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The results of Oct. 18’s Dynamite/NXT ratings battle are in, and there’s a lot to unpack

For the first time in more than a year, AEW Dynamite and WWE NXT went head-to-head on Oct. 18.

The two shows were counter-programming for the first year-and-a-half of AEW’s existence, with Dynamite routinely outpacing WWE’s third brand, prompting a move to Tuesdays for NXT. With the Major League Baseball American League Championship Series airing on TBS tonight, Dynamite was moved to Tuesday this week. For one night, the “War” was back on.

A lot has changed since April 8, 2021, when the Wednesday Night War ended with a split decision. So who won the Tuesday Night Tussle?

Based on the numbers alone (via Showbuzz Daily), Dynamite added another win to their record. AEW finished eighth among cable originals with an audience of 752,000 and a .26 rating among 18-49 year olds. NXT finished 12th with 676,000 viewers and a .18 in the demo.

In relation to other shows and their recent track records, however — there’s a lot to consider.

Both shows were facing tough competition from the start of the MLB National League Championship Series (Philadelphia’s win over San Diego had an audience of 4.1 million with a 1.00 rating on FS1) and the start of the National Basketball Association season (TNT’s doubleheader took the top two spots on the cable charts, with the Boston/Philadelphia game that aired opposite the two wrestling shows finishing second with 2.98 million viewers and a 1.24 in 18-49).

Dynamite had a great lead-in from the New York Yankees series-clinching win in the second round of the baseball playoffs. That game on TBS was watched by 4.95 million and scored a 1.20 in the demo. But it was also off its normal night, and it added up to the show’s worst numbers since a year ago when it was bumped to Saturday by hockey and went against a replay of that week’s SmackDown. Yet it still outperformed everything that wasn’t related to baseball or basketball on cable last night.

NXT was loaded up with main roster talent, and putting the final touches on the build to Halloween Havoc PLE. It resulted in their best rating since 2021’s Halloween Havoc (then a special episode that aired in NXT’s usual spot on USA’s schedule).

Expect everyone to claim some kind of victory here. At least until the quarter-hour breakdowns come out and give folks something else to argue about.

Here’s a breakdown of AEW viewership and rating in the 18-49 demo over the last year:

And here’s NXT’s audience and ratings share of the same demographic over the same time period:

* Aired on SyFy

Check out both our NXT live blog, review & video highlights, and our Dynamite live blog, review & video highlights, in case you missed any of the Tuesday Night War action.

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