The television audience was up significantly for NXT this week thanks to the World Title match that took place in the main event.
It is not that uncommon for a main roster WWE superstar to appear on NXT because it happens all the time. However, it is rare for one of the company’s two male World Champions to defend a coveted championship like the World Heavyweight Title during a live NXT show.
That’s what happened this week on the June 20th edition of NXT “Gold Rush” as Seth “Freakin” Rollins defended the World Heavyweight Title against Bron Breakker, the former two-time NXT Champion that challenged Rollins to the match two weeks earlier. They would go on to have an outstanding match with Rollins finding a way to win after nearly 20 minutes of action. Post match, Rollins was attacked by Finn Balor just like he was on Raw.
The ratings were delayed a bit this week due to the Juneteenth holiday in the US on Monday, but they are out now and they were great for NXT. According to Showbuzz Daily, this week’s show finished second among cable originals on Tuesday with 773,000 viewers and 0.23 in the key 18-49 demographic.
That audience is NXT’s largest viewership since April 20, 2021. That was the brand’s second week after moving to Tuesday nights (it was a Wednesday show prior to that). It was the show’s largest 18-49 audience since the Halloween Havoc special on October 28, 2020.
In the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, Dave Meltzer wrote that it shows the value of Rollins and the new World Title:
“It was expected to easily be the highest-rated episode of NXT, but a comparison with last week would show the value of the WWE world title and Rollins defending it on a show like this.”
The WON report also noted that NXT finishing second on the day on cable was the first time it has happened for WWE’s third brand. There’s more from the Wrestling Observer report as well.
“The show was up 33.0 percent in viewers from last week, up 49.0 percent in 18-49 and up 142.9 percent in 18-34, which shows that the audience moved the most due to the title match.
The first ten minutes of the title match did 861,000 viewers and 351,000 in 18-49 (0.27) and the last six minutes and post-match did 950,000 viewers and 384,000 (0.29) in 18-34.”
Clearly, WWE made the right call by having Seth Rollins face Bron Breakker in the main event. While fans likely didn’t think that Breakker would leave with the World Heavyweight Title, it was still a huge match that was a lot of fun to watch.