CM Punk’s debut on “AEW: Rampage” on Friday night scored big in the television ratings.
According to Nielsen figures, Friday’s episode of “Rampage” drew 1.129 million viewers, 692,000 of which were in the adults 18-49 demographic. That represents a 0.53 rating in the key demo, the largest rating for any AEW program since the premiere of “AEW: Dynamite” in October 2019. It was also up 75% in the demo and 53% in total viewers compared to the debut episode of “Rampage” the week prior and was behind only the NFL in the demo on cable that night.
For comparison, Friday night’s episode of WWE’s “SmackDown Live” on Fox drew a 0.57 rating and 2.1 million viewers ahead of the company’s “SummerSlam” pay-per-view on Saturday.
“The debut of CM Punk to open ‘AEW:Rampage’ on Friday made professional wrestling history; it was an emotional moment that created a memory of a lifetime,” said Tony Khan, CEO, GM and Head of Creative of AEW. “I’m grateful for the support of wrestling fans worldwide! I’m also grateful to TNT, who gave us amazing support promoting ‘AEW Rampage: The First Dance,’ and wrestling fans responded with unprecedented massive viewership on Friday night, as well as new all-time highs for live fan attendance and merchandise sales. We look forward to CM Punk’s first ever live interview on ‘AEW: Dynamite’ this Wednesday, and we’re only getting started.”
During his appearance on “Rampage,” Punk called out rising star Darby Allin for a match at the company’s upcoming “All In” pay-per-view. The show also featured matches like Jade Cargill against Kiera Hogan, Jurassic Express versus Private Party in a tag team match, and Jon Moxley taking on Daniel Garcia in the main event.
CM Punk, whose real name is Phillip Brooks, infamously walked away from professional wrestling in 2014 after a combined nine-year run in WWE and its developmental system. He went on to have a brief career as a professional MMA fighter with two fights in the UFC. He has also branched out into acting and is set to appear in a guest role in the Starz series “Heels,” which is about a pro wrestling promotion in a small town in Georgia.