Each week we’ve been looking at the ratings for AEW Dynamite and WWE SmackDown and Raw. And while it’s easy to award a winner each week solely based on the totals, there hasn’t been a true head-to-head competition for wrestling’s two juggernauts in a very long time. That all changed this week as the Wednesday Night Wars were reignited on Tuesday. Due to MLB playoffs and the start of the NBA season tying up both TBS and TNT, Dynamite held a special Tuesday night edition on October 18th. Tuesday is of course NXT’s night, a night the black-and-gold brand began occupying after AEW seemingly forced them out of their Wednesday timeslot. Knowing that Dynamite needed to move, WWE stacked NXT with several pick your poison matches that featured main roster superstars including the newly returned Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson, as well as Rhea Ripley, and others. But did it all pay off for the black-and-gold brand? Or did AEW win another battle in the head-to-head showdown?
Let’s take a deeper dive into the numbers for this week’s Dynamite and NXT.
The Competition – Live Sports, Sports, Sports Own the Night
Before looking at AEW vs WWE, let’s consider the competition both faced in addition to each other. Fall is prime sports season and both AEW and WWE saw their numbers affected by NBA, NHL, and MLB competition. Across cable, wrestling was beaten by the NBA season opening tipoffs, which ranked #1 and #2 in cable originals on the night. The earlier game, Philadelphia 76ers vs Boston Celtics, aired in direct competition with the wrestling programs. The same can be said for game one of the NLCS of the Philadelphia Phillies vs San Diego Padres, which finished as cable’s #4 and also aired at the same time as both NXT and Dynamite.
Overall, live sports or live sports-related programming (pre-and post-game shows; in-studio shows) commanded the top six spots across all cable originals and six of the top nine among cable and network programming. This includes the top four shows of the night, which comprised two MLB games and two NBA games.
AEW vs WWE NXT Ratings and Viewership Data for October 18, 2022 – Who Won the Night?
AEW Dynamite last night on TBS (8-10pm)
P18-49 rating: 0.26
#8 cable original in P18-49
— Brandon Thurston (@BrandonThurston) October 19, 2022
As reported by Brandon Thurston of Wrestlenomics, this week’s episode of Dynamite just barely edged out NXT. Dynamite had a total of 752,000 viewers and a 0.26 rating in the P18-49 demo. It was the #8 show on cable. This was a huge dip for Dynamite, which had already been coming off one of their lowest numbers in the last two months. No doubt, Dynamite was affected by a myriad of factors. The day change alone would have had an impact as sometimes fans don’t always remember or have the ability to watch appointment TV on a different night than normally scheduled. Combine that with the competition on Tuesday, which as noted included NXT, MLB playoffs, NHL, and NBA as well as scripted shows on broadcast networks, it is clear Dynamite suffered.
But they weren’t alone as NXT fell just shy of Dynamite’s numbers, totaling 676,000 viewers, and a 0.18 in the P18-49 demo. It was just the #12 cable program of the night. That said, while the low number is concerning for AEW, it is actually encouraging for NXT. Because NXT’s numbers actually rose as the 0.18 was their highest demo score in over two months. Of course, this is no real surprise either as WWE stacked the card. In addition to matches that featured the OC, Ripley, and others, WWE also included Kevin Owens on the show in a non-wrestling capacity. All of these main roster appearances were announced in advance, clearly with the intent of boosting the numbers.
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