AEW wins the ratings. WWE issues a Statement
The Wednesday Night Wars began this week as All Elite Wrestling debuted their mid-week show Dynamite on TNT. The show ran during the same time (8 p.m. – 10 p.m.) that WWE’s NXT show aired on the USA Network.
Both shows delivered, pay-per view like shows to draw in the viewers to the action. The commentary crews for both shows was excellent with legendary voices Jim Ross, Terry Schiavone and Xcalibur called the action on AEW Dynamite. Likewise on NXT, Mauro Ranallo, Nigel McGuiness and Beth Phoenix made the viewer feel like they were watching a great product.
But the next day, fans were curious and waiting to see how both shows did in the ratings and All Elite Wrestling crushed the WWE’s third brand. AEW had 1.409 million viewers while NXT did 891,000, in that covered the 18-49 demographic according to The Wrap .
What does this mean? Well it means Vince McMahon and the WWE finally have some competition for the first time in nearly 20 years. But make no mistake, the WWE is still king welcomes the challenge.
After the news of the ratings came out on Thursday, World Wrestling Entertainment issued a statement, congratulating the new wrestling promotion led by Tony Khan, son of billionaire Shad Khan owner of the Jacksonville Jaguars, Cody Rhodes, son of the legendary wrestler Dusty Rhodes and the Young Bucks.
“Congratulations to AEW on a successful premiere. The real winners of last night’s head-to-head telecasts of NXT on USA Network and AEW on TNT are the fans, who can expect Wednesday nights to be a competitive and wild ride as this is a marathon, not a one-night sprint.”
This statement came as a shock to most as WWE almost never acknowledges other companies out side its Universe. But nevertheless it was a classy move by the WWE and fans should be excited that the top wrestling company in the world now has to step up their game on Wednesday Nights.
Question will be can AEW sustain the good rating numbers going forward. And also what will NXT show runners, Triple H, Shawn Michaels and Road Dogg have in store for next weeks show to beat AEW in the ratings. NXT did have some big moments on Wednesday to be excited about. One being the surprise return of Tommaso Ciampa who has been out since March with a neck injury. And fans saw main roster sensation, Finn Balor make his presence known by saying that he is NXT and challenging NXT Champion Adam Cole. Intriguing thing about Balor being back on NXT is whether we will see he’s alter-demon character make an appearance since the Demon was way over when Balor started out in NXT and that would for sure help the ratings.
The first AEW Dynamite was an excellent show and the folks at TNT have to thrilled. The fans went home happy and were left wanting more and looking forward to what will happen on next week’s Dynamite which will air Live from Boston.
AEW has some already compelling storylines, what does the surprise appearance of Jake Hager (formally Jack Swagger in WWE) mean? Is AEW Champion Chris Jericho forming a faction that includes Hager, Santana, Ortiz and Sammy Guevara to combat the Elite group of the Young Bucks and Cody? And we still haven’t seen several other stars on the roster that should be making their appearances in the next several weeks.
This is a great time for pro wrestling and fans should be thrilled.