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AEW and WWE Ratings Report: Dynamite does third highest 18–49 rating in history

The big news

With the “Wednesday Night War” behind them in the victory column, AEW Dynamite is getting closer and closer to catching up to the cable wrestling stalwart Monday Night RAW, at least in terms of the key 18-49 demo number. The overall audience still trails RAW significantly, but Dynamite was within 10% in the key demo this week and they have all the momentum. With big signings seemingly on the way and NFL Monday Night Football just around the corner, Dynamite could be number two in wrestling and number one on cable before very long.

This week’s numbers

AEW Dynamite averaged 1,108,000 viewers, down 3.5% from last week. The slight drop was likely due to the Olympics but it was still the 4th highest number in the show’s history. In the 18-49 demo, the show had a 0.45 rating, up 2.3% from last week. It tied the 3rd highest rating in that demo in the show’s history and was the best since October 9, 2019, the 2nd week of the show.

NXT moved to SyFy because of the Olympics for this week and the next so the numbers were down as was to be expected. Comparisons aren’t fair but I’ll make them anyway, just as I did when Dynamite moved nights for the most of June. NXT averaged 520,000 viewers, down 26.7% from last week. It was the lowest audience in the show’s history since debuting on cable in 2019. In the 18–49 demo, they show did a 0.12 rating, down 40% from last week. It tied the lowest rating in the demo the show has ever done.

For the second straight week, Monday Night RAW had relatively decent numbers since the return of fans to the show. RAW averaged 1.814 million viewers on USA for the July 26th show. That’s down 5.7% from last week but is still the second highest audience for the show since May 17th. In the 18–49 demo, the show averaged a 0.49 rating. That’s down 14% from last week but matches the second best number in that category since May 10th.

SmackDown had a similar pattern to RAW. The July 23rd show on FOX averaged 2.137 million viewers, down 7.5% from the previous week. In the 18–49 demo, the show averaged a 0.55 rating, down 16.7% from the July 16th show. Both numbers were the second best for the show since May 7th, trailing only last week.

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 49.3% in viewers and 60.7% 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 11% in viewership and 21.6% in the demo. The key here is that the recent ratings success is being driven by younger viewers, as evidenced by those numbers.

WWE NXT was down 23.5% in viewers and 29.4% in 18–49. This isn’t fair at all due to the move to SyFy. In fact, most people expected the show to do worse than this. They have one more week before moving back to their regular home on USA Network.

WWE RAW was up 8.8% in viewers and 6.5% in 18–49. These increases are compared to 9 weeks in the ThunderDome and last week with fans so the increases are pretty much due to the return to live audiences. The show also advertised a John Cena appearance but he never appeared on TV.

WWE SmackDown was up 8.1% in viewers and 7.8% in 18–49. Like RAW, the last two weeks have featured the return of fans and likely are why the ratings are up. Smackdown also featured John Cena but went against the Olympics opening ceremonies, which did a huge number on NBC.

Year-over-year numbers

AEW Dynamite was up 43.3% in overall viewers and 50% in 18–49. Last year, of course, AEW and NXT were running head-to-head but this is now the third 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 down 26.5% in viewers and 33.3% in 18–49. Broken record time but these numbers can be thrown out due to the temporary move to SyFy.

RAW was up 12.3% in viewers and 2.1% in 18–49. The year over year increases would likely be higher if it weren’t for going up against the Olympics. But that didn’t affect AEW too much, did it?

SmackDown was up 11.1% in viewers and 10% in 18–49. This is right in the range of what most people expected the return of fans to impact the numbers. So the advertised appearance of Cena offset the Olympic competition.

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 in the 18-49 demo 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.

Last week’s Ratings Extra looked at the overall audience per segment. So this is more about who younger viewers are watching the most. As a comparison, the top 10 for overall viewers were Mike Tyson, The Good Brothers, Christopher Daniels, Nick Jackson, MJF, Kris Statlander, Matt Jackson, Jon Moxley, FTR and Shawn Spears.

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 18-49 viewers per segment
1. Mike Tyson 526,500
2. MJF 432,417
3. Good Brothers 431,000
4. Kris Statlander 421,000
5. Nick Jackson 414,929
6. Jon Moxley 413,000
7. Matt Jackson 411,333
8. Christopher Daniels 408,400
9. Alex Reynolds 405,167
10. Chris Jericho 401,000
11. Shawn Spears 400,625
12. Dax Harwood 399,000
13. Wardlow 394,000
14. Kenny Omega 392,467
15. Sammy Guevara 390,250
16. John Silver 388,833
17. Ortiz/Santana 385,583
18. Darby Allin 384,929
19. Jake Hager 384,846
20. Miro 383,000
21. Brian Pillman Jr 382,667
22. Dark Order (Angels/Cabana) 381,429
23. Christian Cage 379,929
24. Cash Wheeler 377,222
25. Ricky Starks 373,571
26. Matt Sydal 371,200
27. 10 369,444
28. Britt Baker 369,417
29. HOOK 367,571
30. Tully Blanchard 364,833
31. Matt Hardy 364,167
32. QT Marshall 363,714
33. Powerhouse Hobbs 362,083
34. Stu Grayson 360,750
35. Frankie Kazarian 360,667
36. Orange Cassidy 357,333
37. Hangman Page 356,600
38. Eddie Kingston 356,167
39. Anthony Ogogo 355,400
40. PAC 351,875
41. Jungle Boy 351,200
42. Evil Uno 349,333
43. Trent 347,500
44. Penta 344,100
45. Cody Rhodes 343,429
46. Brian Cage 336,667
47. Blade 334,750
48. Scorpio Sky 330,125
49. Ethan Page 321,889
50. Jade Cargill 321,167
51. Private Party 320,750
52. Sting 313,857
53. Rebel 300,400
54. Bunny 297,500
55. Jake Roberts 294,750
56. Andrade El Idolo 286,000
57. Lance Archer 283,750
58. Scarlett 262,500
59. Dexter Lumis 259,250
60. Kushida 258,167
61. MSK 257,778
62. Killian Dane 256,600
63. Indi Hartwell 252,429
64. Santos Escobar 250,636
65. Candace LeRae 250,538
66. Raquel Gonzalez 250,357
67. Wilde/Mendoza 250,333
68. Grizzled Young Vets 250,167
69. Adam Cole 249,900
70. Shotzi Blackheart 248,714
71. Ember Moon 248,444
72. Dakota Kai 246,818
73. Jesse Kamea 246,000
74. Austin Theory 245,417
75. Tomasso Ciampa 243,250
76. Pete Dunne 243,167
77. Mark Sterling 242,000
78. WALTER 241,000
79. Timothy Thatcher 240,429
80. LA Knight 239,700
81. Franky Monet 239,143
82. Ted DiBiase 234,333
83. Aichner/Barthel 232,000
84. Cameron Grimes 231,750
85. Io Shirai 231,000
86. Johnny Gargano 230,875
87. Kyle O’Reilly 230,857
88. Aliyah 230,500
88. Leon Ruff 230,500
90. Zayda Ramir 230,250
91. William Regal 225,750
92. Mercedes Martinez 225,727
93. Swerve Scott 223,308
94. B-Fab 220,833
95. Karrion Kross 220,214
96. Samoa Joe 219,750
97. Hit Row (Adonis/Top Dolla) 217,857
98. Bronson Reed 214,091
99. Toni Storm 214,000
100. Jake Atlas 211,750
101. Zoey Stark 211,375
102. Finn Balor 195,333

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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