It took 12 weeks, but WWE finally picked up a definitive victory over All Elite Wrestling with the latest episodes of NXT and AEW Dynamite. Not only did the Black and Gold Brand beat AEW in viewership for the third time since the two show started going head-to-head (795,000 to 683,000), but it finally posted a higher rating in the 18-49 target demographic (0.27 to 0.25). Despite the fact that AEW had a handful of matches booked in advance for the show, this marked the show's lowest rating since it debuted on TNT on Oct. 2.
NXT was headlined by an NXT Championship match between Adam Cole and Finn Balor and an NXT Women's Championship match between Shayna Baszler and Rhea Ripley. Cole retained his title thanks to the surprise return of Johnny Gargano, while Ripley managed to snap Baszler's 416-day reign as champion by hitting her with an Avalanche Riptide.
Over on Dynamite Cody Rhodes & Darby Allin beat The Butcher and The Blade, the Lucha Brothers toppled Kenny Omega & Hangman Page, Kris Statlander earned a title shot by beating Britt Baker and SCU retained the AEW World Tag Team Championships against The Young Bucks. The show ended on a shocking note, as The Dark Order was able to beat down both tag teams as well as the Rhodes brothers and Omega.
In a recent interview with TalkSport, Rhodes discussed how much value AEW puts on television ratings.
"Obviously the rating, they almost matter more to the respective brands individually," Rhodes said. "Warner Media and TNT, they're looking at the ratings and the demographic, that P1 demo and how you're doing there, and then I'm assuming USA are doing the same for NXT. It's more of the fans that put them in contrast to each other. 'Well they did this and they did this'."
"If you look at the data, there's not nearly as much crossover as you would think. Not so much like the '90s where you were turning the channel, they both have dedicated fanbases," he added. "You've got to look at minute-by-minutes, which are a scary thing to look at. It's like baseball, but it's the way to go. If you look at those minute-by-minutes, you can see trends. And even after eight weeks or so, you can see some trends like 'Ok, this person, they really seem to like' or 'they really seem to like the action here' or 'they like it when this person has the mic.' So you want to play to your strengths, and you also want to adjust your long-form plan but not adjust it drastically where you become something other than yourself."