As noted before, this week was the official start of the head-to-head competition between All Elite Wrestling and WWE, with AEW Dynamite’s debut show drawing 1,409,000 viewers on TNT and a #2 ranking in 18-49 demographic while NXT drew 891,000 viewers on USA and a #10 ranking in the 18-49 demographic on Wednesday.
Dave Meltzer reported in this week’s Wrestling Observer Newsletter that a source within WWE was very concerned over the minor league feel and presentation of NXT’s show compared AEW Dynamite and stated “We’ve got to get out of this building [Full Sail University].”
Meltzer also reported that Dynamite’s debut episode likely confirmed that AEW’s fan base is simply not just WWE’s existing fan base or older lapsed fans and instead there are a lot more potential wrestling fans for television than people assumed who are not WWE fans, especially in the younger demographics.
Meltzer also reported that unless next week’s episode of Dynamite drops significantly in the under 35 demo group, it will expose that WWE’s ratings woes have been heavily due to them losing touch with younger fans.
In regards to the quarter hour viewership breakdowns, Meltzer reported that AEW started off with 1,609,000 viewers and NXT with 913,000 viewers, with the gap closing to 1,551,000 for AEW and 981,000 for NXT during the Cody vs. Sammy Guevara and Matt Riddle vs. Adam Cole matches. AEW’s biggest gain of the night was the six-man tag team main event match, which gained 67,000 viewers, and their biggest decline was the PAC vs. Hangman Adam Page match, which lost 125,000 viewers. AEW’s smallest decline was the Riho vs. Nyla Rose match which lost just 1,000 viewers. NXT’s biggest gain of the night was the Pete Dunne vs. Danny Burch match at 29,000 viewers and their biggest decline was the Undisputed Era vs. Street Profits main event match at 193,000 viewers. In regards to NXT’s overrun, the show gained an additional 139,000 viewers to end the night.
It was also reported that the initial replay of Dynamite at 10 PM ET on Wednesday drew around 650,000 viewers, putting the viewership total for the night similar to what SmackDown had been generating on Tuesdays on USA Network recently.