The opening matchup of last Wednesday’s AEW Dynamite: The Crossroads special saw NBA legend Shaq make his highly-anticipated AEW in-ring debut when he teamed with Jade Cargill to face Cody Rhodes and Red Velvet in a Tag Team Match, with Shaq and Jade Cargill defeating Cody and Velvet.
According to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, Shaq’s debut match on Dynamite drew 1,113,000 viewers while Dynamite this past Wednesday night drew 934,000 viewers and did a 0.33 rating (425,000 viewers) in the key 18-49 demographic. This viewership number makes Shaq’s tag match the largest average match number when going head-to-head with NXT in more than a year.
Despite Shaq’s AEW Dynamite debut match getting a huge draw, the problem is that the fans who watched Shaq’s match didn’t stay for the rest of the show. Be that as it may, Dynamite’s viewership was still up, but the key demo was down compared to the previous week.
On a related note, the video of Cody putting Shaq through the tables currently has 1,138,940 views on AEW’s official YouTube channel. A second clip from the match has 113,000 viewers while a clip showing “the aftermath” of the match has 168,000 views. On the December 9, 2020 edition of Dynamite, Shaq did an interview segment with Brandi Rhodes and Tony Schiavone. To compare, that show did 995,000 viewers while the segment featuring NBA legend Shaq did over 1.2 million viewers. That hour Shaq was featured averaged 1,063,000 viewers and 618,000 viewers in the key 18-49 demo.
Even though Shaq is a massive NBA legend and his debut garnered huge numbers, his debut match nor the spot of him going through a table didn’t make it onto SportsCenter nor did it make the list as one of the top 20 Google searches for the day.