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Analysis: AEW ‘Dynamite’ continues to struggle to draw more viewers

Chris Graham
AEW world champ MJF. Photo: All Elite Wrestling

Viewership for Wednesday’s AEW “Dynamite” was down 3 percent from last week’s low number, a continuation of what is becoming a worrying trend for the company.

According to Wrestlenomics, AEW averaged 840,000 viewers for the 8-10 p.m. ET show on Wednesday.

Last week’s show drew an average of 870,000 viewers.

Also concerning: “Dynamite” hasn’t hit the million-viewer mark since Oct. 5.

Context: ‘Dynamite’ vs. ‘Raw’

WWE’s “Monday Night Raw,” the better gauge of that company’s two weekly shows relative to “Dynamite,” because it is also broadcast on cable, has been struggling of late as well.

This week’s “Raw” had an average of 1.54 million viewers, according to Gerweck.net, the second-lowest viewer number for “Raw” this year.

But even with the “Raw” numbers trending down the past several weeks, that show is still drawing nearly double the sets of eyeballs that “Dynamite” has been getting in recent weeks.

WWE “Smackdown,” which airs on Fox, and thus is available in many more homes than either “Dynamite” (TBS) and “Raw” (USA), both on basic cable, had 2.2 million viewers for its Nov. 25 episode.

Of note there: the Dec. 2 “Smackdown” aired on FS1 because Fox had a college football game in that timeslot.

That Dec. 2 “Smackdown” drew 902,000 viewers.

You can see the advantage “Smackdown” gets from being on Fox right there.

‘Dynamite’ quarter-hours

Back to this week’s “Dynamite”: the quarter-hour numbers this week bucked the trend of peaking in the first quarter-hour, the 8-8:15 p.m. ET slot, coming in off the lead-in from “Big Bang Theory.”

The 8-8:15 p.m. ET quarter-hour this week, which featured the Dynamite Diamond Ring Battle Royale, averaged 883,000 viewers.

The next quarter-hour, 8:15-8:30 p.m. ET, was the high-water mark for the night – featuring the end of the battle royale, and the back-and-forth promos of Ricky Starks and world champ MJF, who are set to battle on “Dynamite” next week.

The 8:15-8:30 p.m. ET segment averaged 910,00 viewers.

The show lost its momentum after the 9-9:15 p.m. ET segment with the William Regal backstage interview and a House of Black video package, which drew an average of 882,000 viewers.

The next two segments featured the women’s division – with a Jamie Hayter sit-down interview, a six-woman tag match built around Jade Cargill, then a Britt Baker-Saraya backstage promo.

Those two quarter-hours drew averages of 772,000 and 769,000 viewers, respectively.

And once people tuned out, they didn’t tune back in for the main event with FTR and The Acclaimed for the AEW tag titles. The 9:45-10 p.m. ET quarter-hour averaged 784,000 viewers.


So, fans logged on for the Starks-MJF build, hung around for a while, and left en masse when the focus shifted to Jamie Hayter and the rest of the women’s division.

The good news is, MJF as the world champ is over with the audience, and Ricky Starks as a top babyface is also over.

The other news: the women’s division needs some work.


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].