All Elite Wrestling’s debut episode of Dynamite on Wednesday left a clear winner in what fans have referred to the “Wednesday Night War” with WWE’s NXT brand.
AEW recorded 1.409 million viewers in TNT’s biggest broadcast premiere in five years. When you account for an encore episode of Dynamite, AEW garnered 1.8 million viewers, including 1.1 million in the age 18-49 target demographic in Live+Same Day ratings figures reported by ShowBuzz Daily.
Meanwhile, WWE’s NXT aired two hours of programming on USA for the first time and earned 891,000 viewers. Previously, NXT aired exclusively on the WWE Network before recently airing the first hour on USA and the last hour on the WWE Network.
“This is a league that, at its core, is created by wrestlers for wrestling fans, and I am incredibly energized by the enthusiastic embrace the fans have given to the AEW talent and experience,” said Kevin Reilly, president of TNT, TBS, and truTV, and chief content officer at HBO Max to . “AEW won the night with a high-quality, incredibly engaging, sports-centric show that will continue with a seamless partnership between AEW and TNT.”
Meanwhile, WWE released a statement Thursday with an acknowledgment of AEW’s cable broadcast opening night success.
“Congratulations to AEW on a successful premiere,” the statement read. “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.”