Wednesday Night Wars 03/31/2021 Ratings

Posted 04/02/2021
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AEW Dynamite
WWE Smackdown

Perhaps due the NBA games on ESPN (which dominated that night's cable ratings), both Dynamite and NXT saw a drop in their viewership. Luckily for AEW, even though Dynamite's decline was much greater than that of NXT's, the AEW show was still able to pull out a win this week. Dynamite came away with a 7.0% larger audience than NXT and a 23.8% better 18-40 demograohics rating. Here are the details.

  • For the second week in a row, Dynamite saw a drop in its viewership. And this time, it was by a big 7.5% as the size of the audience decreased from 757,000 viewers last week to 700,000 viewers this week. Dynamite's 18-49 demographics rating also took a big tumble. It fell from 0.30 last week to 0.26 this week. These are the show's lowest ratings since its January 6th episode. Among cable television for the night this week, Dynamite came in at the #7 spot for the 18-49 demographic and the #69 spot for overall viewership.

  • The drop in NXT's viewership was significantly less than what Dynamite experienced. The audience shrank from 678,000 viewers last week to 654,000 viewers this week, which only consitutes a 3.5% decrease. Interestingly, the show's 18-49 demographics rating shot up this week even with the smaller audience. It went up from 0.14 last week to 0.21 this week. NXT has only been able to achieve such a high rating for that demographic one other time in 2021 so far. Among cable television for the night, NXT came in at the #12 spot for the 18-49 demographic and the #70 spot for overall viewership.

As for WWE's other shows, it was good news for Smackdown but bad news for Raw

  • Unlike the previous week, there were no sporting events on network television this past Friday. So this latest episode of Smackdown was able to make a nice rebound in its ratings. The viewership grew from 2,093,000 last week to 2,191,000 this week. That's a decent gain of 4.7%. The show's 18-49 demographics rating, however, remained the same as last week at 0.57. Among network television for the night, Smackdown garnered the #2 spot for the 18-49 demographic and the #8 spot in overall viewership.

  • It was bad news for Raw this week as its viewership fell to its lowest level in 2021. It fell from 1,816,000 viewers last week to 1,701,000 viewers this week. That's a notable drop of 6.3%. But despite the decline, Raw's 18-49 demographics rating actually improved this week. It went up from 0.53 last week to 0.56 this week. As a result, Raw returned to being ranked #1 in the 18-49 demographic among cable televsion for the night. As for overall viewership, the show came in at the #8.

There was big news regarding the Wednesday Night Wars this past week. As rumors indicated, WWE formally announced that NXT will be moving to Tuesday nights starting April 13th. So after almost a year and a half of competition with upstart promotion AEW, it looks like NXT will be bowing out of the ratings war. It is unclear whether this was a decision by WWE, the USA network, or a combination thereof. Whatever the case, it is obvious for anyone following the ratings that NXT came away as having lost the Wednesday Night Wars. With a record of only 10 wins in viewership and 1 win in the 18-49 demographic, there is no denying that Dynamite consistently had the upper hand over the WWE show.

So next week will be the last week of head-to-head competion between Dynamite and NXT. It will be very interesting to see how the ratings for the two shows will presumably grow going forward. Until then, this week's ratings extends Dynamite's winning streak in the Wednesday Night Wars to 18 weeks in a row. They also make Dynamite's win-loss record 63-10-1 for viewership and 73-1 for the 18-49 demographic. In turn, NXT's record is now 10-63-1 for viewership and 1-73 for the 18-49 demographic.

Incidentally, Impact Wrestling had traditionally aired its show on Tuesday nights on the AXS network. So there was the potential of a Tuesday Night Wars between WWE and Impact after NXT's move to Tuesdays (although Impact Wrestling's ratings never even come close to NXT's or Dynamite's). But just recently, that promotion moved its show to Thursday nights. So after all the schedule changes, there will be a major primetime wrestling program on each weeknight of the week: Raw on Mondays, NXT on Tuesdays, Dynamite on Wednesdays, Impact on Thursdays, and Smackdown on Fridays.

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