AEW Dynamite hits lowest figure on TNT, both shows decline

Originally published at

AEW and NXT were both down this week with the shows declining among total viewers and in their key demos. Dynamite hit its lowest figure to date on TNT.

AEW was down 11% in viewership with 654,000 viewers on TNT while NXT fell 9% and averaged 604,000 viewers.

It would be AEW’s lowest number ever on TNT falling under the previous mark set on November 27th with 663,000 viewers the night before U.S. Thanksgiving.

For NXT, it is their lowest number since the April 1st edition of the show.

In addition to the UFC running a Fight Night card on ESPN+, the networks had significant programming competition. On CBS, the finale of ‘Survivor’ attracted 7.9 million viewers and The Masked Singer did 7.2 million with both shows airing at 8 pm Eastern. Viewership for the UFC card is unknown as it aired exclusively on the streaming platform in the U.S.

In the 18-49 demo, AEW dropped 18% with at 0.23 and was 15th among all cable programs on Wednesday night. NXT dropped 17% with 0.15 and ranked 46th. It was AEW’s lowest figure in the key demo since the show launched while NXT tied its lowest of all-time since launching on the USA Network last September.

AEW’s lone bright spot was females 12-34 which grew 25% this week. Notable declines included males 18-49 down 28% and males 12-34 falling 25%. AEW won all the key demos except adults over 50, which NXT won 0.32 to 0.27 even though NXT was down 20% in that demo.

NXT was down 29% with females 18-49 and down 25% among females 12-34 from a 0.10 to 0.06 this week.

AEW was a taped show but would make minimal if any difference with no spoilers out there to turn people off. The entire card was largely announced the week prior. NXT was built around a major announcement that turned out to be the news of a TakeOver special next month. They also advertised the NXT tag title match that kicked off the show with a title switch as Fabian Aichner & Marcel Barthel defeated Matt Riddle & Timothy Thatcher.

Here is a breakdown of the key demos and comparisons to last week:

ADULTS 18-49
AEW: 0.23 (-18%)
NXT: 0.15 (-17%)

AEW: 0.17 (Even)
NXT: 0.12 (-29%)

MALES 18-49
AEW: 0.28 (-28%)
NXT: 0.17 (-22%)

ADULTS 18-34
AEW: 0.14 (-17.5%)
NXT: 0.08 (-20%)

AEW: 0.10 (+25%)
NXT: 0.06 (-25%)

MALES 12-34
AEW: 0.15 (-25%)
NXT: 0.12 (-7.5%)

ADULTS 25-54
AEW: 0.26 (-13%)
NXT: 0.18 (-18%)

AEW: 0.27 (-7%)
NXT: 0.32 (-20%)

So, I guess it would be okay to assume the UFC card had an impact on the ratings?

Can’t say I’m surprised. Raw, Smackdown, Dynamite, NXT are all getting very hard to watch. I think all these shows are going to keep nosediving in ratings, and once sports come back, I think they are in even more trouble.

I laugh when I hear people saying that they are not into the wrestling shows because they are missing the audience cheers. I watch & pay for AEW PPV shows for the wrestling & not to watch the crowds. Silly excuse.

The lack of a crowd changes the look,sound and feel of the wrestling. There is not energy for the wrestlers to respond to. I’ve never been one that needed huge crowds so I thought it wouldn’t matter. But it makes a
Difference in the product when nothing is
There and you hear everything the guys say, the ref etc. it makes it seem more “fake”


Yeah, that’s the problem. Not some twat “teleporting” or changing clothes in an ice bucket, people arguing with drones, various child sized people “performing”, some twat standing about with his hands in his pockets, etc, etc, etc. No, it is hearing what people are saying that makes it seem more fake.

I don’t count that nonsense in empty arena matches. I’m comparing normal matches to normal matches. The reason they are doing a ton of that other stuff is normal doesn’t work either.

The hearing the bad scripted trash talk makes it more fake, or refs pleading with guys etc.

For me I guess if it is going to look fake either way I’d rather lean into the fake and give up pretending it is real. But that is just me.

I was think about it the other day when John and Wai were talking about the Uktimate fighter, and if I recall those were “empty” arena matches and worked fine. I think it was because the other competitors and coaches were shouting and it didn’t sound empty. That piled on the fact that there were stakes and it was “real” made it fun. AEW has the “right” idea with crowds of wrestlers but I don’t think they have done it quite right to get the investment. But that is also less safe.

Watching empty arena matches reminds me of when I was in wrestling school and I watched guys roll around in the ring. For me, it feels more like “working out” then it does an actual match where I am able to suspend my belief.

You do realize that not everybody views wrestling in an identical way as you, right? This isn’t a science, wrestling is an art form and everybody views art differently. Unfortunately, when it comes to art people have a tendency of acting pretentious as if their opinion is the be all end all and “better” then someone else’s. Spoiler alert, its not.

WWE empty arena shows are just pathetic. Most of the wrestlers pretend that the fans are still there and do their robotic entrances the exact same way they were “taught” in NXT.

AEW does it better but I don’t blame anyone for not being into these shows. Without a crowd you can’t tell what is actually working and who is really over.

And comedy, especially WWE comedy, just dies in the empty arena. All that pretty Ricky crap that r truth did or some of the lame jokes Drew is scripted to say sound even worse with zero reaction.

It all sucks. It sucks in WWE when they do their lame playing to the crowd, and it sucks in AEW when they have wrestlers play “fans”. It sucks in WWE when they do pretty ricky, it sucks in AEW when they have a drone flying around and a man teleporting.

The only difference between WWE and AEW, is thats its taboo online to criticize AEW, while its cool to criticize WWE. Make no mistake about it, wrestling without fans is hard to watch regardless of who’s doing it.

1 Like

I guess I just don’t take my wrestling that seriously but I don’t have any problem with empty arena shows. With AEW using their wrestlers in the crowd it at least tries to fill the empty space with some kind of noise, even though it is a bit silly. I’ve been watching each week, not once thinking of skipping because there is no crowd this week.

1 Like

Its not that I take it too seriously, I just find it so boring. Like I said above, it reminds me of guys practicing.
There are some exceptions, but 90% of the time I find myself tuning out.

1 Like

I actually don’t mind the wrestlers as fans. It’s provided some funny moments like Britt Baker and her shoe and MJF and Spears betting on matches. The problem with WWE is so many of their wrestlers have no character and I’m not sure they would be allowed to do things off script. The AEW shows have been mostly ok, WWE I find painful.

I actually think the Impact empty arena shows have been great. Impact fans are usually really lame so I think it’s actually better than their normal shows. UFC I feel the same way.

WWE relies so much on crowd and atmosphere because it feels like so much of what they do in the ring is overscripted and prepared.

I truly mean this with all sincerity, but if you can get enjoyment out of it good for you. I just can’t. I dont mind watching the promo’s, but I find the matches hard to get through.

I’m not looking forward to actual sports returning in empty arenas. Its gonna be like watching a scrimmage/practice. Without the audience reaction, I fear it won’t have that same intensity.

Honestly outside of Otis, Truth may be the only genuinely funny character left in the WWE. Asuka’s great as well, but there’s a part of me that cringes knowing that those in charge probably enjoy her character a little TOO much (like when Chappelle felt like that old white dude laughed at the “Pixies” sketch too hard).

I grade all wrestling now on a curve. It’s something that shouldn’t be going on right now…But since it is, I’ll give credit where it’s due & AEW’s been good all things considered. :100:

I think playoffs will have intensity because with or without fans it will mean something. Regular season will be dreadful though. I cant imagine watching a baseball game with no fans.

Both shows are hard to watch because all wrestling shows are hard to watch under these circumstances. I’ve only liked Kross’ entrance so far when it comes to things in an empty arena.

Neither of these second tier wrestling shows will be hitting a million viewers soon.

1 Like

I am shocked that there isn’t a Mike Tyson appearance for this week’s Dynamite.

I would have thought that would be part of the deal