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The big news

As evidenced by the title, Dynamite had a huge week for ratings. But it wasn’t only them. All four major AEW and WWE shows were up; significantly in most cases. The return of fans along with big matches upcoming has wrestling feeling hotter than it has in years. With rumors of main event names to come back soon, it could get even hotter.

This week’s numbers

AEW Dynamite averaged 1,148,000 viewers, up 12% from last week. It was the third highest viewership in the history of the show and the fifth time Dynamite has cracked 1 million viewers since NXT moved off of Wednesday night. In fact, Dynamite is averaging exactly 1 million viewers over the last 10 weeks, which includes this week. In the 18-49 demo, the show averaged a 0.44 rating, up 10% from last week. It’s a higher number than RAW had averaged in that category for the 3 weeks prior to this one, which is an incredible stat.

WWE NXT was up 0.4%, averaging 709,000 viewers on the USA Network this week. It’s the best number for the show since May 4th. In the 18-49 demo, NXT averaged a 0.20 rating. That’s up 5.3% from last week and the highest in that category since April 27th.

WWE Monday Night RAW, which put on their first show with fans since March 20th of last year, averaged 1.923 million viewers on July 19th. That’s up 19.5% from the previous week and 30% higher than the all-time low set two weeks ago. In the 18-49 demo, the show averaged a 0.57 rating. That’s up 32.6% from the previous week. The viewership was the highest since the RAW after Mania and the demo number was the best since the week after that.

WWE Smackdown on FOX, which was the first show for the company in an arena with fans back, averaged 2.31 million viewers on FOX. That’s up 16.3% from the previous week. It’s the best number for the show since January 22nd and the 3rd best number of 2021. In the 18-49 demo, Smackdown averaged a 0.66 rating, up 37.5% from the week prior. It’s the second highest number in that category so far in 2021 and the best since January 15th.

As shown in the chart below, the increases/decreases over the ten-week average, prior to this week, are as follows:

AEW Dynamite was up 45.3% in viewers and 63% in the 18–49 demo. That includes five weeks where they were airing in alternate time slots due to the NBA Playoffs. When comparing to the 10 most recent Wednesday night shows, they’re up 20.5% in viewership and 25.7% in the demo. Those are excellent numbers.

WWE NXT was up 4.4% in viewers and 17.6% in 18–49. Again, a very good number for the show. The big draw on this show was the women’s title match in the main event. It also went up against the final game of the NBA Championships, which did over 12 million viewers on ABC. There was also a show long tease of a Samoa Joe vs Karrion Kross confrontation, which may have held viewer interest.

WWE RAW was up 16.1% in viewers and 23.9% in 18–49. This show featured the advertised return of John Cena and the unadvertised return of Goldberg.

WWE SmackDown was up 17% in viewers and 29.4% in 18–49. So all four shows are skewing much younger than they have in recent weeks. That’s likely due to the end of the NBA Playoffs, which were affecting ratings across the board.

Year-over-year numbers

AEW Dynamite was up 35.9% in overall viewers and 37.5% in 18–49. Last year, of course, AEW and NXT were running head-to-head but this is still the second week in a row that they’ve had a greater than 30% increase in both categories, which is astonishing on cable television.

WWE NXT was up 15.3% in viewers and 17.7% in 18–49. The year over year increases are pretty much due to the moving away from AEW as the effects of that move have been about a 15-20% increase for NXT since the move.

RAW was up 18.2% in viewers and 23.9% in 18–49. This is the return of fans, which most people figured would lead to a 15-20% increase. Anything above that is likely due to Cena.

SmackDown was up 20.8% in viewers and 32% in 18–49. Those increases are more than what you’d expect for just the return of fans. Roman Reigns wrestling doesn’t happen every week and did this time so that would’ve had a positive effect for sure.

Ratings extra

For people who have not seen this segment before, here’s an explanation.

What follows is a listing of every single performer who was featured in at least four segments of AEW and NXT, ranked according to the average number of viewers per segment that they were in. In terms of comparing AEW and NXT, it’s not really fair and especially this particular quarter. The reason is because they aired on different stations for most of the time period. In addition, AEW Dynamite was bounced around the schedule for most of June. That said, comparing the wrestlers in the company against each other does have some value.

The other key is that just because a person ranks high on this list doesn’t necessarily mean they drew those viewers. They may have even lost viewers and next week’s “Ratings Extra” will look at the average number of viewers gained or lost per segment which has more value in determining who is drawing viewers, in my opinion. This list below is really who was seen by the most people. Topping the list was a special attraction who helped AEW’s ratings during a time when they had tough competition from NXT and I do think it’s telling that he’s so far ahead of everyone else in AEW. But bringing him in served its purpose. Many of the AEW numbers are dragged down by the five weeks they were airing on Fridays and Saturdays. But the people at the bottom says something as well, since they’re so much lower than everyone else.

The list below covers the time period of April 2021 through the end of June 2021. To appear on the list, a performer had to have appeared in at least four segments during the quarter.

Most Viewers per segment (minimum four appearances)
1. Mike Tyson 1,116,250
2. Good Brothers 919,571
3. Christopher Daniels 918,400
4. Nick Jackson 908,733
5. MJF 883,462
6. Kris Statlander 883,250
7. Matt Jackson 881,688
8. Jon Moxley 876,889
9. FTR 865,500
10. Shawn Spears 855,375
11. Alan Angels 851,000
12. Chris Jericho 845,643
13. Wardlow 841,556
14. Sammy Guevara 828,538
15. Kenny Omega 823,400
16. Jake Hager 814,154
17. Santana/Ortiz 812,250
18. Tully Blanchard 811,167
19. Brian Pillman Jr 810,167
20. Matt Sydal 805,500
21. Dark Order (Reynolds/Cabana/Silver) 801,000
22. Miro 800,545
23. Frankie Kazarian 791,667
24. Christian Cage 787,429
25. Ricky Starks 787,000
26. Darby Allin 785,000
27. 10 782,875
28. Britt Baker 779,000
29. PAC 773,778
30. Hangman Page 771,200
31. Raquel Gonzalez 770,133
32. Shotzi Blackheart 769,286
33. WALTER 762,750
34. Dexter Lumis 762,500
35. Io Shirai 758,857
36. Stu Grayson 758,000
37. Scarlett 755,750
38. Powerhouse Hobbs 748,917
39. Orange Cassidy 748,556
40. Ember Moon 747,444
41. Leon Ruff 747,000
42. Anthony Ogogo 746,000
43. Alexander Wolfe 744,000
44. Dakota Kai 743,455
45. Eddie Kingston 742,750
46. HOOK 741,143
47. Indi Hartwell 741,000
48. QT Marshall 738,143
49. Austin Theory 732,917
50. Candace LaRae 732,714
51. Finn Balor 729,500
52. Evil Uno 728,667
53. Bronson Reed 724,909
54. Jungle Boy 722,300
55. Tomasso Ciampa 721,333
56. Pete Dunne 720,250
57. Imperium (Aichner/Barthel) 719,800
58. Matt Hardy 717,333
59. Ted DiBiase 717,143
60. Cody Rhodes 715,571
61. Johnny Gargano 714,438
62. Kushida 713,455
63. Franky Monet 712,429
64. Trent 710,750
65. Cameron Grimes 710,083
66. Penta 709,700
67. Timothy Thatcher 709,375
68. Legado Del Fantasma (Wilde/Mendoza) 708,222
69. Santos Escobar 708,200
70. Jade Cargill 707,714
71. Killian Dane 704,000
72. Karrion Kross 703,077
73. LA Knight 701,700
74. MSK 700,500
75.  Adam Cole 700,300
76. Jesse Kamea 699,750
77. Swerve Scott 695,750
78. Grizzled Young Vets 694,286
79. Zayda Ramir 690,750
80. Aliyah 689,750
81. Mercedes Martinez 689,273
82. Kyle O’Reily 686,875
83. Blade 683,000
84. Bobby Fish 682,750
85. Jake Atlas 681,500
86. Zoey Stark 681,375
87. Brian Cage 676,167
88. Scorpio Sky 664,250
89. William Regal 664,000
90. Ethan Page 658,889
91. Bunny 658,200
92. B-Fab 652,833
93. Rebel 651,800
94. Hit Row (Ashante/Top Dolla) 647,714
95. Private Party 623,000
96. Sting 622,625
97. Andrade 580,250
98. Lance Archer 575,250
99. Mark Sterling 507,000

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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