AEW Collision hits series low viewership against WWE Payback, College Football

Originally published at AEW Collision hits series low viewership against WWE Payback, College Football

AEW Collision suffered a gut punch over the weekend scoring its lowest audience to date airing against WWE Payback.

The September 2 episode from Chicago went live hours after the news that CM Punk had been terminated by the company with Tony Khan addressing his reasoning at the beginning of the broadcast.

The show averaged a series-low 345,000 viewers and 165,000 (0.11) in the 18-49 demographic, per Brandon Thurston of Wrestlenomics.

Beyond the Payback competition, Collision also aired against college football games on ABC, CBS, and NBC, as well as Fox’s MLB coverage, per Spoiler TV. 

In the 18-49 demo, females dropped by 39% this week to 42,000 viewers and men fell 23% to 103,000.

Adults 18-34 saw a major decline of 35%, largely attributed to males falling by 44% to 22,000 viewers while the female loss was 19%.

Adults 35-49 decreased by 27% to 80,000 viewers with females representing the larger percentage of decline with a 48% drop from 48,000 to 25,000 viewers this week.

With the return of college football, Saturday nights are going to be tougher each week throughout the season but it is also clear how significant running against WWE events are going to be with this month’s show performing much lower than the August 5 episode that aired against SummerSlam. The next WWE events are NXT No Mercy on September 30 and Fast Lane on October 7.

This will be compounded by the loss of CM Punk, who Collision had been built around since the show’s launch in June.

Wrestlenomics reports that the peak quarter was the opening fifteen minutes where Tony Khan started the show and was followed by the angle between Ricky Starks and Ricky Steamboat and the surprise return of Bryan Danielson with 472,000 viewers and 234,000 in the demo. Those numbers fell 19% and 29% respectively in the second quarter.

CORRECTION: We previously listed the LSU vs. Florida State college football game as airing on Saturday night, it aired on Sunday night and has been updated.

Get used to that! Rampage beat Collision wow.

I mean, not to make excuses but it was head to head with a PLE and a long weekend.

Look back at the rating they had ahead of Independence Day. Same story.

They’ll be back well over 400K to 500K within the next couple of weeks.

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I think that will be the norm now for Collision. College football is a juggernaut and without Punk they lack a lot of star power. They need to make it feel like a different show, which I don’t think Tony can do.

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There’s college football until into January, so I respectfully disagree.

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Completely fair.

We shall see. I would expect them to still be able to carve out 400-500K every week, despite the juggernaut that is College football. It won’t be easy, but I’m sure they can make it work.

Hell, Rampage is back to usually over 400K every week at 10PM.

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He’s been doing it since it premiered…

He’s also got Bryan Danielson, Chris Hero and Jimmy Jacobs working with him on creative. They realize the shows needs an identity. I don’t believe at all it turns to Dynamite Part 2.

What’s on Collision this week?

Everyone said the same things about Rampage and ROH. Those shows also have nobody talking about them. I see Collision going the same way if left to Tony to book.

They don’t sniff 500K until college football is done


I presume we will hear what is on Collision later today? Just like we heard about Dynamite over the last 24 hours? This

Why do you presume Tony, who ALSO BOOKED COLLISON, to stop what he was doing all summer?

The show has its own identity. I don’t think that will be abandoned because Punk’s not around.

Not great when you just had a PPV and have no clue what’s happening for next week.

The show had an identity and everything I’ve read leads me to believe that Punk had a lot of say in what was happening on the show. I don’t see Tony trying to tell Punk what should be on the show.

The show has no identity now and going up against a ton of competition. Good luck

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That’s basically nearly every week of AEW TV. Look back at the last while with Collison. How many times aside from the MJF & Cole vs. FTR week, where the cards known ahead of more than a few days?

Again, you’re stating the same sort of WWE viewer argument where all good ideas = Triple H / bad TV = Vince.

There is no way either of us know who did what. Yes, Punk had say over Collison. But you cannot give him all the credit for it’s identity and give Tony none.

Personally I thought Collision has been their best show since it debuted. Dynamite is totally hit or miss. So based on Rampage and ROH I don’t have a lot of faith in this show becoming a success.

Having the same people do the same stuff on Wednesday but against way more competition is a recipe for failure.

Again, at least wait another week before you decide on what Collision is going to look like.
Last week looked different than Dynamite earlier in the week.

Just because the soft brand split is over, does not mean it’s going to be the same people on both shows. It only means that “hey, maybe Hangman can wrestle this week on Saturday instead of Wednesday, and Andrade can by on Dynamite instead??”

I don’t think anybody involved is looking to sell the same show twice a week. First off, travel would suck (Wednesday for TV / home Thursday/ leave Friday / Saturday for TV) / and there are people who’d rather work one day over the other.

Collision looks and feels different than Dynamite by design.

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I sort of think this show is in trouble. I don’t need more than 2 hours of AEW per week especially if the rosters are the same. Dynamite along with a PPV once per month is enough.

It was different when it was a different roster but if it’s not I don’t see it having huge appeal


It was a dumb line. Edited it.

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I’m not attacking, but I really want to know how would you make Collision better, because I’ve been trying to figure it out myself but I got nothing?


I would make a hard roster split and move the name ROH talent (Joe, Claudio, Kingston, Athena, etc) to Collision.

ROH should be strictly developmental. There’s no reason for it to have any top talent when Collision is at risk.

I would also encourage Tony to take a six-month break off of Collison while the NFL is on. Give the book to Danielson or Jarrett and let them do what they want. Move Don Callis to head booker for Dynamite while NFL is on.

They just need a refresh and Tony needs a break.


Yea I agree. It has been such a great show. I really enjoyed 25 minute main events every week and “so and so in action” in squash match scattered through the show.

And lets not forget the same 8-10 guys being in those matches over and over. It was real riveting stuff.

I actually think it was Vince who once said in an interview that the perfect time for a weekly wrestling show is 90min. Of course this is based on purely entertainment value, nothing to do with advertisers/money etc. I agree.

If AEW would cut Dynamite to 90min and Collision was also 90min, I would 100% watch both every week. As it stands now I only watch Dynamite. Now if they had a hard brand split, I think I would watch both if the rosters were balanced. When its 2 hours, 2 hours and 1 hour (Rampage), its just too much and forces you to pick and choose.

And for the record, WWE is just as bad. I “watch” Raw and SD, but I fast forward through most of the matches and all of the video packages/recaps. I dont understand how any fan can watch 3 hours of Raw, 2 hours of SD, 2 hours of Dynamite, 2 hours of Collision, and 1 hour or Rampage every week, and potentially 3-4 hours of a PLE and 4 hours of a PPV. Not to mention possibly catch Impact, ROH, or New Japan. Its just impossible to watch everything.