WWE NXT definitely beat AEW Dynamite in last week’s Tuesday night ratings war, thanks in part to loading up their show with stars like John Cena, The Undertaker, Cody Rhodes, LA Knight, Asuka, and Paul Heyman.
During an interview with The Messenger, Chris Jericho downplayed WWE’s 0.30 to 0.26 margin of victory in the key demo rating:
“It was just an opportunity to stick it to us with stunt casting...you can only bring in Cena and Undertaker and Cody and everybody else so much, because nobody wants to work on their secondary show all the time. And it was a fun little, ‘Hey, F-you AEW.’ I didn’t even really worry about it.”
“This would be like a football game where you bring in all of your top stars from years prior and beat the other team 30-26. It’s like a video game. Let’s bring in Tom Brady from five years ago and then play him for one game against Chris Jericho. OK, you guys won, but you only won 30-26...so, don’t get too far up your own ass because you didn’t do that good of a job as far as crushing us. And our show was better than theirs, quite frankly. So, it doesn’t bother me. It’s just competition, man. It’s good for the fans, it’s good for the companies.
All that matters is how your fans perceive you, growing your own show, growing your revenue, and I think we’ve done far and beyond what they ever thought. I think people who didn’t like AEW thought we’d be done within six months, and it’s been four years and we’re bigger than ever, on the verge of another huge television deal, and that’s all that matters.”
On the one hand, Jericho is right when he says the ratings loss doesn’t really matter for AEW, because it was just a special one-off night under unusual circumstances rather than some ongoing pattern that is cause for concern. On the other hand, it’s pretty amusing that the Demo God himself is now indicating that the key demo rating doesn’t really matter because AEW had a better show.
WWE did bring in part-time attractions like John Cena and The Undertaker to put the NXT show over the top, but that’s not a point of criticism. AEW President Tony Khan has always made a big deal of the ratings battle when WWE and AEW go head-to-head, and he absolutely would have brought in those very same names if they were available to him on this night.
AEW was the underdog in this battle for a variety of reasons, including the fact that Dynamite was bumped out of its normal time slot last week. WWE and AEW both brought in some of their biggest stars for this head-to-head showdown, as they both should have, but one of WWE’s advantages is that it has a deeper pool of past stars to draw upon. It’s not a Hollywood movie script, so the underdog lost, as was generally expected.
Yeah, I’d be rolling my eyes at anyone in WWE who has their head way up their own ass after this win, because it doesn’t really matter much in the big picture. But you just know there would also be people on the AEW side enjoying the smell of their own farts if AEW had pulled out a ratings win by the slimmest of margins, because we’ve seen it plenty of times before.
What do you make of Jericho’s response to the ratings results, Cagesiders?