×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

AEW’s ‘Dynamite’ Tops WWE’s NXT in First Head-to-Head Ratings Matchup

The series premiere of All Elite Wrestling’s (AEW) “Dynamite” on TNT came out on top against WWE’s NXT on USA Network in the Wednesday night Nielsen Live+Same Day ratings.

“Dynamite” averaged a 0.68 rating in adults 18-49 and 1.4 million viewers over two hours, compared to a 0.32 rating and 891,000 viewers for NXT. This week also marked the first time that NXT has aired its full two-hour show on USA. NXT has previously aired exclusively on the streaming platform WWE Network, but the first hour began airing on USA beginning Sept. 18 with the second hour remaining on WWE Network until last night.

“This is a league that at its core is created by wrestlers for wrestling fans and I am incredibly energized by the enthusiastic embrace the fans have given to the AEW talent and experience,” said Kevin Reilly, president, TNT, TBS, and truTV, and chief content officer, HBO Max. “AEW won the night with a high quality, incredibly engaging, sports-centric show that will continue with a seamless partnership between AEW and TNT.”

Both shows ranked among the top 10 shows on cable Wednesday night in the adults 18-49 demographic. For further comparison, this week’s episode of WWE’s flagship show “Monday Night Raw” averaged a 0.89 rating and 2.57 million viewers over three hours in Live+Same Day.

“Congratulations to AEW on a successful premiere,” WWE said in a statement. “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.”

WWE’s flagship shows are “Raw,” which also airs on USA, and “SmackDown,” which will begin airing on Fox Fridays this week. AEW announced it would begin airing its weekly series on TNT on July 24. On Aug. 20, WWE and USA announced that NXT would be moving to the cable network.

Pro wrestling fans have been waiting for some time to see how the two companies would match up in the ratings, hoping for a repeat of the so-called Monday Night Wars of the 1990s and early 2000s. In that period, WWE went up against the Ted Turner-backed World Championship Wrestling (WCW), which also aired on TNT. The competition between WWE and WCW led to what many view as a new golden age of pro wrestling as well as strong ratings for both companies. Fans have already begun referring to the AEW-NXT matchup as the Wednesday Night Wars.

This first win bodes well for AEW, which is fronted by wrestlers and company executives Cody Rhodes, Brandi Rhodes, brothers Nick and Matt Jackson (who wrestle as the tag team The Young Bucks), and Kenny Omega. Other top AEW stars include WWE veteran Chris Jericho, Nyla Rose, and Jon Moxley, who formerly wrestled under the name Dean Ambrose. Jacksonville Jaguars and Fulham F.C. executive Tony Khan serves as president and CEO.

NXT is the brainchild of WWE’s Paul “Triple H” Levesque, who developed the brand to serve as a developmental territory for new and upcoming talent. Current NXT stars include Adam Cole, Roderick Strong, Shayna Baszler, the tag team of Kyle O’Reilly and Bobby Fish, Matt Riddle, and Keith Lee.

More TV

  • Kasi LemmonsNew York Women in Film

    Kasi Lemmons, Jane Rosenthal, Ann Dowd Talk Golden Globes Female Director Snub

    The absence of women among director nominees for the Golden Globes is another example of how much work remains to be done to achieve gender parity in the entertainment industry, honorees said Tuesday night at the 40th annual Muse Awards presented by New York Women in Film and Television. “Harriet” director Kasi Lemmons, “The Irishman” [...]

  • The Flash -- "Crisis on Infinite

    'Crisis on Infinite Earths' Recap: A Rewritten Destiny Brings Another Superhero Death

    SPOILER ALERT: Do not read if you have not yet watched “Crisis on Infinite Earths: Part Three,” “The Flash” episode of the 2019 “Arrowverse” crossover. Tuesday night was the official midpoint of the ambitious “Crisis on Infinite Earths” crossovers, with an episode of “The Flash” that also marked the final episode of the year for the [...]

  • THE MASKED SINGER tree identity ana

    'The Masked Singer' Reveals the Identity of the Tree

    SPOILER ALERT: Do not read ahead, if you have not watched the episode of “The Masked Singer,” which aired on Dec. 10 on Fox. “The Masked Singer” has sent home another character — and more importantly, has unmasked that contestant. On Tuesday’s episode, titled “A Pain in the Mask,” the tree was revealed to be [...]

  • THE MASKED SINGER semi finals

    Everything to Know About 'The Masked Singer' Semi-Finals

    Television’s breakout reality show, “The Masked Singer,” wraps up its second season, unmasking a winner, next week — but first, the quirky competition show will celebrate the holidays. Teeing up the grand finale of the inarguable hit series, Fox is giving extra airtime to the show this week with a two-night event. Tuesday night, the [...]

  • daredevil Marvel Netflix

    Marvel to Shutter Television Division

    Marvel’s television division is officially winding down. Variety has learned that Marvel Television will no longer be developing any new series beyond the shows that are currently in production. According to an individual with knowledge of the situation, Marvel will eliminate a number of positions in the near future as a result of the cessation [...]

  • Kaya Scodelario

    TV News Roundup: Netflix's 'Spinning Out' With 'Skins' Star Kaya Scodelario Gets Premiere Date

    In today’s TV news roundup, Netflix reveals the premiere date for “Spinning Out,” and USA reveals a first look at Ethan Hawke’s return to “The Purge” universe.  DATES Netflix‘s “Spinning Out,“ starring “Skins’s” Kaya Scodelario and from showrunners Lara Olsen (“Reign”) and Samantha Stratton, premieres Jan. 1. The series follows Scodelario’s Kat, a high-level figure skater [...]

  • Philip MckeonPhilip Mckeon

    'Alice' Child Star Philip McKeon Dies at 55

    Philip McKeon, known for playing the son of Linda Lavin’s titular character in the classic CBS sitcom “Alice,” has died. He was 55. The actor died Tuesday morning in Texas following a longtime illness, family spokesman Jeff Ballard confirmed to Variety. “We are all beyond heartbroken and devasted over Phil’s passing,” said Ballard. “His wonderful [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content