AEW retakes big lead over NXT, week off from live show last week allowed AEW to regain fans who strayed since mid-November, key demo gains for AEW also


PWTorch editor Wade Keller presents a special Thursday Flagship edition of the Wade Keller Pro Wrestling Podcast featuring a WrestleMania 36 Preview with ex-WWE Creative Team member and professional stand-up comedian Matt McCarthy.

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Last night’s Wednesday night battle indicates the battle for live and same-night-DVR viewers has tilted back in AEW’s favor by a large margin, with AEW drawing 947,000 compared to NXT’s 721,000. The 226,000 lead is the biggest for AEW since Oct. 23. Ton Dec. 18, the last time the two shows went head-to-head with live programs, NXT had the lead with a loaded line-up by a margin of 92,000 viewers (775,000 to 683,000).

When AEW was preempted Christmas night, NXT grew to 831,000 viewers. When NXT aired an awards show on Jan. 1, viewership dropped to 548,000. So AEW grew from the 683,000 on Dec. 18 up against NXT’s loaded live show to 967,000 on Jan. 1 up against NXT’s awards show. That increase in viewers to the highest level since Nov. 13 carried over this week, as most of those viewers who checked out AEW who otherwise had been watching NXT in prior weeks returned this week. So NXT taking the week off looks to have cost them considerably. AEW also loaded this week’s episode with stars and a big angle payoff between Jon Moxley and Chris Jericho, while NXT put out a mid-range show in terms of what was announced and presented for matches and stars.

AEW went back to dominating key demos, with a nearly two-to-one margin over NXT in the M 18-49 demo (0.49 to 0.26), but a smaller lead in the 18-34 demo of 0.24 to 0.17. Among all adults, AEW held a healthy lead of 0.36 to 0.26.

AEW drew a 0.66 cable rating compared to NXT’s 0.59 rating.

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