Wednesday Night Wars

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The Wednesday Night Wars is the ongoing period of mainstream televised American professional wrestling that began on October 2, 2019 when All Elite Wrestling (AEW)'s Dynamite debuted on TNT opposite WWE's NXT on USA Network in a battle for Nielsen Ratings each week.[1][2]

This is the first direct competition between two major promotions since Impact Wrestling, then known as Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (TNA), briefly moved their flagship series, Impact!, to Monday nights opposite WWE Raw in 2010[3] and over 20 years following the original Monday Night Wars that lasted from 1995 to 2001.[4]

Background[edit]

On July 24, 2019, upstart promotion All Elite Wrestling (AEW) announced that their upcoming television show, later announced to be titled All Elite Wrestling: Dynamite, would premiere on Wednesday, October 2 and would be broadcast live every week, marking the return of professional wrestling to WarnerMedia for the first time since the final episode of World Championship Wrestling's Monday Nitro on March 26, 2001.[5]

In August 2019, WWE announced that it was moving WWE NXT, WWE Network's Wednesday night program showcasing its namesake brand, to USA Network (marking the show's first broadcast on the network since December 20, 2017) and expanding the program to a live, two-hour broadcast.[6][7][8][9] Critics felt that the move was an attempt to counterprogram AEW, which was seen as the first major promotion to compete financially with WWE since the closure of WCW in 2001.[10]

Under its new format, NXT premiered on USA on September 18, two weeks before AEW's broadcast debut on TNT.[9][11] Due to program conflicts, only the first hour of NXT was broadcast on USA for its first two weeks while the second hour aired on WWE Network.[12]

Viewership[edit]

In the two weeks leading up to the head to head competition, NXT drew 1.179[13] and 1.006[14] million viewers respectively.

On October 2, 2019, Dynamite debuted on TNT, which averaged 1.409 million viewers.[15] NXT would make their full two-hour debut on USA Network on the same night, which averaged 891,000 viewers.[1]

Comparison of ratings between NXT and Dynamite[edit]

Date NXT Dynamite
2019-10-02[16] 0.32 (891,000) 0.68 (1,409,000)
2019-10-09[17] 0.22 (790,000) 0.51 (1,140,000)
2019-10-16[18] 0.20 (712,000) 0.44 (1,014,000)
2019-10-23[19] 0.21 (698,000) 0.45 (963,000)
2019-10-30[20] 0.18 (580,000) 0.33 (759,000)
2019-11-06[21] 0.30 (813,000) 0.35 (822,000)
2019-11-13[22] 0.25 (750,000) 0.43 (957,000)
  NXT win
  Dynamite win
  Tie
  Ratings unavailable or program not aired

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Premieres of AEW and NXT Start 'Wednesday Night Wars' With a Bang". sports.yahoo.com. Retrieved 2019-10-04.
  2. ^ "AEW Dynamite wins week one of Wednesday night ratings war". f4wonline.com. Retrieved 2019-10-10.
  3. ^ "The Young Bucks Explain What Lessons AEW Learned From TNA's Failed Attempt to Combat WWE". WWE. Retrieved 2019-10-04.
  4. ^ "AEW vs. NXT: Wednesday night wrestling wars a throwback to '90s - Sports Illustrated". si.com. Retrieved 2019-10-10.
  5. ^ Wrestling, All Elite (2019-07-24). "#AEW debuts on @TNTDrama - Wednesday, October 2nd LIVE from Washington DC's @CapitalOneArena #AreYouElite @AEWonTNTpic.twitter.com/W8vg1CcZrw". @AEWrestling. Retrieved 2019-10-04.
  6. ^ "Evolution of NXT continues: Triple H thrilled as WWE's brand set for first TV special". CBSSports.com. Retrieved 2017-12-13.
  7. ^ Potter, Jon (2019-08-20). "NXT Moving to USA Network September 18th; What Does This Mean for WWE Network?". WWE Network News. Retrieved 2019-08-20.
  8. ^ "NXT moving to cable TV on Sept. 18". SI.com. Retrieved 2019-08-20.
  9. ^ a b Littleton, Cynthia; Littleton, Cynthia (2019-08-20). "WWE's 'NXT' Moves to USA Network as Wrestling Competition Heats Up". Variety. Retrieved 2019-10-04.
  10. ^ Silverstein, Adam. "AEW TV deal: Weekly show to air live on TNT with Turner also streaming pay-per-views". CBS Sports. Retrieved 2019-05-21.
  11. ^ "With NXT Moving To USA Network, WWE's Wednesday Night War With AEW Is Officially On". Deadspin. Retrieved 2019-10-04.
  12. ^ "NXT to Split First Two Live Episodes Between USA and WWE Network". ComicBook.com. Retrieved 2019-09-06.
  13. ^ "UPDATED: SHOWBUZZDAILY's Top 150 Wednesday Cable Originals & Network Finals: 9.18.2019 | Showbuzz Daily". www.showbuzzdaily.com. Retrieved 2019-10-04.
  14. ^ "UPDATED: SHOWBUZZDAILY's Top 150 Wednesday Cable Originals & Network Finals: 9.25.2019 | Showbuzz Daily". www.showbuzzdaily.com. Retrieved 2019-10-04.
  15. ^ "TNT's 'All Elite Wrestling: Dynamite' Debut Buries USA Network's 'NXT' in Ratings". TheWrap. 2019-10-03. Retrieved 2019-10-04.
  16. ^ Metcalf, Mitch (October 3, 2019). "UPDATED: SHOWBUZZDAILY's Top 150 Wednesday Cable Originals & Network Finals: 10.2.2019". showbuzzdaily.com. Showbuzz Daily. Retrieved 2019-10-09.
  17. ^ Metcalf, Mitch (October 10, 2019). "UPDATED: SHOWBUZZDAILY's Top 150 Wednesday Cable Originals & Network Finals: 10.9.2019". showbuzzdaily.com. Showbuzz Daily. Retrieved 2019-10-11.
  18. ^ Metcalf, Mitch (October 17, 2019). "SHOWBUZZDAILY's Top 150 Wednesday Cable Originals & Network Finals: 10.16.2019". showbuzzdaily.com. Showbuzz Daily. Retrieved 2019-10-17.
  19. ^ Metcalf, Mitch (October 24, 2019). "SHOWBUZZDAILY's Top 150 Wednesday Cable Originals & Network Finals: 10.23.2019". showbuzzdaily.com. Showbuzz Daily. Retrieved 2019-10-24.
  20. ^ Metcalf, Mitch (October 30, 2019). "SHOWBUZZDAILY's Top 150 Wednesday Cable Originals & Network Finals: 10.30.2019". showbuzzdaily.com. Showbuzz Daily. Retrieved 2019-10-30.
  21. ^ Metcalf, Mitch (November 7, 2019). "SHOWBUZZDAILY's Top 150 Wednesday Cable Originals & Network Finals: 11.06.2019". showbuzzdaily.com. Showbuzz Daily. Retrieved 2019-11-07.
  22. ^ Metcalf, Mitch (November 14, 2019). "UPDATED: SHOWBUZZDAILY's Top 150 Wednesday Cable Originals & Network Finals: 11.13.2019". showbuzzdaily.com. Showbuzz Daily. Retrieved 2019-11-14.