AEW Rampage drops 29 percent in 18-49 against NFL pre-season game

Originally published at AEW Rampage drops 29 percent in 18-49 against NFL pre-season game

With NFL pre-season competition, AEW Rampage experienced a significant decline while finishing #14 among cable originals on Friday.

The taped show from August 19th averaged 461,000 viewers and approximately 157,000 (0.12) in the 18-49 demographic, according to Brandon Thurston of Wrestlenomics and Showbuzz Daily.

Rampage fell 13 percent in overall viewership with a steep drop of 29 percent in the 18-49 demo from last week’s figures. It was the show’s lowest number since July 29th.

The largest decreases were seen among males 18-49, which dripped by 32 percent this week, and adults 35-49 fell by 40 percent.

In the 18-34 demo, they remained stable with a two percent increase and no change among females 12-34 or adults 50+ from the week prior.

Rampage aired against the Houston vs. L.A. Rams game but it only did 718,000 viewers and 0.17 in the demo airing on the NFL Network but did finish second on cable.

Rampage included a Trios tournament match between Best Friends & Orange Cassidy against The Trustbusters, and an AEW tag title match with Swerve in Our Glory retaining against Private Party.

So, they’ll feature these ongoing dead air segments with Jay Lethal and crew, or Mark Sterling’s Pre-Show stable, giving the Gunn Club or the Acclaimed ample time. Not grow any of their female viewership. Drop a single women’s division segment that’s 10 minutes or less on at 915-920pm and maybe a 60-90 second non-sensical backstage promo, where none of the women can guide their storylines because none of them know where the hell it’s going week-to-week. We get Thunder Rose, THEIR CHAMPION, shown on-camera briefly saying nothing, doing little. On Rampage… Jade Cargill getting a weird stunt booking kind of a Squash Match against Madison Rayne’s in her TV debut, and a continuation on a program with Athena, which seems like it’s been going on forever, without any actual match, just the WORST stalling toward a PPV maybe ever.

Meanwhile, Maki Itoh, Hikaru Shida, Emi Sakura and Sky Blue have a banger tag match on Dark Elevation. Julia Hart, re-debuts in-ring, with new gear, new music and an overhaul of her on-screen characters’ in-ring archetype, tone and moves. Ruby Soho is still languishing on the YouTube shows. Nyla Rose is nowhere to be seen. Serena Deeb has an enhancement match, and Mercedes Martinez has disappeared. Stalander is injured, which isn’t being talked about. Anna Jay’s heel persona isn’t great. Tay Melo is too often being talked about as Sammy’s wife, and not Tay. If I’m forgetting anyone, it’s because they’ve become practically invisible on these shows.

We’ve been giving credit to AEW for allowing talent to better self-determine in their presentation and stories, so there’s no need for “writers.” But, there really is, Tony Khan can’t book women, and week over week it just keeps feeling like he values them less and less. AEW needs some writer(s) to help Tony Khan get past whatever creative blocks he has in booking women on these shows with more time dedicated to helping their stories and matches get over.

I think Tony Khan books very talented performers very well and is smart enough to let talented performers do their thing to get over. Same as HHH in NXT. IMO, Tony has the higher batting average but HHH has the longer resume,

But nobody’s perfect, and I think Tony’s flaws are that he can be too much of a fanboy for certain guys and not interested enough in the undercard when he has to do a build and can’t just have 2-4 of the best wrestlers in the world go out and wrestle.

Jury is still out on what his legacy as a booker will be. I do think at least one of these things happened:

  1. He signed too many people

  2. He thought signed performers would be happy working the b shows and/or indies until their chance to be featured on Dynamite and PPV (and maybe some are, but not all)

  3. He thought Vince would run creative for at least a few more years and WWE wouldn’t be a desirable option for the type of wrestlers that he prefers.

Personal opinion, Tony Khan is a very smart booker/promoter and will continue to be seen as one. But the bloom is definitely coming off the rose a bit.

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