AEW Dynamite secures victory in inaugural week against WWE’s NXT of Wednesday night wrestling war


WASHINGTON, D.C. (Heartland Newsfeed) — All Elite Wrestling’s AEW Dynamite shocked and awed the wrestling world throughout its two-hour premiere Wednesday night as professional wrestling returned to TNT for the first time in two decades. Facing off head-to-head with WWE’s NXT on the same night and the same time slot sparked the beginning of a Wednesday night war, but was AEW Dynamite all that it was hyped up to be?

Dave Meltzer from Wrestling Observer released early market ratings numbers made available Thursday morning, where Charlotte, NC and Detroit were the top two regional markets, with a 2.0 and 1.4 rating respectively during the live broadcast. Charlotte and Detroit viewership would remain strong during the replay at 10 PM Eastern, with a 0.8 rating in both markets.

The Chicago market returned a 1.0 during the live broadcast and a 0.6 for the replay.

As Nielsen released the full data, Dynamite outperformed NXT in the 18-49 range, receiving a 0.68 rating and had 1.409 million viewers during the two-hour block.

Wrestling Observer’s Paul Fontaine reported that NXT received 891,000 viewers and 0.32 rating, an 11 percent drop in viewership compared to last week, despite three of NXT’s titles being on the line and the rating unchanging.

Great returns despite competing with MLB Playoffs

Both returns were decent, despite competing against the MLB American League Wild Card matchup between the Tampa Bay Rays and Oakland Athletics, which pulled nearly 4 million viewers and a 1.03 rating in the same demo.

The returns for AEW’s first television broadcast could not be spun in any other way that positive, considering Meltzer and others predicted the potential of only hitting the 500K viewer range.

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WWE chairman Vince McMahon and his executive team extended some congratulations to AEW Dynamite’s successful broadcast, as reported by the Observer’s Joseph Currier, citing that the winners last night were the fans of professional wrestling, looking forward to competing with AEW on Wednesday nights, citing that “this is a marathon, not a one-night sprint.”

NXT made the move to USA from the WWE Network on Sept. 18, as WWE Smackdown returns to Friday nights for the first time since its seven-year run on the former UPN network (now known as The CW) beginning this upcoming Friday night, Oct. 4.

Next week

NXT: WWE NXT has not moved production elsewhere and will still remain live from Full Sail University; Orlando, FL. No current details of the show are currently available.

AEW: The second live broadcast of AEW Dynamite will be live from the Agganis Arena in Boston, MA. As of publication, the only two confirmed matches on the show are the first-round tag team tournament match between The Young Bucks and Private Party and singles action between “The Chairman” Shawn Spears and Jon Moxley. The show was previously labeled as sold out, but there are some last-minute tickets being made available — Section 112 starting from $150 and five ringside sections starting from $325, according to Ticketmaster.

Pro wrestling schedule moving forward

The current television schedule in professional wrestling are as follows, unless otherwise specified:

  • Monday: Monday Night RAW (WWE); USA (8pm Eastern/5pm Pacific)
  • Tuesday: Impact Wrestling (Impact); AXS TV (8pm Eastern/5pm Pacific)
  • Tuesday: NWA Power (NWA); FITE, YouTube, etc. (6pm Eastern/3pm Pacific)
  • Tuesday: Ohio Valley Wrestling Live (OVW); WBNA Louisville (11am Eastern/9 pm Eastern replay), YouTube replays
  • Wednesday: AEW Dynamite (AEW); TNT (8pm Eastern/5 pm Pacific; 10pm Eastern/7pm Pacific replay)
  • Wednesday: WWE NXT (WWE); USA (8pm Eastern/5pm Pacific)
  • Thursday: Uncharted Territory (Beyond Wrestling); IndependentWrestling.TV (8pm Eastern/5pm Pacific)
  • Thursday: WWE NXT UK; WWE Network (8pm GMT/2pm Eastern/11am Pacific)
  • Friday: Friday Night Smackdown (WWE); FOX, FOX Deportes (8pm Eastern/5pm Pacific)
  • Friday: 205 Live (WWE); WWE Network (10pm Eastern/7pm Pacific)
  • Friday: Main Event (WWE); Hulu (9pm Eastern/6pm Pacific)
  • Friday: Periodic PPV specials (ROH); Honor Club (8pm Eastern/5pm Pacific)
  • Saturday: Championship Wrestling from Hollywood (CWH); see local listings
  • Saturday: MLW Fusion (MLW); BeIN Sports (9pm Eastern/6pm Pacific), Monday replay on YouTube and FITE
  • Saturday: World Pro Wrestling (NJPW); AXS TV (9pm Eastern/6pm Pacific)
  • Saturday: Ring of Honor Wrestling (ROH); Select Sinclair Broadcast group affiliates and networks (see local listings), replays on Honor Club and FITE
  • Saturday: Women of Wrestling (WoW); AXS TV (8pm Eastern/5pm Pacific)
  • Saturday: Periodic PPV specials (AEW); FITE, AEW+, BR Live, various providers (8pm Eastern/5pm Pacific)
  • Saturday: Periodic NXT TakeOver/Worlds Collide PPV specials (WWE); WWE Network, various providers (8pm Eastern/5pm Pacific)
  • Sunday: Ring of Honor (ROH); Select Sinclair Broadcast group affiliates and networks (see local listings), replays on Honor Club and FITE
  • Sunday: Periodic PPV specials (WWE); WWE Network, various providers (check listings)
  • TBD: Capitol Wrestling (CW); TubiTV (debut and broadcast time TBD)
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Jake Leonard, a broadcast media and journalism veteran, is the editor-in-chief of Heartland Newsfeed. Leonard is also GM and program director of Heartland Newsfeed Radio Network and a contributing writer for My Sports Vote, Ambush Sports and Midwest Sports Network. He resides at home in Nokomis, Ill. with his dogs Sparky and Buster.

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