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AEW and WWE Ratings Report: AEW Dynamite and NXT Combined Audience Tops WWE RAW

aew and wwe ratings

The big news

Three of the four major shows were down this week but two of them held up surprisingly well and the one that did improve was a bit of a surprise. Also of note is that now that AEW Dynamite and NXT are on different nights, their combined audience is higher than that of Monday Night RAW both in terms of overall viewership and the key 18-49 demo.

This week’s numbers

AEW Dynamite averaged 1.104 million viewers, down 9.4% from last week. It was still the 3rd highest viewership in the history of the show. The advertised appearance of Mike Tyson on the show clearly helped last week’s number but this audience retention is still much better than most people expected for the show. Dynamite finished 2nd on cable in the 18-49 demo with a 0.37 rating. That was down 15.9% from last week. Two things about that. MTV’s The Challenge did a huge 0.58 rating in the demo for its season finale and ran head-to-head with AEW. But with men in that age group, Dynamite topped all of cable with a 0.50 rating. The Challenge’s 18-49 women demo almost tripled Dynamite’s demo so it’s possible they could pick up some of those women when The Challenge is done airing this season.

WWE NXT was the only show that was up from last week. The show averaged 841,000 viewers, an increase of 4.5% from the previous Tuesday. The show increased by the same percentage in 18-49, moving up to a 0.23. With coverage of the Chauvin trial dominating the cable charts, NXT fell to 28th on the charts so the number is even more impressive than it looks on the surface. They were either even or up in every single ratings category, which is another good sign.

Monday Night RAW on April 19th averaged 1,907,333 viewers, down 5.9% from last week’s post-Mania episode. That held up much better than most post-Mania shows do. In 18-49. the show topped the cable charts for the night with a 0.61 record, down 3% from last week. For the 2nd week in a row, RAW topped all four shows in the demo despite Smackdown having a built-in advantage of being on a major network.

Friday Night Smackdown on April 16th averaged 2.119 million viewers, down 5.8% for the post-Mania edition of the show. That’s not good although it’s almost the exact same drop as RAW. They were also down 8.2% in the 18-49 demo, averaging a 0.56 rating. They finished 4th on television in the demo behind two network shows and an NBA game on ESPN.

As shown in the chart below, the increases over the ten-week average are as follows:

AEW Dynamite up 15.6% in 18–49 and 35.8% in viewership.
WWE NXT up 27.8% in 18-49 and 22.1% in viewership.
Monday Night RAW up 8.9% in 18-49 and 4.3% in viewership.
SmackDown down 5.1% in 18-49 and 2.4% in overall viewership.

Year-over-year numbers

AEW Dynamite was up 51% in overall viewership and 48% in 18–49. The AEW and NXT numbers are obviously unfair comparisons to the other two shows since they’re no longer running head-to-head, but it’s still interesting to compare.

WWE NXT was up 26.5% in overall viewership and 27.8% in 18–49.

RAW was up 3.6% in overall viewership and 8.9% in 18–49. Both these numbers being up year-over-year is something I predicted several weeks back in the ratings extra portion of this column and something I’d expect to be the case at least through the summer. And if they are back to touring and in arenas with real live fans by that point, it could go on even longer.

SmackDown was  down 3.1% in viewership and 6.7% in 18–49.

Ratings extra

At the end of each quarter and every year, I present the average ratings movers by segment for both WWE NXT and AEW Dynamite since those are the only two shows where that kind of data is readily available (courtesy of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter). In the past, I’ve done one column and presented the top ten and bottom ten movers in terms of overall viewers per segment, and then the top and bottom ten in terms of viewers gained per segment.

These were only for overall viewers and did not take into account the key ratings demo, which is 18–49. They’re obviously included in the overall number, but the 18–49 demo may be more important for obvious reasons, so starting with this past quarter, I’ve also been tracking that information. Rather than only publish the top ten in all these categories, below is a complete list of all performers who were in at least four television segments in the quarter. Anything less than that is easily skewed.

Over the next several weeks, I’ll publish the lists for overall viewers per segment, 18–49 viewers per segment, overall viewers gained per segment and 18–49 viewers gained per segment, so the information will be in four articles.

Without further ado, here’s a list of all performers who were featured in at least four episodes of AEW Dynamite or NXT for the quarter ending March 31, 2019 that were not the opening segment (since we are only looking at viewers gained per segment). Unlike last week, where the top of the chart was all NXT, there is a much bigger mixture throughout as AEW’s base audience is higher (and more loyal) leading to more movement, both good and bad, in NXT. Jade Cargill being as low as she is on this lost is not as bad a sign as it would appear to be. Most of her appearances were in the form of unadvertised video packages. And, as seen last week, she was one of the highest ranking in terms of overall viewers per segment. So a lot of people saw her and that’s really important at this stage of her career. People might also be surprised at the appearances of Sabian, Cassidy, Ford, Taylor and Miro at the top of this list. It shows the popularity of that angle and why it was so heavily featured the last few months.

Average viewers gained per segment (min 4 appearances)
1. Kip Sabian 45,429
2. Orange Cassidy 34,200
3. Adam Cole 33,333
4. Danny Burch 32,000
5. Penelope Ford 28,667
6. Chuck Taylor 26,571
7. Miro 24,667
8. Finn Balor 20,048
9. Good Brothers 19,300
10. Kyle O’Reilly 14,818
11. Raquel Gonzalez 13,667
12. Karrion Kross 13,455
13. WALTER 11,500
14. Fandango 9,000
15. Roderick Strong 8,385
16. Eddie Kingston 8,125
17. Tyler Breeze 7,750
18. Dakota Kai 7,714
19. Dexter Lumis 7,250
20. Kenny Omega 3,933
21. Mercedes Martinez 1,500
22. Penta 1,000
23. Cody -444
24. Santos Escobar -2,077
25. Timothy Thatcher -2,444
26. Jon Moxley -2,533
27. Jake Hager -3,500
28. Nick Jackson -3,909
29. Xia Li -6,222
30. Britt Baker -6,714
31. Varsity Blondes -6,750
32. Matt Jackson -7,000
33. Marcel Barthel -7,400
34. Mark Quen -7,500
35. Jordan Devlin -8,750
36. Jungle Boy -8,875
37. MSK -9,143
38. Scarlett -9,250
39. Johnny Gargano -9,286
40. Marko Stunt -10,000
41. Isaiah Kassidy -10,250
42. Io Shirai -11,000
43. Wilde/Mendoza -11,250
44. Luchasaurus -11,400
45. Curt Stallion -12,250
46. Tomasso Ciampa -12,733
47. Zoey Stark -13,000
48. Rey Fenix -13,111
49. Thunder Rosa -14,571
50. Wadlow -14,875
51. Darby Allin -15,091
52. Ortiz/Santana -15,111
53. Dax Harwood -15,167
54. Jesse Kamea -15,250
55. Chris Jericho -15,308
56. Grizzled Young Vets -15,500
57. Kayden Carter -16,143
58. Toni Storm -16,222
59. Cash Wheeler -16,455
60. PAC -16,500
60. Austin Theory -16,500
62. Kacy Catanzaro -18,333
63. Pete Dunne -18,571
64. Indi Hartwell -18,750
65. Fabian Aichner -19,250
66. Hikaru Shida -19,500
67. LA Knight -19,571
68. Matt Hardy -21,375
69. Candace LaRae -21,769
70. MJF -21,875
71. Sammy Guevara -23,100
72. Brian Cage -23,385
73. Shawn Spears -23,389
74. Nyla Rose -24,600
75. Kushida -25,000
76. Hook -26,900
77. Will Hobbs -28,333
78. Aliyah -28,400
79. Lance Archer -28,667
80. Bronson Reed -29,667
81. Cameron Grimes -31,500
82. Ricky Starks -32,200
83. Tully Blanchard -33,500
84. Shotzi Blackheart -34,222
85. Ember Moon -36,250
86. Sting -37,000
87. Leon Ruff -38,400
88. Jade Cargill -44,375
89. Tyler Rust -46,800
90. Isaiah Scott -57,250

I’d like to encourage all of you to check out a podcast that airs on the Fight Game Media Network Patreon. Parker Klyn and I are co-hosting The Dynamite Show, a quick recap of AEW Dynamite. Parker also does the written Dynamite coverage for both this site and F4W Online, and this podcast is a nice companion to his work.

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