The COVID-19 pandemic has thrown everything into upheaval, and wrestling TV ratings are just one small sign of that. Viewership is down across the board, probably for the simple reason that shows with no live crowd tend to feel kind of awkward, and a lot of fans are understandable looking for entertainment that helps them forget the current crisis, while wrestling reminds them of it. However, NXT has worked hard to make its episodes feel like a big deal, while AEW Dynamite has pretty much just done what they can with the people they have around (which doesn’t include a lot of their biggest stars), and that’s been reflected in the total viewership these last couple of weeks.
Last week’s NXT was promoted as Takeover USA, and featured a big women’s ladder match and the latest (and supposedly last) extended Gargano vs Ciampa painfest. According to Showbuzz Daily, that show drew 693,000, while only 692,000 people watched AEW Dynamite.
Dynamite still came out ahead in the 18-49 demographic, however, with a 0.26 rating compared to NXT’s 0.19. That put Dynamite at 32 in the Cable Top 150 rankings, and NXT at 51. The Fox News show Special Report With Brett Baier came in first that night, with a 0.64 demo rating. That show was also first in overall viewership with 5.531 million people watching.
This week, NXT was on top once again, although both shows lost some viewers. Showbuzz reports that this week’s NXT had 692,000 viewers (the same amount AEW Dynamite had last week) while Dynamite dropped to 683,000 viewers.
Those key 18-49 demographic ratings still only changed a little bit, with AEW Dynamite getting a 0.25 this week, compared to NXT’s 0.17. Special Report With Bret Baier on FOX News remained first among cable shows, with a 0.56 rating and 5.586 million viewers.
It seems likely that NXT will stay on top in viewership for the weeks to come. As unethical as it might be for WWE to be running live shows right now, it does help them keep things a little bit fresher.