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Ratings News: AEW Dynamite Beats WWE NXT in First Week of “Wednesday Night Wars”

The ratings and viewership number news is in for the first week of the “Wednesday Night Wars” (if you want to call it that) between AEW Dynamite on TNT and WWE NXT on USA Network. Both shows aired last night at 8pmET with a run time of two hours. The NXT show actually ran a bit longer than two hours in a strategic move to help their viewership numbers.

Anyway, the news is in and here’s how it looks according to The Wrap.

AEW Dynamite’s debut had 1.4 million viewers on TNT.

WWE NXT’s third week on USA Network (and first week where it was two hours) had 891,000 viewers, which is down 11% from last week’s show.

The ratings come from Nielsen’s ratings system that has existed for decades. This doesn’t include people that recorded one of the two shows and may watch it later in the week. It’s just overnight viewer numbers, which are important.

Earlier today, WWE congratulated AEW on their first show and they may have known AEW “won” when they released the statement.

You can check out my AEW Dynamite review right here.

You can check out the NXT review by Jim Kress right here.

TJR Thoughts: Clearly, it’s a big win for AEW to have over 500,000 more viewers for their debut. Will they be able to keep those kinds of numbers next week? We won’t know, but for now, AEW has to be celebrating a pretty big audience in the United States. I’m happy for them.

I think if you’re WWE, just remember that NXT is the third brand. A lot of fans only watch Raw or Smackdown or both. When there’s a Takeover, NXT gets more attention, but I can write a live Takeover review and a live main roster PPV review and the main roster PPV review will get two or three times as many page views even though I tell you in the reviews that Takeover is the better show. Raw is 26 years old, Smackdown is 20 years old, NXT in its current form is nearly six years old (February 2014 it started on WWE Network). People are used to what they are used to especially those of us in our 20s and 30s or older.