NXT on USA crushes AEW Dynamite in total viewership in rare head-to-head battle with loaded line-ups by both companies

By Wade Keller, PWTorch editor


In the head-to-head battle between NXT on USA Network and AEW Dynamite on a different night this week on TBS, NXT crushed AEW in total viewership – 921,000 to 609,000.

It was the highest NXT viewership since Nov. 20, 2019 and the fourth highest viewership ever for the show.

In the key 18-49 demographic, NXT drew 0.30 compared to AEW’s 0.26. AEW’s demo rating was slightly down from the 0.28 the prior two weeks; NXT’s demo rating was well above the 0.22 and 0.18 rating the last two weeks.

Both companies treated this as a big deal. AEW and NXT both went commercial-free for the first 30 minutes and both had overruns in what amounted to a game of chicken with each company countering the other.

AEW featured the first match with Adam Copeland (a/k/a Edge) against Luchasaurus in the main event, with Copeland’s longtime cohort Christian Cage accompanying Luchasaurus. AEW advertised Jon Moxley in an AEW International Title match, but announced 40 minutes into the show that he hadn’t been cleared earlier in the day and instead Orange Cassidy would wrestle Rey Fenix. AEW billed the episode of “Title Tuesday,” trying to emphasize to viewers used to watching AEW on Wednesday night that it would air one night earlier.

WWE loaded NXT more than usual with big names including John Cena, Cody Rhodes, Paul Heyman, Asuka, and a tease of Undertaker, which they delivered on at the end of the show. WWE heavily advertised the special episode of NXT with special big name appearances on Raw the night before in front of over 1.6 million viewers.

While Dynamite is AEW’s “A-show” and NXT is WWE’s “C-show,” Dynamite aired on a different night than usual and didn’t feature all of their top stars (The Young Bucks and Kenny Omega, most notably).

In effect, Dynamite lost around 280.000 viewers compared to the prior 13 week average due to being on a different night and facing a loaded NXT episode. NXT, meanwhile, gained nearly 200,000 more viewers than they averaged in the prior 13 weeks by including several big name guest stars, although it was only 64,000 from the prior week’s strong viewership number of 857,000; that growth would have certainly been higher had Dynamite not aired head-to-head with it.

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