The first head-to-head battle between AEW Dynamite on TNT and WWE NXT on USA Network took place last night and the numbers are in.
While WWE has the bigger brand name and NXT started out on USA Network weeks ago, it was AEW Dynamite that won the head-to-head Nielsen ratings in their first night against each other.
AEW Dynamite finished with a Nielsen rating of 0.7 compared to NXT’s 0.5 (via The Big Lead).
— Ryan Glasspiegel (@sportsrapport) October 3, 2019
The viewership numbers were impressive for AEW Dynamite as well since they broke the one million viewers mark in their first premiere show.
According to Showbuzz Daily, All Elite Wrestling was the second most-watched cable show of the night, with 1.4 million viewers. WWE NXT ranked 10th with 891,000 viewers.
WWE congratulated AEW on their success.
“Congratulations to AEW on a successful premiere. The real winners of last night’s head-to-head telecasts of NXT on USA Network and AEW on TNT are the fans, who can expect Wednesday nights to be a competitive and wild ride as this is a marathon, not a one-night sprint.”
From WWE: “Congratulations to AEW on a successful premiere. The real winners of last night's head-to-head telecasts of NXT on USA Network and AEW on TNT are the fans, who can expect Wednesday nights to be a competitive and wild ride as this is a marathon, not a one-night sprint.”
— Tony Maglio (@TonyMaglio) October 3, 2019
What is impressive is that both AEW Dynamite and WWE NXT put on amazing shows and the real winners were the fans, especially those who recorded one or both shows so they could see all the action.
On AEW Dynamite, Chris Jericho was in action in the main event, teaming with Santana and Ortiz (the former LAX) to beat The Young Bucks and Kenny Omega.
Cody Rhodes opened the show with a hard-fought win over Sammy Guevara but laid beaten and broken at the end of the show when Jake Hager (the former Jack Swagger) made his surprise debut and joined Jericho in beating down the babyfaces.
Over on NXT, Adam Page defended his title against Matt Riddle successfully in a fantastic match only to see Finn Balor return to NXT and Tomasso Ciampa make his return from injury, giving him two huge challengers for the future.
In an interview with Ring of Honor Wrestling’s Tracy Williams last week, he told Monsters & Critics that the people taking one side of the other are alone, as the wrestlers — and as WWE proved in their statement — the companies are cheering for each other.
“There’s so much more to life than wanting a wrestling company to fail because you decided arbitrarily to pick the one with the t-shirt you like the best. It’s just silly,” Williams said. “We all do this because we love it and we all watch it because we love it.”
After one week, Wednesday nights look to be the best time of the week to be a fan of professional wrestling.