Becky Lynch NXT WWE superstar Becky Lynch won the NXT Women’s Championship on Tuesday, fueling NXT to its best rating in 3 years. Credit: WWE/USA Network

Tuesday night’s episode of WWE NXT rolled in with the hype machine behind it. The most attention-worthy part of the September 12, 2023, episode centered around WWE superstar Becky Lynch. Affectionately known as ‘The Man,’ Lynch made a rare appearance on the show to fight for the NXT Women’s Championship against champion Tiffany Stratton. The decision to send the mega-star to WWE’s third brand has paid off in spades. The ratings are in, and the episode scored a massive boon.

According to Sports TV Ratings and Wrestlenomics, the September 12 episode of WWE NXT drew an average of 850,000 viewers. The show also earned a 0.26 score in the key P18-49 demographic. It peaked during the show’s overrun, with an average of 1,061,000 viewers tuning in to see Lynch capture the NXT Women’s Championship.

The September 12 episode of NXT placed second on cable television Tuesday night, according to SpoilerTV. MTV’s presentation of the 2023 Video Music Awards was the only show to out-rate NXT in viewership and the P18-49 demographic. The 2023 VMAs ranked first with 913,000 viewers and a 0.46 score in the demo.

NXT triumphed over First TakeGet UpPardon the Interruption, and My Big Fat Fabulous Life on TLC, among other cable TV shows that aired on Tuesday.

These numbers are scorching for NXT, which has typically averaged less than that number over the past few years. Tuesday night’s broadcast delivered the show’s highest ratings since October 2020. NXT presented its first Halloween Havoc event, an homage to the former WCW pay-per-view, on October 28, 2020. That episode that night drew 876,000 viewers and a demographic rating of 0.25.

Viewers were eager to see Becky, who hadn’t appeared on NXT television in four years. She hasn’t been a member of the NXT roster since July 2015, when she, Charlotte Flair, and Sasha Banks (now wrestling as Mercedes Moné elsewhere) arrived on the main roster. But Lynch left the developmental brand without winning the coveted Women’s Championship. Some of the best women have held the title to hit the ring since NXT started. Bayley, Banks, Flair, and others had held the prestigious title, but not Lynch.

It turns out that Lynch, her fans, and otherwise, had to have been captivated by what they saw and what would happen. According to data cited from Wrestlenomics, viewers tuned into NXT in droves once Becky and Tiffany were scheduled to wrestle.

The prior quarter drew an average of 810,000 viewers with a 0.26 P18-49 rating. The ensuing quarter, which featured the match nearly in its entirety, saw a massive increase in viewership—that final quarter (9:45-10:00 p.m. Eastern) fetched 927,000 viewers, a swell of a whopping 14 percent. Their P18-49 rating jumped to 0.28 as well.

The show’s overrun (10:00-10:07 p.m. Eastern) scored the largest numbers: 1,061,000 viewers and a 0.31 demo rating. The jump from 927,000 to 1,061,000 was also 14 percent. The audience jumped nearly 31 percent from the 8:30-:45 quarter on the way through the final 15 minutes of the broadcast and the show’s overrun.

Needless to say, there’s a lot for everyone to hang their hats on here. But, it’s very clear that Becky Lynch still has a huge fanbase. The show has seen gains and even saw them when Lynch’s husband Seth Rollins, the World Heavyweight Champion, appeared on the show to wrestle prospect Bron Breakker. But NXT hasn’t seen numbers like this in years. The brand has shown strength lately, but the name value that Lynch brings to the table can’t be denied. Her impact on this show flies in the face of any narrative that you hear that women’s wrestling can’t draw, as her following had no issue dialing in late Tuesday night.

What NXT will do now, with Lynch likely hanging around, is yet to be seen. She’ll probably pull double duty, which will not only increase her exposure but NXT’s as well. Are more soon to follow with her to watch? It’s entirely possible now that the world will know she won the championship. So as fall arrives, and Raw ratings will soon suffer from Monday Night Football, gains might be there to acquire for NXT. They got that and plenty more on Tuesday night.

[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