WWE: Charlotte Flair Suffered Potential Knee Injury, Reason for AJ Styles Delayed Return, More on NXT Dec. 5, 2023 Viewership

Charlotte Flair Suffered Potential Knee Injury at Friday’s SmackDown Show

Friday’s WWE SmackDown Tribute to the Troops 2023 show in Providence, Rhode Island featured a match between Charlotte Flair and Asuka. During the match, Flair appeared to have injured her knee and was seen clutching it. Flair was able to finish the match which ended with Asuka rolling up Flair for the pinfall victory.

PWInsider’s Mike Johnson reported that his sources stated that Flair suffered the potential injury during a commercial break that involved Asuka and Flair setting up for a move on the top rope but Flair slipped and got caught on the ropes. This led to Flair jamming her knee and striking her head on the mat. This reportedly was the reason why both Asuka and Flair were both seen laid out on the mat when the show returned from the commercial break.

Johnson reported that Flair was assited to the back by WWE officials after the match and was being evaluated backstage by WWE medical. Several of those backstage reportedly had some concerns over her potentially injuring her knee but her injury is something that has yet to be confirmed nor denied at the time of Johnson’s report.

AJ Styles WWE Return Status Update

As noted before, WWE officials had plans in place for AJ Styles to make his return at Friday’s SmackDown show in Providence, Rhode Island. Styles had been recently advertised by WWE to be appearing on the show but this did not take place in the end.

PWInsider’s Mike Johnson reported that one source stated that the reason why Styles was absent from Friday’s SmackDown show was due to a creative decision by WWE officials. This same source reportedly also stated that Styles return from his storyline injury could take place any week now once WWE officials go forward with their creative plans for him.

This was the second time in consecutive months that Styles had been scheduled to make his return only for WWE officials to decide against it.

More on NXT Viewership for December 5, 2023

The December 5th episode of WWE NXT saw NXT suffer a small decline in overall viewership but gained a slight increase in key demographic ratings.

NXT drew 626,000 viewers and a 0.19 key demographic rating on USA Network. NXT’s key demographic ranking was eighth place.

Detailed key demographic viewership breakdowns were not available in this week’s Wrestling Observer Newsletter.

Dave Meltzer reported in this week’s Wrestling Observer Newsletter that the reason for NXT’s mixed results this week was due to stiffer than usual sports competition that night. Wrestlenomics’ Brandon Thurston reported that NXT’s older key demographic viewership was down 14% compared to last week’s show which mostly offset the gains from their younger key demographic viewership group, which was up 36% compared to last week’s show.

In terms of notable head-to-head competition, the NBA game of New York Knicks vs. Milwaukee Bucks drew 1,741,000 viewers on TNT, the College basketball game of North Carolina vs. Connecticut drew 1,211,000 viewers on ESPN, the College basketball game of Florida Atlantis vs. Illinois drew 768,000 viewers on ESPN, Curse of Oak Island drew 2,338,000 viewers on History Channel, Catfish drew 379,000 viewers on MTV, Real Housewives of Salt Lake City drew 510,000 viewers on BRAVO, and Wipeout drew 434,000 viewers on TBS.

In terms of key demographic viewership, NXT had 252,000 viewers. NXT’s Males 18-34 was 81,000 viewers, Females 18-34 was 43,000 viewers, Males 35-49 was 81,000 viewers, and Females 35-49 was 46,000 viewers. Meltzer reported that NXT’s male/female viewership split was 162,000 male viewers and 89,000 female viewers for a split of 64.7% in favor of males.

In terms of yearly comparisons, NXT was up 17.2% in overall viewership and up 49.1% in key demographic viewership. Meltzer reported that NXT’s 18-34 viewership was up 77.1% compared to the same week last year.