows aired in front of virtually no fans.

To appear on these lists, a performer would’ve had to perform in at least 2 segments for the overall viewers list and at least 2 segments that didn’t include the opening segment (where you couldn’t have a gain over the previous segment).

The overall viewers list is most average viewers per segment and the mover’s list is most viewers gained, by average, per segment. The bottom lists are the opposite, of course.

As a point of reference, AEW averaged 708,462 viewers per show during this time and NXT averaged 675,923.

Highest overall viewers:

  1. Hangman Page 783,333 (AEW)
  2. Jimmy Havoc 773,400 (AEW)
  3. Chelsea Green 766,800 (NXT)
  4. Wardlow 764,750 (AEW)
  5. Kip Sabian 755,833 (AEW)
  6. Billy Gunn 755,500 (AEW)
  7. Lee Johnson 753,667 (AEW)
  8. Christi Jaynes 748,500 (AEW)
  9. Young Bucks 748,200 (AEW)
  10. Mark Quen 747,500 (AEW)

Bottom overall viewers:

  1. Chase Parker 601,000 (NXT)
  2. Matt Martel 607,000 (NXT)
  3. Christopher Daniels 623,500 (AEW)
  4. Oney Lorcan 630,667 (NXT)
  5. Tomasso Ciampa 631,143 (NXT)
  6. Kushida 636,000 (NXT)
  7. Danny Burch 639,750 (NXT)
  8. Shawn Spears 639,889 (AEW)
  9. Joaquin Wilde 640,000 (NXT)
  10. Dominick Dijakovic 640,000 (NXT)

Highest overall movers:

  1. Billy Gunn +39,000 (AEW)
  2. Rhea Ripley +32,333 (NXT)
  3. Kenny Omega +29,750 (AEW)
  4. Santana Garrett +29,000 (NXT)
  5. Kip Sabian +26,400 (AEW)
  6. Charlotte Flair +23,286 (NXT)
  7. Finn Balor +19,333 (NXT)
  8. Hikaru Shida +18,286 (AEW)
  9. Jimmy Havoc +17,000 (AEW)
  10. Chucky T +15,600 (AEW)

Bottom overall movers:

  1. Candace LaRae -89,750 (NXT)
  2. Big Swole -78,000 (AEW)
  3. Oney Lorcan -69,000 (NXT)
  4. Jake Atlas -61,600 (NXT)
  5. Leon Ruff -61,000 (NXT)
  6. Danny Burch -53,500 (NXT)
  7. Akira Tozawa -49,667 (NXT)
  8. Brodie Lee -39,400 (AEW)
  9. Jake Hager -39,333 (AEW)
  10. Colt Cabana -37,750 (AEW)

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