AEW beats NXT by wide margin, NXT drops, AEW falls short of approaching Smackdown and Raw numbers, AEW decimates NXT in one key demo


AEW Dynamite on TNT drew 1.409 million viewers, while NXT on USA Network head-to-head drew 891,000 viewers. That’s a drop-off from NXT’s first two 1 million plus viewership numbers, but not catastrophic, especially given the hype and buzz for the AEW debut.

AEW had no basis to make strong prediction on what they’d draw, but outdrawing NXT by 500,000 viewers is a big win. Some early indicators including Playstation VUE numbers and Twitter poll and trending metrics suggested a bigger win for AEW.

The AEW Dynamite rating is the highest on TNT other than the NBA since the SAG Awards on Jan. 27, which drew 1.506 million. Animal Kingdom, TNT’s current top original drama, drew 1.388 million recently and Claws drew 800,000.

AEW also drew 423,000 viewers for the replay right afterward.

AEW decisively beat NXT in all key demos, with a more than two-to-one margin of victory in the key 18-49 male demo (0.92 to 0.41). They also decimated NXT in the male 18-34 demo, 0.73 to 0.26. (That’s where the indicators pointed last night and earlier today, but that three-to-one margin was only among 18-34 males.) Among all adults 18-49, AEW more than doubled NXT (0.68 to 0.32). That points toward NXT closing the gap with older viewers 50 and above and also kids under 18.

We’ll have more information and perspective here at later, so check back.

A couple hours before ratings were released, but likely based on early indicators they received, WWE released the following statement to

“Congratulations to AEW on a successful premiere. The real winners of last night’s head-to-head telecasts of NXT on USA Network and AEW on TNT are the fans, who can expect Wednesday nights to be a competitive and wild ride as this is a marathon, not a one-night sprint.”

10 Comments on AEW beats NXT by wide margin, NXT drops, AEW falls short of approaching Smackdown and Raw numbers, AEW decimates NXT in one key demo

  1. The AEW premier demos for young males actually beat last week’s Smackdown and even beat one of the Raw hours this week.

    So yes, I’d say that AEW did well. They don’t draw the over 50 crowd like WWE does, which is the difference: AEW is for young people, WWE is for older people.

    • AEW is for SJW’s who like cast offs who wrestle matches with bad storytelling. Of course people were going to tune in the first week. Let’s see if it keeps up. NXT is better than AEW.

      • Vince,

        NXT Is not better than MLW, New Japan, Impact or AEW. Nor is any WWE product, but you are a mark, so that is what you are going to type here. Go eat your WWE candybar and cuddle up with your John Cena foamfinger.

        WWE is old and stale. It’s the past. Just like you.

  2. WWE is for older people.

    I get what you’re saying, but I’m 49; nothing about the WWE product interests me in the least. What they’re doing is the farthest thing from pro wrestling I’ve seen in 35 years of being a fan. Sorry, but that “AEW is for young people” doesn’t fit. I do hope they continue to draw fantastic with them, but I want them to win every demographic. Only then will WWE change.

  3. Perhaps the 50+ market were less likely to discover AEW from social media, and so some didn’t even know the show existed. The under 18s market doesn’t surprised me though as WWE is more catered to children anyway.

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