AEW Dynamite ratings

Going into this week, there was much to be said about the upcoming episode of AEW Dynamite. Incredibly so after much was set to be made about the infamous brawl that led to CM Punk’s dismissal from the company.

It’s safe to say the plan worked to a degree. April 10th’s episode of Dynamite saw an increase in viewership from the previous week. Wednesday night’s episode averaged 819,000 viewers with a 0.30 P18-49 rating. Those numbers are up from their recent rut. Their average of 819,000 viewers is their highest average since February, and the 0.30 demo score is their highest since January. Data comes courtesy of the Wrestlenomics Patreon.

Quarter-hour data from Wrestlenomics illustrate an interesting picture from last night, and based on all the hullabaloo, let’s examine it.

Did the CM Punk ‘brawl’ footage cause an increase in viewership?

On the surface, based on the numbers available, you’d be pressed to say “yes.”

AEW Dynamite hasn’t averaged over 800,000 viewers since February and hasn’t gone north of 830,000 viewers since Jan. 24. They got over the 800,000 mark for the first time since March 20 and only the second time since Feb. 28. So, in terms of ending a rut that had them scoring their worst viewership in four years last week, it’s safe to say that whatever they were hoping to accomplish was accomplished.

But did the actual clip and segment cause an increase in viewership?

It did.

Quarter-hour data from Wrestlenomics says that the 8:30-:45 quarter was viewed by 880,000 viewers and earned a 0.34 score in the P18-49 demo. The latter peaked the show, and the former was a 3 percent increase from the previous one. So it sparked up, but by just 3 percent.

That being said, considering all the ballyhoo, a boost of only 3 percent is intriguing. They made that their biggest sticking point going in. In turn, it wound up not being the highest-viewed segment on the show. Sure, it placed second. But to do all that and to come away with that? It feels like you did a lot for a little.

Did the segment peak viewership?

No, it did not.

The opening quarter-hour from 8-8:15 p.m. led the show on average, with 981,000 viewers tuning in for the first 15 minutes of the broadcast.

If that sounds familiar…

It’s important to point out that AEW probably isn’t going anywhere. Their relationship with Warner Bros. Discovery appears good on virtually every surface. That said, that doesn’t mean there can’t be worrying trends. The biggest viewership trend that Dynamite experiences every week is viewer retention.

Or, in Dynamite‘s case, a lack thereof.

The show’s lead quarter-hour on an almost weekly basis lately has been the first 15 minutes. A deeper dive indicates that there’s no need for “almost.” Dynamite has experienced its peak viewership within the first 15 minutes every week for the last six months. The last time the show didn’t peak in the first 15 minutes was on Oct. 4, when the overrun of the promo between Adam Copeland and Christian Cage peaked the night.

You’d have to go back to September 27, 2023, to find the last time the show peaked at any other point. An MJF and Jay White promo and an interview featuring Cage and Jim Ross peaked that episode from 9 to 9:15 p.m.

There’s an average of a 12 percent dip in viewership from QH1 to QH2 for the last six months.

So… what now?

AEW is in a difficult place. WWE isn’t slowing down amid a hot streak that’s stretched back since the Paul ‘Triple H’ Levesque era began in July 2022.

For a company in AEW that’s made a lot out of their recent free-agent signings, the fruit must bear at some point. Otherwise, a referendum might be in order if it’s not already. While fans cheered on lofty goals, taking WWE down simply isn’t going to happen.

There is a significant gulf between the two companies in terms of ratings and interest right now. The 819,000 viewers AEW averaged is still well shy of the preeminent wrestling company’s marks on any given week. Raw has dealt with stiff competition, including the fantastic Elite Eight game between Iowa and LSU. Still, the show performed extremely well, posting their best numbers on the Road to WrestleMania in months.

Their state is certainly safe, and a move off of WBD amid these ratings slides would probably be unlikely. But again, that doesn’t mean there aren’t trends worth expressing concern over. Even amid all the buzz, it all just remains the same. And at some point, you have to wonder if that’s enough.

[Data cited by Wrestlenomics]

About Chris Novak

Chris Novak has been talking and writing about sports ever since he can remember. Previously, Novak wrote for and managed sites in the SB Nation network for nearly a decade from 2013-2022