Recent statistics have shed light on an intriguing trend in the wrestling industry, as WWE's television ratings continue to soar while AEW faces a different scenario. With robust business operations and record profits, WWE's success has been fueled by lucrative TV deals and strategic ventures.
In April, the company was acquired by Endeavor, with the acquisition valuing World Wrestling Entertainment at an impressive $9 billion. Notably, WWE's live events have witnessed strong attendance figures, and their television ratings have experienced an upward trajectory.
In today's world, where viewers have numerous entertainment options, WWE's flagship shows Raw and Smackdown, consistently rank among the top performers in the coveted 18-49 age demographic.
Smackdown's Ratings Soar: Record-breaking Surge!
In a remarkable surge, last Friday's episode of WWE Smackdown garnered 2.563 million viewers on Fox, marking an astounding 18% increase from the previous week. The show also dominated the charts with an impressive 0.73 rating in the 18-49 key demographic, representing a substantial 40.4% surge compared to the previous week.
The final quarter-hour segment of the episode, featuring Roman Reigns' Championship Celebration, attracted an average of 2.9 million viewers, further cementing WWE's television prowess. In the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, esteemed journalist Dave Meltzer examined the comparative ratings of WWE and AEW.
Meltzer pointed out that historically, whenever WWE experiences an upswing, its competition tends to suffer, and the recent surge in WWE's ratings is likely a contributing factor to AEW's decline in viewership worldwide. In the United States, WWE's flagship shows have consistently grown, with Raw up for 19 consecutive weeks, Smackdown up for 21 weeks, and NXT up for 22 of the last 26 weeks in the key 18-49 demographic.
Conversely, AEW Dynamite has faced a downward trend, declining for 26 straight weeks compared to the previous year, while Rampage experienced a drop in ratings for 24 of the last 26 weeks. While Roman Reigns played a significant role in the surge of Smackdown's ratings last week, it is worth noting that he is not advertised for this week's episode, with his return scheduled for June 16th.
This absence could potentially impact the show's viewership figures. Still, WWE's recent dominance suggests they will continue to enjoy a strong foothold in the television landscape, leaving AEW to grapple with the challenges of reclaiming their lost viewership.