Week 65 (we are not including the week of the Brodie Lee tribute show) of the Wednesday Night War saw AEW Dynamite defeat WWE NXT in viewership and ratings.
Wednesday’s New Year’s Smash Night 2 edition of Dynamite drew 762,000 viewers (+15% from last week) on TNT, topping the 551,000 viewers (-14%) garnered by WWE NXT on the USA Network by 38%, according to Nielsen via Showbuzz Daily.
AEW ranked #31 in the Cable Top 150 for the 18-49 demo, while NXT ranked #70. AEW ranked #68 in total viewership, while NXT ranked #81 in viewership.
Last week’s Dynamite New Year’s Smash Night 1 show drew 662,000 viewers and ranked #48 in the Cable Top 150, and #75 in viewership. Last week’s NXT New Year’s Evil show drew 641,000 viewers and ranked #68 in the Cable Top 150, and #80 in viewership.
AEW drew a 0.30 rating (+20% from last week) in the 18-49 demographic while NXT drew a 0.14 (-12.5%) in the same demo this week. Last week’s AEW show drew a 0.25 rating while the NXT episode drew a 0.16 in that demographic.
This week’s AEW viewership was up from last week, but on the lower end of what the show has been doing. Besides last week, this was the lowest viewership and key demo rating since Thanksgiving week. This week’s Dynamite viewership was down 19% from the same week in 2020.
This week’s NXT episode drew the second-worst audience for a first-run show, behind the March 18, 2020 episode, which was the first show with no fans. That show drew 542,000 viewers with a 0.16 rating in the key demo. Last night’s key demo rating for NXT was tied with several other episodes to be the third-lowest behind the December 30, 2020 show, which went up against AEW’s Brodie Lee tribute show, and behind the May 20, 2020 show. This week’s NXT viewership was down 21% from the same week in 2020.
It’s clear that the cable news channels once again impacted the pro wrestling numbers for this week. For the second week in a row the cable news shows dominated on Wednesday night due to President Trump’s second impeachment. CNN’s 5pm airing of Situation Room topped the night in the 18-49 demographic on the Cable Top 150 with a 0.85 rating, and drawing 4.705 million viewers. MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow Show topped the night in viewership with 4.765 million viewers, ranking #14 on the Cable Top 150 and drawing a 0.49 rating in the key demo.
NBC’s Chicago Med topped the night on network TV in viewership with an average of 7.616 million viewers. NBC’s Chicago Fire took the #1 spot in the 18-49 demographic with a 1.04 rating.
Below is our 2021 NXT Viewership Tracker:
January 6 Episode: 641,000 viewers with a 0.16 rating in the 18-49 demographic (New Year’s Evil episode)
January 13 Episode: 551,000 viewers with a 0.14 rating in the 18-49 demographic
January 20 Episode:
2020 Total: 37.027 million viewers over 53 episodes
2020 Average: 698,623 viewers per episode
2019 Total: 10.209 million viewers over 13 episodes
2019 Average: 785,307 viewers per episode
Below is our 2021 AEW Dynamite Viewership Tracker:
January 6 Episode: 662,000 viewers with a 0.25 rating in the 18-49 demographic (New Year’s Smash Night 1 episode)
January 13 Episode: 762,000 viewers with a 0.30 rating in the 18-49 demographic (New Year’s Smash Night 2 episode)
January 20 Episode:
2020 Total: 42.970 million viewers over 53 episodes
2020 Average: 810,755 viewers per episode
2019 Total: 10.840 million viewers over 12 episodes
2019 Average: 903,333 viewers per episode