AEW scores highest head-to-head figures since Oct. 2019

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After a week of buzz surrounding the arrival of Sting, an inter-promotional angle, and the advertisement of Shaquille O’Neal – AEW posted one of its strongest numbers to date.

On the heel of the “Winter is Coming” special, AEW shot several key angles in front of the inflated audience that resulted in an increase this week. Dynamite finished #2 among all cable programs with a 0.45 in the 18-49 demographic and averaged 995,000 viewers.

The demo figure ties their third-best rating since Dynamite launched in October 2019 while total viewers were their fourth-highest of all-time, excluding the September 9th episode this year that ran unopposed from NXT.

Coming off TakeOver: War Games, NXT averaged 659,000 viewers and a 0.17 in the 18-49 demographic, finishing 37th among its cable opposition. Their viewership was nearly identical to last week’s figure while the demo rating increased by 6.25 percent.

AEW grew among women 18-49 by 21 percent this week, followed by women 12-34 increasing by 16 percent, and the 50+ demo was up by 11.5 percent. The latter demo still belonged to NXT, which scored a 0.35 rating.

NXT didn’t suffer any significant declines, including a major rebound in its 18-34 audience. Last week, they hit a terrible 0.04 rating in that demo but were up to a 0.09 this week. The show increased by 55 percent with men 12-34 and increased by 25 percent with women 12-34.

AEW scored its highest 18-34 rating since August 5th with a 0.29.

The last two weeks have made it crystal clear that the story is not about AEW vs. NXT but rather, AEW catching fire and becoming more competitive with RAW. This week RAW and AEW tied among women 12-34 while RAW narrowly edged out AEW with women 18-49 by 0.01.

When you consider what the ceiling for AEW would have been over the past two weeks without the NXT competition, it illustrates the role NXT is playing by capping that ceiling on Dynamite.

The next question is whether AEW can sustain this level of viewership? The company is gearing up for several themed episodes of Dynamite over the holiday season and won’t be taking any weeks off.

The top cable program on Wednesday was MTV’s The Challenge: Double Agents, which scored a 0.51 in the 18-49. The series features Lio Rush as one of the contestants airing head-to-head with AEW and NXT.

Below is a breakdown of the key demos and for this week, we will include the figures from this past Monday’s edition of RAW:

Source: Showbuzz Daily

ADULTS 18-49
AEW: 0.45 (+7 percent)
NXT: 0.17 (+6.25 percent)
RAW: 0.51

AEW: 0.34 (+21 percent)
NXT: 0.12 (-8 percent)
RAW: 0.35

MALES 18-49
AEW: 0.57 (+2 percent)
NXT: 0.22 (+16 percent)
RAW: 0.67

ADULTS 18-34
AEW: 0.29 (+11.5 percent)
NXT: 0.09 (+125 percent)
RAW: 0.31

AEW: 0.22 (+16 percent)
NXT: 0.05 (+25 percent)
RAW: 0.22

MALES 12-34
AEW: 0.25 (Even)
NXT: 0.14 (+55 percent)
RAW: 0.36

ADULTS 25-54
AEW: 0.49 (+4 percent)
NXT: 0.19 (-5 percent)
RAW: 0.64

AEW: 0.29 (+11.5 percent)
NXT: 0.35 (Even)
WWE RAW: 0.84


Hell of a rub they got from that Josh Matthews exclusive interview, eh?


Great report as always. Question on an average week does anyone know how many viewers DVR’s add to raw/dynamite ratings etc. You have to think it’s a lot, I always record the first hour or so and then start watching to skip the adds or just watch after it’s finished.

This is exactly what I was expecting. Coming off that Sting appearance and the Kenny/Impact angle, this past week has been IMO the hottest AEW has been since Moxley’s debut. I’m curious if this number sustains, grows, or if it regresses to the mean.

Only a matter of time before Dynamite catches RAW

Either Raw will have to majorly fall off a cliff soon or AEW will need some help from God if “it’s only a matter of time” that AEW beats Raw in the ratings. They should concentrate on breaking a million consistently first. At the moment, they’ve only shown they need a TV special or hype from a big 90s wrestler showing up to get just under 1 million. They’ve not done anything to suggest that even this is their default level.

I also don’t think it achieves much to compare viewership of shows that are on different nights and then to pretend they’re going head to head. Would be great if AEW and Raw were on the same night though. Then both the okay shows, NXT & SmackDown, will have a night on their own.

I’d be shocked to see that happen anytime soon, I know you see a lot of that on Twitter, but it feels more like fan fiction then reality.

AEW is doing awesome, there is no denying that. Tony Khan and the elite should be extremely proud of themselves for building a legit #2. With that said, this episode will likely be AEW’s top show of the year (or MAYBE 2nd highest rated), and even with all that buzz and a kick ass final angle last week, they still lost to a Raw that was considered a poorly rated episode. AEW’s current ceiling is still under Raw’s floor.

Maybe AEW beats Raw on a random week, but until they can build their audience above that very respectful sub 1 million range, they are never going to beat Raw on a consistent basis, and to do that they would likely need to switch nights, or start hot shotting angles which I hope they don’t do as WWE has proven that hot shotting only works for the very short term.

However, if AEW can begin to grow from the audience they started with last year and Raw keeps dropping, it could happen one day, I just don’t see it happening anytime soon. I’d like to see it happen though, it would give WWE the kick in the ass they need.


RAW 18-49 .51
RAW H3 18-49 .47
Dynamite 18-49 .45

Remember when HHH said it’s a marathon, not a sprint - good times :laughing:

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The next month of so will be a good indicator of audience retention. Obviously, 61-year-old Sting and a PPV-level title match aren’t long-term solutions. But they definitely did their job in bringing extra eyeballs to the show. Will be interesting to see how much of that 900k and demo number sticks around when they’re back to “normal” episodes of Dynamite.


Disney webcast on Disney+ for Investor Day = 300k viewers; unclear what it did in the key demo.

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AEW have done well in staying relatively relevant and keeping their fans and TNT happy but unfortunately a significant portion of their hardcore fanbase lack the perspective to know the difference between AEW doing well for a new wrestling promotion and AEW taking over the whole wrestling business. For some it seems to mean the same thing.

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Well, both promotions have their fanboys that take things too far, it is what it is. Either way, like I said above, I hope they catch up to RAW one day. WWE anyways puts out their best when there is competition, so if we have a thriving AEW and a WWE forced to do better, as fans we all win.

WWE’s issue, from a main roster point of view, is that one man is basically trying to book 2 shows with different sets of champions and different sets of storylines. That’s an overwhelming job for anyone let alone a man that seems completely out of touch. AEW getting close won’t really change that.

I doubt we’re gonna see “the best” out of WWE anytime soon, unless something drastic happens at the top of the organization

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This idea that competition is going to light a fire under WWE’s ass is dated and untrue.

A company like AEW has far more in common with 1997 era WWF, than today’s WWE does. An independently owned wrestling promotion going against a corporate giant, and doing whatever they could think of to attract eyeballs.

The WWE that was motivated to be better, simply doesn’t exist anymore.

Sinking viewership. Declining live attendance (pre-pandemic). Audiences turning on their product. Going head to head with a start-up. If none of those things motivated them, why would AEW’s parity of Raw demo numbers be any different.

To everybody that likes to say that AEW is the second coming of WCW, it’s not. WWE has already morphed into the exact type of giant they trained a generation of fans to reject.

While I don’t see WWE going out of business anytime soon, like WCW did - they have settled into and have accepted mediocrity. They get their TV cheques and make their shareholders money. They are successful “enough”, when there is no reason that with the talent they have they should be blowing previous generations out of the water.

They’re complacent. Nothing will change that.


While I agree with many points in this post I have to respectfully disagree with this:

I’ve met people like Vince McMahon before, and one thing I find people like him tend to have in common is that they don’t seem to be driven by money, but rather what they deem as accomplishment, growth, and domination in what they do. WWE is already swimming in money coming off the most profitable year in company history and have built themselves up to a point where no wrestling company is going to touch them. However, if AEW were to actually start beating RAW or Smackdown in the ratings (and I don’t mean one time, because they do a PPV level main event or because they do an angle that rocks the wrestling industry) I do think that this would burn Vince’s ass and he would do everything he could to take that spot back, becasue I dont think Vince wants to go out being #2, and lets face it, he doesn’t have too many years left to do what he does.

As far as this paragraph:

I could not agree more, though I think the main reason for this complacency is because they are #1 by a mile, and nobody has touched them for 20 years. Vince is the kind of person that if he’s satisfying his shareholders and considered the #1 wrestling company in the world by 99% of the world, it equals complacency. Drop him to #2, that all changes IMO

Now, if you ask the question “will Vince be successful if he is motivated?” that I can’t answer, he may make it worse, he may begin to delegate. All I said was that it would give him the a kick in the ass needed to be better, I never said it would or would not work, but I have to imagine it would have a better chance of being better than what it is now which is a win for anyone that watches WWE.

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“AEW’s high point on Wednesday was 1,220,000 viewers during the Shaq segment.”

“What was its lowest point on Wednesday?”

“The first minute of the show”


With everyone talking about AEW pushing WWE to improve, both NXT and SmackDown are still better shows… and with some citing these ratings as why AEW is great (which is a stupid take), Raw along with SmackDown do still have higher ratings.

The Shaq segment being the most viewed segment isn’t really much to brag about as celebrities drawing viewers has the least to do with the wrestling promotion they appear on.

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