Home AEW ‘Dynamite’ sees bump in viewers: Was this week the start of a turnaround?
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AEW ‘Dynamite’ sees bump in viewers: Was this week the start of a turnaround?

Chris Graham
mjf
Photo: All Elite Wrestling

This week’s AEW “Dynamite” saw a bump in total TV viewers, from last week’s 840,000 average to an average of 950,000 this week, an increase of 13 percent.

And if you don’t think the EVPs pay attention to these type things, yeah, they do.

The Elite used their backstage presence to book themselves into the opening segment, typically the show’s highest-viewed segment, for Match 4 of the endless best-of-seven series for the who the hell cares trios titles.

The opening quarter-hour, 8-8:15 p.m. ET, drew an average of 1.044 million viewers, according to Wrestlenomics.

Here’s where the Jacksons and Kenny Omega screwed up, though. The match bled into the 8:15-8:30 p.m. ET quarter-hour, and that quarter-hour, which also included the post-match promo, lost 5 percent of the audience, down to 997,000 viewers.

Anyway, we saw what you did there, EVPs.

The show largely lost viewers from there, but not a lot.

The 8:30-8:45 p.m. ET quarter-hour – a live angle with The Acclaimed and Jeff Jarrett/Jay Lethal, a Jericho faction promo and the beginning of Jack Perry vs. Brian Cage – drew a 968,000 viewer average.

The end of that match, an angle with The Firm and Hook, a Blackpool Combat Combo promo, a House of Black/Factory match and Jamie Hayter-Hikaru Shida video in a packed 8:45-9 p.m. ET quarter drew an average of 926,000 viewers.

The next quarter, 9-9:15 p.m. ET, bumped up to 961,000 viewers on average with Britt Baker doing a promo and the Chris Jericho/Action Andretti match.

(Cue Jericho calling himself the “demo god.”)

The 9:15-9:30 p.m. ET quarter-hour – a Ricky Starks promo and Tay Melo vs. Ruby Soho – was back down to 903,000 viewers.

The 6 percent drop was the biggest drop for a quarter-hour on the night.

The post-match angle for Melo/Soho, Adam Page promo, Best Friends promo, and beginning of the main event with MJF and Starks, another packed quarter from 9:30-9:45 p.m. ET, bumped up slightly, to 913,000 viewers.

The final quarter with the rest of the main event dropped to 891,000.

Not good, there, for the new champ, though to be fair, nobody rightly expected MJF to drop the belt in his first defense.

Analysis

The EVPs will claim that the numbers bumped back up because they were on the show after being off a week, but actually, it hadn’t been advertised that their match was going to open the show, and their segment bled viewers.

Jericho did well at the top of the 9 p.m. ET hour. I like the general concept of booking an upset win, but I’m not sure about Action Andretti. His chops are a bit theatrical, and he was a split-second off on several exchanges. Either way, he was given a win over an eight-time world champ; now he needs to run with it.

MJF has Bryan Danielson as his next dance partner. The key will be how to slow walk this one until the “Revolution” pay-per-view all the way out to March 5. At least I assume they will want to slow walk this one to the next paid show. There’s a Battle of the Belts scheduled for Jan. 6 in Portland, Bryan Danielson Country, but it would be criminal stupidity to give away that match for free on what Tony Khan has been treating as a throwaway show.

Ricky Starks was treated right with the dueling promos last week and MJF winning due to a low blow this week. Now we’ll see if Khan builds on the build, or if he does what he normally does, and forgets that Starks exists, and has to rebuild him a couple of months from now after remembering that Starks is still there.

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Chris Graham

Chris Graham

Chris Graham is the founder and editor of Augusta Free Press. A 1994 alum of the University of Virginia, Chris is the author and co-author of seven books, including Poverty of Imagination, a memoir published in 2019, and Team of Destiny: Inside Virginia Basketball’s Run to the 2019 National Championship, and The Worst Wrestling Pay-Per-View Ever, published in 2018. For his commentaries on news, sports and politics, go to his YouTube page, or subscribe to his Street Knowledge podcast. Email Chris at [email protected].