The attack on the U.S. Capitol and wall-to-wall coverage led to AEW Dynamite greatly impacted for an episode built around Kenny Omega’s title defense against Rey Fenix.
News coverage dominated Wednesday night occupying 45 of the top 47 cable programs that evening. AEW finished #48 with a 0.25 in the 18-49 demographic and 662,000 viewers on TNT. Last week’s episode, which was the tribute for Brodie Lee, averaged 977,000 viewers and a 0.40 rating in the demo.
It’s a week to completely disregard due to the real-world events that greatly overshadowed anything else programming-wise that night.
NXT finished outside of the top fifty cable programs at #68 with a 0.16 in the 18-49 demo and 642,000 viewers for its New Year’s Evil special. While we don’t have specific demographic breakdowns, the show appears to have been less affected with its viewership and demo figures increasing from the prior week, which saw NXT post its lowest viewership average of 2020 and lowest demo figure since launching on the USA Network in September 2019.
Both shows were loaded up with NXT promoting a TakeOver level television card headlined by the rematch between NXT champion Finn Balor and Kyle O’Reilly. Clearly, this show would have performed significantly stronger under normal circumstances given the weeks of promotion and a strong line-up that saw minimal commercial interruption to retain its viewers throughout the episode.
AEW was hurt across the board with the 18-49 demo dropping 37.5 percent. They were hit hardest with women 12-34 dropping by 61.5 percent and the 18-34 figure was cut in half. Adults over 50 were the least impacted but still dropped 21 percent from last week.
For context, last week’s episode of AEW Dynamite was also a unique episode with the tribute to the late Jon Huber and was not a show that had anything to do about ratings.