AEW tops one million viewers in U.S., does strong number in Canada

Originally published at AEW tops one million viewers in U.S., does strong number in Canada

AEW Dynamite had a big night on Wednesday as the show topped one million viewers against the NBA Finals.

The first of two Fyter Fest-themed editions of the show averaged 1,025,000 viewers with 518,000 in the 18-49 demographic, which translates to a 0.40, per Brandon Thurston of Wrestlenomics.

The show was headlined by AEW’s first-ever Coffin Match featuring Darby Allin defeating Ethan Page, and Jon Moxley’s return where he defended the IWGP United States Championship against Karl Anderson.

It’s a very impressive number under regular circumstances and especially given Wednesday night’s episode going against Game 4 of the NBA Finals. The game between Phoenix and Milwaukee averaged 10.254 million, per John Ourand of Sports Business Journal.

The NBA game began at 9 p.m. ET, going against AEW’s second hour.

It was AEW’s highest viewership since the May 5th edition that featured the Blood & Guts match.

Since returning to Wednesday nights on June 30th, the three episodes have averaged 926,000 and 464,000 in 18-49.

In Canada, Dynamite was the second most-watched sports program for the evening with 127,700 viewers and 64,700 in the 25-54 demographic on TSN 2 trailing the NBA game. This week’s audience in Canada was significantly up from the last two episodes where they averaged 94,900 on June 30th and 60,000 on July 7th since returning to Wednesday nights.

The number proves to me (again) that Darby is a ratings draw. They’ve done such a great job building him up. He’s part of a very special young core that no other promotion can touch


WWE has become a one man show. It’s Roman and no one else. No one else on any show matters.

Drew was being built brilliantly for a year and now is fighting over a sword with Jinder. Just stop and think about this

Lashly is fine but he’s basically best Miz for the title and had dirty wins against Drew and now going agaisnt Kofi and lost to woods after beating him in HNIC.

The women’s division is completely a mess. Why is Carmella challenging? What is going on with Rhea and Charlotte. It makes no sense.

At the end of the day the WWE has one star. He is fighting Cena and that should be enough to sell shows.

Instead of giving us another reason to watch SS with an old ex wrestler give us a show where you make stars


And that has been the issue for the last 15 years.

The company made the brand the star, and would push one face of the brand. Cena, Batista, Roman. There has been talent that got over inspite of this, but none were given the opportunity to be seen as a true “star”.

This is an issue that people have discussed for years. It’s all just coming to a head now. They’ve spent years devaluing so much of their talent and teaching their audience that it doesn’t matter who they enjoy - but rather who the company is behind.

1 Like

Also, if you want to see how hot this company is right now, check out the ticketmaster website for tickets for the NYC show.

It’s almost sold out of all available tickets, half an hour after going on sale to the general public. This show is going to sell out well before showtime.

A non-WWE product selling out a 15K + venue, (not to mention outselling WWE at MSG the same week) in New York City, is something nobody should understate. This is huge. This is what momentum looks like.


Bold of a medical professional to try to induce migraines in the general population like this.


Honestly, it kind of goes back to the 80’s. Vince has always centered the promotion around one person. There have been stints where he may do it around 2, but the main focus has always been pretty much around one.

In the 80’s it was Hogan, and the secondary guy was Savage. He tried to replace Hogan with Warrior but that just didnt work. In the post Hogan era it was Bret/Shawn, he tried with a guy like Diesel, but it didnt work. Attitude era was probably the time he built the most with Austin/Rock/Hunter/Taker/Foley, but even that went on forever, I remember one time where it was like 48 consecutive PPVS that one of those 5 guys (or more) were in the main event. Then when that era ended it was just Hunter on Raw, luckily SD was a bit more fresh with more of a variety with the SD 6, but they were always treated like a 2nd tier brand. In the mid 2000’s, because he had 2 brands he did Cena/Batista, and you can argue Randy, but same thing.

Fast forward to today, its pretty much Drew and Roman, but if there was one brand it would clearly just be Roman. At least with Roman he’s getting it right and the guy is on fire, but with Drew…while it was good for a while, its really slowed down.

1 Like

You’re right - and let me backtrack.

I’d say even through Cena, Roman, and Batista - everything post Brock in 2004 leaving, was designed to make the selling-point of WWE the bigger brand. They did plenty to undercut plenty of talent who were catching fire to the detriment of the overall product.

They moved away from making stars, into selling the overall concept of Superstars.

Cena and Roman are definitely throwbacks to Hogan. However post-Brock leaving, it seemed there was an effort to make sure nobody became bigger than the company. Everybody became part of the machine. And in doing that - very few if anybody on the roster, can be looked at as special.

Lashley should be a mega star today… but over a decade ago they were satisfied in letting him just be another guy on the roster. There is no reason he shouldn’t be a much bigger name than he is within the company - even as Champion. If that makes sense.

1 Like

It makes sense, and this has been a huge turnoff for me…the next star is not somebody that has been in the system and business for 10 years. The BIGGEST Stars tend to be people who are fairly early in their time in the business and explode onto the scene in a way that captures people.

Where AEW benefits is that they have both guys who are emerging stars: Darby, Jungleboy, Sammy, MJF, Baker…AND a group of vets who are still both young and largely seen as new faces to the mainstream scene (The Elite, Lucha Bros, Eddie Kingston). Then sprinkle in face recognition and stars of yesteryear for the casuals flipping stations and it’s really a compelling product. Now you got guys showing up that were wasting away in WWE which is a new type of roster member and compelling in it’s own way. Kahn really built a great team - far better than anything he’s been able to do in the other sports.

With WWE, why does there have to be one star. Imagine if WWE let all their talents feel important instead of booking them into oblivion with nonsense when its not their turn. Maybe then any guy on the roster 10 years really could be THE guy, because they’ve been bubbling for a long time. IN 5 years, this is exactly what may play out in AEW and it’s going to be fascinating when the undercard becomes the main event scene. Nobody in that undercard group of young and emerging talents have been booked to look stupid/silly/weak in 2 years. Losses are to other protected talent. It’s actually how to build and protect talent and IP. Don’t devalue it for amusement.

1 Like

I agree with most of this, but sometimes I think you give Vince too much credit. I dont think at this point he’s this strategic mastermind purposely trying to devalue his talent and protect his IP, I think its more along of the lines of an old man with impulse control issues getting hot/cold with his idea’s. I think his actions may look like he’s doing that, but I really really dont think those are his motivations.

I agree with pretty much all of this as well minus the Lashley thing. I like Lashley, but I’ve always found him a bit boring. He has a look that is amazing, but his promo skills are OK, and his in ring work is good. I’d prefer to see a guy like Keith Lee in that spot TBH, but ideally a guy like Keith Lee wrestling like hes Keith Lee.

1 Like

And it’s funny… The time when WWE was unquestionably at it’s hottest (1998-2001) the product was not built around a single headlining star.

I keep saying it… AEW is WWF in 1997 mode right now. An excellent main event scene (Bret, Shawn, Taker, Goldust, Vader, Sid), and an under-card full of guys who are ready to break out (Austin, Rock, Foley.Triple H). That’s why they’ve been catching fire… Because fan response actually seems to impact the product on a regular basis.


He’s not trying to devalue his talent and protect his IP. He already did over the last 15 years devalue the talent and the value of the IP has likely peaked. If you are a major partner getting into the wrestling space, are you looking at WWE and their annual declines in most consumer engagement metrics or are you considering a promotion that seems to have consistent to upward momentum (now over 2yrs) with a better plan to execute on building future stars (oppose to minimizing their value over previous years). The top for the WWE was the Library deal. Now that is secured, it’s a matter of whether it appreciates. I’m extremely skeptical of they will see that market-dictated rights increase on the next TV deal

1 Like

And it’s not lipservice or being hijacked by the fans either. This is why I am an absolute MARK for The Elite - in very few cases have they seemingly not listened or not tried to make sure the fans were being satisfied. They have said from day one they will listen to the fans, and asked for patience early while they were getting started.
The Pandemic almost gave them a year to reflect on what they learned the first few months on TV and its just incredible to seem them improving week over week.

1 Like

Ya I hear ya, my point is I dont think Vince is that deep, at least not in 2021. I think everything he does is impulse based. Maybe I’m wrong, Im not there in the room, but I think the man gets hot/cold on people, and has gigantic biases towards certain talent.

He’s like a child who has favorite toy (Roman), and while he enjoys playing with new toys, once he’s sick of them he just throws them away.

1 Like

My view of it is as @MarkP wrote, starting 2004ish there was a concentrated decision to start pushing the Brands over individual talent(s). Maybe the untimely passing of some rising main eventers, the rise of The Rock, Brock walking out. There was a strong effort to make WWE the star and everything else was part of that show. Cena was the star of the show but like with any long running episodic show the star moves on and then there has to be a new star and if there isn’t fans leave. Each time fans leave. And WWE has not seemed to have enough good stars of stories to keep fans that start at a certain age and cycle out if interest isn’t maintained.

As incredible as the Sopranos was, if Tony was removed and a new person emerged as the star, would the show be as good in the eyes of a meaningful segment of the audience.

1 Like

Just an incredible sight to see so many non-WWE tickets being sold in NYC.

This attendance beats the G1 Supercard of Honor show a few years back… Which basically sold out MSG due to many believing the Elite would be part of the event. Plus, it was piggybacking off of Mania weekend.

This is something else entirely. Absolutely nuts to think in a historical context.


This is the best analogy I have heard. They truly are of that mold with solid stars and many up and coming stars.

Meanwhile you have WWE with one guy being pushed basically. Similar to WCW and Hogan.

Total role reversal

1 Like

And yes, WWE is totally in the same position as WCW was during that period. They’ve got a lot more corporate structure with more chefs in the kitchen than ever before. While not owned by a billion dollar multi-media conglomerate, they are themselves at trying to be one themselves - and are beholden to several corporate masters, namely NBC Universal.

It’s not a perfect comparison, but WWE is as close to mid-late 90’s WCW, as AEW is to mid-late 90’s WWF.