Wednesday Night Wars 12/30/2020 Ratings

Posted 01/04/2021
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AEW Dynamite
WWE Smackdown

This week, the wrestling world was dealt a tragic blow by the unexpected passing of Brodie Lee, a.k.a. Jon Huber. As a result, AEW postponed its big New Year's Smash episode to air a special Brodie Lee tribute episode instead. Ironically, this seems to have given AEW a big boost in the ratings, resulting in another victory for Dynamite in the Wednesday Night Wars. Here are the details.

  • This special eposide of Dynamite dedicated to Brodie Lee put most of AEW's storylines on hold. Instead, it was centered around Brodie Lee's family and fellow Dark Order members. While such a suspension from the world of kayfabe may seem difficult, AEW did a tremendous job in presented an episode of Dynamite that was heart-felt and genuine. As a result, a larger than usual audience tuned into TNT that evening. The viewership went up from 775,000 last week to 977,000 this week. That's an enormous jump of 26.1%, and it once again put Dynamite just shy of that one-million-viewers mark. Similarly, the show's 18-49 demographics shot up, going from 0.32 last week to 0.4 this week. Among cable television for the night, Dynamite came in at #4 spot for the 18-49 demographic and the #57 spot for overall viwership.

  • Over on the USA network, NXT cotinued to build towards its special New Year's Evil episode next week, and it featured a main event with the North American title on the line. While there was nothing wrong with this episode, it was tough for WWE to stand up against what AEW was presenting that night, and this was reflected in the ratings. NXT's viewership dropped from 698,000 last week to 586,000 this week, a huge decline of 16.0%. It was the same story with the 18-49 demographics rating. It fell from 0.19 last week to 0.12 this week. Among cable television for the night, NXT came in at the #58 spot for the 18-49 demographic and the #75 spot for overall viewership.

A couple of weeks ago, Raw set a new record by scoring the worst ratings in the show's long history. This week, it was Smackdown's turn to set a record.

  • Smackdown's ratings hit a new record this week. But unlike WWE's recent trends, the blue brand actually hit a very dramatic record high. The audience for the show this week reached 3,303,000 members, which is a whopping 220.7% higher than last week's 1,030,000 members. Just to put that into context, though, Smackdown aired on the FS1 network last week. So its audience was much smaller than usual, making this week's spike especially steep. But still, this is the largest audience that Smackdown has ever garnered since moving to the FOX network in 2019. This is quite impressive since this episode aired on Christmas day, which traditionally brings in a much smaller audience. Likewise, the show's 18-49 demographics rating hit a new high. It skyrocketted from 0.3 last week to 0.96 this week. Yet, despite the impressive ratings, Smackdown wasn't able to grasp the #1 spot in the network television rankings for the night. It came in at #3 for the 18-49 demographic and #5 for overall viewership. This is likely due to stiff competition from the NBA and NFL that evening.

  • After hitting that all time ratings low two weeks ago, Raw has steadily been making a comeback. This week, Raw's viewership improved by another 4.6% as its audience grew from 1,691,000 viewers last week to 1,769,000 viewers this week. At this point, Raw's viewership is approximately where it was before the dramatic ratings plunge. The show's 18-49 demographics ratings, however, experienced a slight decline. It went down from 0.53 last week to 0.52 this week. Among cable television for the night, these ratings placed Raw at the #3 spot for the 18-49 demographic and the #24 spot for overall viewership.

Next week, Dynamite will be airing its special New Year's Smash episode while NXT presents its New Year's Evil episode. Both shows have already announced exciting match ups for that night, so it will be interesting to see if AEW can keep up the momentum from this week. In regards to the Wednesday Night Wars, this week's results makes Dynamite's win-loss record 50-10-1 for viewership and 60-1 for the 18-49 demographic. In turn, NXT's record is 10-50-1 for viewership and 1-60 for the 18-49 demographic.

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