PITTSBURGH/ORLANDO (Heartland Newsfeed) — Professional wrestling fared well against the MLB World Series and NBA season play Wednesday night, but both AEW Dynamite and WWE NXT experienced overall viewership declines as well.
AEW viewership dropped five percent from the live broadcast from Philadelphia, with TNT viewership falling below one million for the first time on the network (963,000). NXT experienced declines for the fifth week in a row by two percent, falling to 698,000.
Dynamite finished fourth for the night, behind two NBA games on ESPN — one of which started at 7:43 p.m. Eastern time and later in the night at 10:20 p.m. — and American Horror Story on FX. NXT finished 21st for the night. Among the 18-49 demographic, viewership increased, as Dynamite averaged an 0.45 rating (up two percent from last week) while NXT averaged an 0.21 (up five percent from last week).
AEW once again fell to NXT among people over 50, where NXT had a 0.08 rating advantage over AEW.
Given further breakdowns, Dynamite averaged an 0.46 rating among the 25-54 demographic and completely dominated NXT among young males 12-34, 0.43 compared to NXT’s 0.12.
Fox’s World Series broadcast averaged 11.753 million viewers and a 2.9 rating among 18-49 in the two hours going head-to-head with Dynamite and NXT. ESPN coverage of the NBA averaged 1.698 million viewers and 0.76 rating during the first game, which started roughly 20 minutes before Dynamite and NXT went on the air.
Wrestling Observer/Figure Four Daily has been tracking ratings for both programs since they all went on TV and was updated in this week’s update from writer Paul Fontaine.
Among some of the events of the night for Dynamite involved the semi-finals for the AEW Tag Team Championship, in which the Lucha Bros. secured victory over Private Party and SCU upset Dark Order in tourney action. Lucha Bros. and SCU will face off in what seems to be sweet retribution for the AAA Tag Team Champions attacking Christopher Daniels a couple weeks ago.
Pittsburgh became “Brittsburgh” as Dr. Britt Baker, DDS faced off against newcomer Jamie Hayter in women’s division action. Some moments in the match Hayter appeared to have the advantage, but the Pittsburgh crowd rallied for a victory for Baker at the end.
Members of the Inner Circle faction — minus Jake Hager — watched most of the show from a luxury box and heckled the match between Kenny Omega and Joey Janela. AEW World Champion Chris Jericho would later interrupt a promo spot for “The American Nightmare” Cody Rhodes, in which would register a response from Rhodes. Jericho noted the 4-on-1 advantage (despite the Hager absence) and the cavalry started coming to Cody’s side: older brother Dustin Rhodes, wrestling legend Diamond Dallas Page and MJF. The segment would pop as a result of the Inner Circle members fleeing from the luxury box seats and Rhodes busting out the window of a door with MJF’s Burberry scarf.
Most of the show was setting up the Full Gear pay-per-view in Baltimore on November 9, where Jericho faces off with Rhodes for the AEW World Championship, Jon Moxley faces off against Kenny Omega and recently announced on the Dynamite broadcast — The Young Bucks accepted a challenge from Inner Circle faction members Santana & Ortiz.
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: Week 5 of AEW Dynamite will be live from the Charleston Coliseum in Charleston, WV. The show was previously labeled as sold out, but there are some last-minute tickets being made available, according to the venue’s box office. An update from AEW’s Twitter cited that next week’s Dynamite involves a partnership with TV cartoon Rick & Morty, which airs on TNT’s sister network Adult Swim, part of Cartoon Network’s late-night programming. Jericho and Moxley are slated for action with the tournament finals set to take place as well. Week 6 will be live from Charlotte, NC leading up to Full Gear in Baltimore.
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, wrestling editor and contributing writer for Ambush Sports, a contributing writer for My Sports Vote and Midwest Sports Network, and a former contributor to Bleacher Report and Overtime Heroics. He resides at home in Nokomis, Ill. with his dog Buster.