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The big news: AEW Rampage numbers way up with loaded show

On a recent episode of Busted Open Radio, Tony Khan promised that he would be “ruthless” on Friday nights and promised a renewed focus on making Rampage a “must-see” show. This past Friday saw Bryan Danielson wrestle for just the second time on the AEW secondary show and former AEW Champion Jon Moxley wrestled Wheeler Yuta in the main event of what some people in attendance called the best match they’d ever seen live, on a night where The Young Bucks and FTR had one of the best tag team matches of the year.

The result was the best numbers for the show since January. This coming week, the show is moving to a time slot three hours earlier but they are airing an AEW World title match for the first time on the show between Hangman Page and Adam Cole.

This week’s numbers

  • AEW Dynamite averaged 977,000 viewers, down 1.2% from the previous Wednesday and the lowest audience for the show since March 9. In the 18–49 demo, the show averaged a 0.37 rating, which was down 2.6% from the April 6 show and the lowest rating in that category since March 2. Dynamite was third on cable in the demo, trailing two NBA playoff play-in games on ESPN. Ratings were up in a few categories but down in most. The biggest increase came with people 18–34, where the audience was up 20.8% to a 0.29 rating. The biggest decline was with women 18-49 where the show fell 8.3% to a 0.22 rating, matching the lowest in that category since February 16. 
  • WWE NXT 2.0 averaged 610,000 viewers, down 3.3% from last week. It was the lowest audience for the show since March 8. In the 18–49 demo, the show finished 47th on the cable charts  on a night with tough competition . NXT 2.0 did a 0.12 rating in 18–49, which was down 14.3% from last week last week. The 18–49 number tied the lowest mark for the show on USA Network since January 18. The show was down in every age group with the exception of people over 50. The biggest drop was with females 18-49, just like Dynamite, where the show fell by 25%. 
  • Monday Night RAW on the USA Network averaged 1,803,333 viewers for the April 11th episode. That’s down 18.1% from last week, which had the highest audience in over a year. It’s the fifth highest viewership for for the show since October 4 of last year. In the 18–49 demo, the show averaged a 0.54 rating, down 14.3%, but was the second highest rating in that category since August 30 of last year. They topped the cable charts, finishing 54.3% ahead of the next highest rated show in the key demo. 
  • Friday Night SmackDown on April 8 averaged 2,230,000 viewers on FOX, down 5.5% from last week. The show led all network television with a 0.60 rating, down 1.6% from the April 1 show. It was the third highest rating of the year in the key demo. They also led network programming in the 18–34 demo with a 0.39 rating. 
  • AEW Rampage averaged 600,000 viewers, up 31.6% from last week. It was the best audience for the show since January 28, which was the last time Jon Moxley wrestled on Rampage.  In the 18–49 demo, the show averaged a 0.25 rating, up 66.7, and finished fourth on the cable charts in that category. The only shows to beat it on cable were Masters related coverage on ESPN. 

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

  • AEW Dynamite was down 1.1% in viewers and 2.6% in 18–49. It’s the sixth time in the last seven weeks that the audience has been between 945,000 and 993,000 viewers so this was essentially an average number.      
  • WWE NXT 2.0 was up 4.6% in viewers but down 7.7% in 18–49 so the show skewed quite a bit older. The two weeks of airing on SyFy bring down those averages just a bit. 
  • WWE RAW was up 1% in viewers and 10.2% 18–49. The show skewed much younger for the fifth straight week. This may be the result of Smackdown stars appearing on the show more often but it’s something to keep an eye on. 
  • WWE SmackDown was up 1.1% in viewers and 7.1% in 18–49. Like RAW, Smackdown skewed younger this week than it has recently. 
  • AEW Rampage was up 20.4% in overall viewers and 31.6% in 18–49. This was clearly the result of loading up the show with star power.  

Year-over-year numbers

AEW Dynamite was down 19.9% in overall viewers and 15.9% in the 18–49 demo. This is the first week where the year over year comparisons are against the time frame after NXT moved to Tuesday nights and it’s the largest year over year drops in both categories so far this year for AEW. 

WWE NXT 2.0 was down 24.2% in viewers and 45.5% in 18–49. Like Dynamite, these are apples to apples comparisons for the first time and shows just how far the show has fallen in a year. 

WWE RAW was down 11% in viewers and 20.6% in 18–49. The last two weeks have seen RAW have consecutive weeks of year over year increases for the first time since last September but this is right back to normal. The 18-49 drops are particularly concerning.  

WWE SmackDown was down 0.9% in overall viewers and 1.6% in 18–49. That’s very good with TV on the whole declining about eight percent and SmackDown ratings continue to hold up better than any other show. 

Ratings extra

There was no article the last two weeks so I missed publishing the cumulative ratings for March as well as the Q1 2022 numbers as compared to last year so here they are.

AEW Dynamite averaged 985,800 in March 2022 and 0.384 in 18–49. These numbers were up 26.3% and 28.9% respectively from the same month in 2021.

NXT 2.0 averaged 608,400 viewers and 0.136 in 18-49 for the month. That’s down 8.2% in viewers and 20.9% in 18-49. That 18-49 drop is the worst among all four major shows.

WWE RAW averaged 1,806,000 viewers in March with a 0.495 in 18–49. The show was down just 1.2% in viewers but 11% in 18-49.

WWE SmackDown had increases in both categories. The show averaged 2,203,500 viewers in March, up 1.2% from last year and 0.5575 in 18–49 which was up 1.4% from last year.

AEW Rampage averaged 473,500 viewers and 0.18 in 18–49 for the month of March, down from 508,250 and 0.19 in February. It’s the two lowest monthly averages in both categories and is likely what led to the renewed focus on the show.

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