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AEW and WWE Ratings Report: NXT hits 805k in Tuesday night debut; Dynamite tops 1.2 million viewers

MIAMI, FL - JANUARY 31: Shaquille O'neal also known by his stage name DJ Diesel performs onstage during Shaq's Fun House at Mana Wynwood Convention Center on January 31, 2020 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Jason Koerner/Getty Images)

The big news

AEW Dynamite drew it’s biggest audience since the October 2019 show debut, averaging 1.219 million viewers on  Wednesday night. They also had one of their largest 18–49 audiences, the key demo, and finished second on all of cable for the night. It was a gigantic boost for the show, as it seems to have benefited more from NXT’s move to Tuesday nights even more so than NXT has, at least in terms of early returns. Let’s dig a little deeper into the numbers here to see if that’s the case in reality.

This week’s numbers

AEW Dynamite averaged 1.219 million viewers, as mentioned, which was up 78.4% from last week. In 18–49, the show averaged a 0.44 rating and finished 2nd on cable. That was tied for the second best number for the show since October 2019 and was up 76% from last week. The demos were strong across the board but were carried by persons over 50, which were up 108.3% from last week, and women, which were up in all demos with a higher percentage than men. Obviously, since that age category has been the strongest audience for NXT, it explains a lot. In addition, one would think that Mike Tyson would be popular with that age group, although women of all ages were up at least 75%. Bearing in mind that last week was close to a series low for the show, the increases may be a bit inflated, but the chart below looks at the ten-week averages prior to this week to get a more accurate view of the increase.

WWE NXT was also up, but only slightly. The show averaged 805,000 viewers on the USA Network on Tuesday night, which was a 4.8% increase from last week. In pretty much the opposite scenario from AEW’s, this was a TakeOver show that did one of the stronger numbers in recent memory, and was way up from the ten-week average. So, the number is more impressive than it looks, but in no way can you say it was more impressive than Dynamite‘s. In the 18–49 demo, the show averaged the same 0.22 rating as it did last week, but finished eighth in the cable charts since Tuesday is a weaker night for competition. It would’ve been in tenth place this week with that number.

Monday Night RAW on April 12th was the RAW after WrestleMania, which is usually the highest rated RAW of the year. That won’t be the case this year as legends night in January did a bigger number. The show was still way up from recent weeks, though, averaging 2.026 million viewers. That’s a 19.1% increase from the previous week. In 18–49 the show finished atop the cable charts for the night with a 0.68 rating, up 30.8% from last week. The show has been skewing much younger for the last month or so.

The WrestleMania go-home show, entitled WrestleMania SmackDown, on Friday April 9, averaged 2.25 million viewers. That’s up 5.3% from last week. It’s the first time since I’ve been doing this column that all four shows were up from the previous week. In 18–49, the show was up 7%, averaging a 0.61 rating. That was second on television behind ABC’s Shark Tank.

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

AEW Dynamite up 46.7% in 18–49 and 57.2% in viewership.
WWE NXT up 29.4% in 18-49 and 20.2% in viewership.
Monday Night RAW up 23.6% in 18-49 and 11.6% in viewership.
SmackDown up 3.4% in 18-49 and the exact same percentage in overall viewership.

Year-over-year numbers

AEW Dynamite was up 78.4% in overall viewership and 76% 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 16.3% in overall viewership and 29.4% in 18–49.

RAW was up 5.9% in overall viewership and 21.4% in 18–49. The latter number is very good, regardless of the circumstances.

SmackDown was actually down 2.9% in viewership but up 1.7% 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 then 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. Notable that every AEW performer on this list is ahead of every NXT performer on the list with the exception of Hikaru Shida, who fell below six NXT performers.

Most viewers per segment (min. 4 appearances)
1. Shaquille O’Neal 886,250
2. Red Velvet 843,250
3. John Silver 829,000
4. Luchasaurus 822,200
5. Jade Cargill 817,667
6. PAC 804,200
7. Chris Jericho 799,786
8. Marko Stunt 796,375
9. Darby Allin 795,417
10. Jungle Boy 791,625
11. Hangman Page 788,545
12. Penelope Ford 786,833
13. Mark Quen 786,500
14. Cody 786,182
15. Isaiah Kassidy 783,500
16. Nick Jackson 782,583
17. Will Hobbs 782,000
18. HOOK 781,300
19. Cash Wheeler 780,455
20. Ricky Starks 780,300
21. Matt Hardy 779,444
22. Tully Blanchard 778,750
23. Sting 778,727
24. Dax Harwood 776,750
25. Britt Baker 776,714
26. Eddie Kingston 776,300
27. MJF 774,688
28. Brian Cage 770,846
29. Lance Archer 770,091
30. Matt Jackson 769,929
31. Sammy Guevara 769,545
32. Angelico 767,500
33. Penta 764,400
34. Christian Cage 763,250
35. Kip Sabian 762,714
36. Nyla Rose 760,800
37. Chuck Taylor 760,429
38. Jon Moxley 760,353
39. Jake Hager 760,100
40. Miro 759,000
41. Rey Fenix 758,091
42 Varsity Blondes 757,500
43. Matt Sydal 756,750
44. Santana/Ortiz 755,667
45. Good Brothers 753,900
46. Kenny Omega 751,688
47. Orange Cassidy 747,600
48. Wardlow 730,000
49. Shawn Spears 717,400
50.  Leon Ruff 705,833
51. Tyler Rust 704,400
52. Dakota Kai 699,400
53. Raquel Gonzalez 692,867
54. Oney Lorcan 689,111
55. Zoey Stark 686,714
56. Hikaru Shida 685,500
57. Aliyah 684,800
58. Drake Maverick 683,750
59. Indi Hartwell 682,833
60. Danny Burch 681,500
61. Toni Storm 680,889
62. Io Shirai 679,154
63. Kyle O’Reilly 678,000
64. Pete Dunne 674,750
65. Curt Stallion 673,750
66. Finn Balor 673,217
67. Jesse Kamae 670,000
68. Santos Escobar 688,571
69. Candace LaRae 667,143
70. Ember Moon 664,250
71. Karrion Kross 663,308
72. Bronson Reed 660,556
73. Isaiah Scott 659,250
74. Austin Theory 658,462
75. LA Knight 658,286
76. Johnny Gargano 656,813
77. Kacy Catanzaro 655,714
78. Roderick Strong 653,000
79. Jordan Devlin 652,250
80. Kayden Carter 651,125
81. MSK 650,111
82. Dexter Lumis 649,800
83. Cameron Grimes 647,667
84. Adam Cole 645,889
85. Kushida 643,200
86. Mercedes Martinez 638,000
87. Fabian Aichner 634,500
88. Xia Li 631,889
89. Shotzi Blackheart 630,100
90. Marcel Barthel 628,400
91. WALTER 624,500
92. Tomasso Ciampa 624,250
93. Scarlett 624,200
94. Timothy Thatcher 620,700
95. Mendoza/Wilde 614,889
96.  Grizzled Young Vets 609,625
97. Fandango 568,500
98.  Tyler Breeze 564,250

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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