WWE, AEW Reportedly Stacking This Week's Shows To Stop Losses From NHL & NBA Playoffs

Both WWE and AEW have loaded up the cards on their flagship television shows this week. WWE is holding the brunt of the World Heavyweight Championship tournament on "Raw" and "SmackDown," while AEW has the most loaded "Dynamite" in at least several weeks. On Wednesday, AEW has Jon Moxley vs. Kenny Omega doing battle inside a steel cage. Plus, Orange Cassidy defends the AEW International Championship against Daniel Garcia. Anna Jay vs. Julia Hart in a No Holds Barred Match, The House of Black vs. Bandido and Best Friends for the AEW Trios Championship, and Rey Fenix vs. Claudio Castagnoli round out the card.

According to the "Wrestling Observer," this week's shows are being dressed up to mitigate viewers switching over to the NBA or NHL playoffs, particularly with the Los Angeles Lakers vs. Golden State Warriors series setting viewership records. Game 1 of the Lakers-Warriors series averaged 7.4 million viewers, making it the most watched Conference Semifinal Game 1 on cable. It was also the most-watched conference semifinal game on TNT period since 2012.

In last week's Nielsen ratings, "Raw" was down despite being the second half of the 2023 WWE Draft, which had given "SmackDown's" viewership a big boost 72 hours earlier. On the AEW side, "Dynamite," despite holding steady in the key demographic, adults aged 18-49, with the same rating it's been doing throughout the NBA/NHL playoff season, saw a 10% drop in the total audience from the week prior as well as the median of the prior four weeks.