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AEW's Bryan Danielson

The big news: AEW Dynamite edges out Monday Night RAW in 18–49

Monday Night RAW was up against the first ever Monday night NFL playoff game while AEW Dynamite had the returns of both Jon Moxley and Cody Rhodes advertised. The result was a victory for the latter show in the key demo for just the fourth time in history on the same calendar week. Going in, it was thought that there was a good chance this would happen but RAW held up much better than expected against the monster competition. Dynamite looks to have benefitted with a great lead in as the opening quarter of the show did a 0.48 in the key demo but dropped throughout the show and was down to a 0.39 by the main event, a drop of almost 19%. That’s been the pattern, for the most part, since the show moved to TBS and now has a much stronger lead-in than it did on TNT. There are plusses and minuses to this but it does appear that there are more eyes on the show with this move.

This week’s numbers

  • AEW Dynamite averaged 1,032,000 viewers, up 6.5% from the previous Wednesday and the highest viewership for the show since October 6. In the 18–49 demo, the show averaged a 0.44 rating, which was the highest since October and up 12.8% from the January 12 show. Dynamite finished on top of the cable charts, beating two NBA games on on ESPN. Looking at the numbers a little more closely, the biggest gain was with females 18–49, which were up 23.1%. In fact, they did their highest number in that demo since December of 2020. They were actually even with females 12–34, meaning that the actual gain was with females in the 35-49 age group. 
  • WWE NXT 2.0 on the USA Network, averaged 587,000 viewers, down 9.3% from last week. In the 18–49 demo the show finished 50th on the cable charts. It’s the smallest overall audience for the show since December 14. The show did a 0.11 rating in 18–49, down 21.4% from last week.  It tied the lowest mark in the demo in the history of the show for a USA Network airing. There was an episode on SyFy that aired head to head with the Olympics that did worse. 
  • Monday Night RAW on the USA Network averaged 1,612,464 viewers for the January 17 episode. That’s down 1.2% from last week, the second straight week of audience decline. Given the monster competition, it was probably a net win.  In the 18–49 demo the show averaged a 0.43 rating, up 10.3%, and the second best number since November. They finished sixth on cable in the demo, but topped all non-NFL related programming. 
  • Friday Night SmackDown on January 14 averaged 2,174,000 viewers on FOX, down 4.3% from last week. . The show finished second among network programming with a 0.56 rating, down 3.4% from the January 7 show. Like with RAW, it was the second best number in the demo since November.  
  • AEW Rampage averaged 526,000 viewers, down 10.5% from last week. In the 18–49 demo the show averaged a 0.20 rating, down 16.7%, and finished fifteenth on the cable charts in that category. The show aired head to head with an NBA game on ESPN that led the cable charts with a 0.48 rating although last week’s NBA game on the same station did a 0.71 rating so it can’t be blamed on that.  

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 9.1% in viewers and 25.7% in 18–49. It’s the fifth week in a row the show has been above it’s ten-week average. Unlike previous weeks, the NBA did air as head to head competition this week and AEW beat it. It should also be noted that the lead-in on TBS is much stronger in the key demo than it was on TNT so this trend would be expected to continue until the weeks of comparison are all TBS airings. 
  • WWE NXT 2.0 was down 4.9% in viewers and 21.4% in 18–49. After a few weeks of strong numbers, this is back to what the show was doing in December with the 18–49 number being particularly bad. 
  • WWE RAW was down 0.3% in viewers and 4.9% 18–49. The fact that viewership was virtually identical, despite the huge competition, should be considered a slight positive. Even the slight 18–49 decline is good. These comparisons will look more favorable now that football season is over, at least on Monday nights.  
  • WWE SmackDown was up 11.5% in viewers and 14.3% in 18–49. However, one of those weeks was on FS 1 and a best of show, so factoring that out of the equation and comparing to the other nine weeks, the show was up 2.3% in viewers and  3.7% in 18–49 so it was a good showing. 
  • AEW Rampage was down 0.8% in overall viewers and 4.8% in 18–49. This almost statistically even so these are completely normal levels for the show right now. 


Year-over-year numbers

AEW Dynamite was up 20.8% in overall viewers and 22.2% in the 18–49 demo. It’s the fourth straight week that the show has had double digit year over year increases in both categories.  They were also the only one of the four major shows to have an increase in either category this week. 

WWE NXT 2.0 was down 10.9% in viewers and 26.7% in 18–49. So the show is skewing much older in 2022. After three straight week where they had year over year growth, this is back to the huge declines it’s been doing on a regular basis for most of the 2.0 run.  

WWE RAW was down 13% in viewers and 28.3% in 18–49. It’s the fifteenth straight week of year over year declines in the demo. The average decline over that time span has been 21%. That’s almost a third of the year. With TV as a whole declining about 8%, this is very bad. 

WWE SmackDown was down 3.9% in overall viewers and 16.4% in 18-49. Like the other WWE shows, there’s a noticeable difference between the overall decline and the 18-49 decline and all their shows are skewing older. 

Ratings extra

After presenting the Q3 data for viewers drawn per quarter both overall and in 18–49 for people who had appeared in at least 4 segments of AEW Dynamite or NXT from July-September over the last few weeks, last week I looked at the average viewers gained per quarter. Simply put, who is moving the numbers.

This week, it’s the same information but in the 18–49 age group. As a refresher, the top ten viewers per segment in 18–49 were Bryan Danielson, Brian Pillman Jr, Ruby Soho, CM Punk, John Silver, Jamie Hayter, Alex Reynolds, Shawn Spears, the Dark Order trio of 10, Angels and Cabana and Hangman Page.

Viewers gained per segment is quite a different list and even though NXT wrestlers would be eligible here and often appear in the top ten, that wasn’t the case for this quarter. Going forward, we are no longer getting quarter by quarter data for NXT shows so these will exclusively be AEW numbers. Keep in mind that for Adam Cole specifically (and no one else in this quarter since Kyle O’Reilly and Bobby Fish hadn’t debuted yet) these would be combined numbers between AEW and NXT. Three of the top five NXT performers are not currently under contract to WWE or any other major company and the other two are with AEW. The top NXT performer was Pete Dunne at 23 and he looks to be done on the brand as well. There’s also Ilya Dragunov at 25, but he’s on the UK show. You have to look all the way down to 30th to find someone still on NXT.

Most 18-49 viewers gained per segment
1 Bryan Danielson 45,750
2 Hangman Page 28,200
3 Shawn Spears 27,000
4 Thunder Rosa 26,750
5 Matt Sydal 25,750
6 Cody Rhodes 23,500
7 Kenny Omega 21,308
8 PAC 21,250
9 Jade Cargill 19,600
10 Dark Order (Reynolds/10/Angels/Cabana) 17,833
11 Karrion Kross 17,250
12 Malakai Black 16,900
13 Samoa Joe 15,083
14 Matt Hardy 14,000
15 Adam Cole 13,556
16 John Silver 12,286
17 Kyle O’Reilly 11,778
18 Isaiah Kassidy 11,750
19 Nyla Rose 11,400
20 Johnny Gargano 11,083
21 Chris Jericho 10,667
22 Young Bucks 10,308
23 Pete Dunne 10,000
24 Ricky Starks 9,857
25 CM Punk 9,800
25 Ilya Dragunov 9,800
26 Swerve Scott 9,429
27 Jurassic Express 9,333
28 Orange Cassidy 8,667
29 Evil Uno/Stu Grayson 8,500
30 Christian Cage 8,000
30 Dakota Kai 8,000
32 Miro 7,667
33 Dexter Lumis 6,700
34 LA Knight 5,833
35 Ikeman Jiro 5,750
36 Sting 5,600
37 William Regal 5,571
38 Oney Lorcan 5,250
39 Dan Lambert 3,800
40 Scorpio Sky 3,750
40 Powerhouse Hobbs 3,750
42 Darby Allin 3,667
43 Dante Martin 3,600
44 Ashante Adonis/Top Dollah 3,500
45 B-Fab 3,333
46 Santos Escobar 2,750
47 Joaquin Wilde/Raul Mendoza 2,714
48 Ethan Page 2,667
49 Ridge Holland 1,833
50 Carmello Hayes 1,250
51 Indi Hartwell 1,182
52 Tomasso Ciampa 1,000
53 Cameron Grimes 909
54 Raquel Gonzalez 714
55 Karl Anderson 667
56 Andrade 0
57 Fabian Aichner/Marcel Barthel -400
58 Brian Cage -600
59 Rey Fenix -778
60 Penta -900
61 Ruby Soho -1,500
62 Doc Gallows -2,125
63 Duke Hudson -2,600
64 Lance Archer -3,714
65 Blade -3,800
66 Candace LaRae -4,600
67 Io Shirai/Zoey Stark -5,200
68 Drake Maverick -5,750
68 MSK -5,750
70 Jamie Hayter -6,750
71 QT Marshall -7,000
72 MJF -7,600
73 Odyssey Jones -8,800
74 Wardlow -10,800
75 Brian Pillman Jr -15,000
76 Jon Moxley -18,000
77 Bunny/Penelope Ford -18,750
78 Sammy Guevara -19,000
79 Britt Baker -19,091
80 Daniel Garcia -25,250
81 Eddie Kingston -29,200
82 Dax Harwood -30,545
83 Cash Wheeler -31,100
84 Santana/Ortiz -39,833
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