All Elite Wrestling premiered its first quarterly TNT special this past Saturday with the Battle of the Belts event at the Bojangles Coliseum in Charlotte, NC. Though the show only clocked in at one hour, it still managed to have Sammy Guevara become the first interim TNT Champion, Ricky Starks successfully defend his FTW Championship against Matt Sydal and Dr. Britt Baker defeat Riho to keep her AEW Women's World Championship. So how many people tuned in to see the show?
According to Brandon Thurston of Wrestlenomics the show drew a 0.27 rating with 704,000 viewers. While that isn't quite at AEW Dynamite levels (the premiere episode on TBS last Wednesday was back up over one million viewers) it does beat every episode of AEW Rampage since the Aug. 27, 2021 episode.
AEW Battle of the Belts on TNT, Saturday @ 8-9pm:— Brandon Thurston (@BrandonThurston) January 11, 2022
P18-49: 0.27 (355,000)
For comparison, Rampage the night before did 588,000 and a 0.24. Dynamite on TBS Wednesday had 1.01 million viewers and a 0.43 demo rating.
📊 More demos & analysis: https://t.co/1SscdBCpr8
AEW president Tony Khan spoke with ComicBook days before 2022 began and talked about what his plans for the new year will be.
"Hopefully we'll be able to do the whole year touring, and spend 52 weeks touring across different, great markets," Khan said. "This year, the first half of the year, we were very fortunate that we were able to do the shows in Daily's Place, but it wasn't until the second half of the year, where we got back on the road and saw so many more great fans across the country. So, we'll always keep Daily's Place in the mix. We're there this week, and we'll be back again soon. But we'll be a lot of great places around the country in between. And I think it'll be great to bring AEW back to the west coast this year with Double or Nothing. And some of the TV around that. And I look forward to hitting more markets.
"And also, this will be the first year we've had this full roster in place. A lot of people came to AEW at the end of 2021," he added. "Huge stars, like CM Punk, Bryan Danielson, Ruby Soho, Adam Cole and now Kyle O'Reilly. All of them and more will have a chance to wrestle a full year in AEW, and I think that's going to be very special."
Here's what's lined up for this week's AEW Dynamite:
- Interim TNT Champion: Sammy Guevara vs. Daniel Garcia
- CM Punk vs. Wardlow
- Hikaru Shida vs. Serena Deeb
- Dante Martin vs. Powerhouse Hobbs