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NXT on USA scored it’s first decisive victory in the Wednesday night ratings battle with AEW Dynamite on TNT, drawing 23,000 more viewers (916,000 to 893,000) and a higher rating – 0.70 to 0.63. Last week, AEW beat NXT 0.61 to 0.58.
NXT was a focus of both Smackdown and Raw in the lead-up to last night’s show, with Becky Lynch and Seth Rollins among the non-NXT wrestlers who appeared on the show. There was a tease on Monday that Kevin Owens might show up as part of Triple H’s declared “open door” to NXT this week.
After eight weeks head to head, AEW Dynamite has averaged 0.67 and NXT has averaged a 0.57.
Presumably, next week will be “back to normal” for NXT, but perhaps with Kevin Owens added to the roster (if he appears at Survivor Series as a member of NXT) along with a reinvigorated heel Finn Balor act as additions to the roster to fuel a retention of viewership.
This week’s 916,000 is the most viewers for NXT up against AEW, but short of the 1.006 and 1.179 million for the first two unopposed weeks. This week’s AEW viewership is above the average of the prior four weeks – 875,000. Removing the outliers (the lowest viewership up against game seven of the World Series and the highest viewership on week one), AEW averaged 979,000 viewers. During that same series of weeks, NXT has averaged 780,000 viewers. The average viewership difference the last six weeks is 156,000.
In demographic ratings, AEW continued its lead – 0.39 to 0.30 in the 18-49 demographic. The lead is bigger among 18-49 men – 0.52 to 0.39. The younger male viewership demographic, men 18-34, was closer at 0.32 to 0.24. The short of it is, there’s a tight ratings war going on with AEW holding a lead in key demos, but NXT with help from WWE cross-promotion and top star guest appearances, able to beat AEW in overall viewership.
In the cable rankings, among the coveted 18-49 demographic, AEW finished no. 8 and NXT finished no. 14. The democratic debate on MSNBC finished no. 1 with a 1.1 demo rating and 6.604 million total viewers. The NBA games on ESPN finished no. 3 and no. 5 in the rankings with demo ratings of 0.7 and 0.4. AEW also drew a 0.4 demo rating.