Cody prevailed over Wardlow inside a steel cage on AEW Dynamite.
AEW Dynamite continued its domination over WWE NXT as it remained undefeated against its chief rival, picking up its eighth straight victory in a Wednesday Night War it has controlled throughout the new year.
Dynamite drew an average viewership of 893,000, up 9% from 817,000 last week. Dynamite came in at No. 5 in the Top 150 original cable telecasts among the 18-49 demographic. NXT, which placed 16th in the 18-49 demo, garnered 794,000 viewers, up 5% from last week.
AEW Dynamite vs. WWE NXT: Wednesday, February 19, 2020
- AEW Dynamite Total Viewership—893,000
- AEW Dynamite Rating in 18-49 Demo—.31, No. 5
- WWE NXT Total Viewership—794,000
- WWE NXT Rating in 18-49 Demo—.25, No. 16
Both NXT and AEW faced stiff competition from the latest Democratic Debate from Las Vegas, which drew around 20 million viewers as election season continues to heat up for anybody not named Michael Bloomberg.
Dynamite’s heavy promotion of a Steel Cage Match featuring top-drawing stars Cody and MJF was all but guaranteed to lock up the victory against WWE NXT despite the black and yellow brand featuring fallout from the critically acclaimed NXT TakeOver: Portland.
AEW’s formula of announcing big matches in advance continues to be a simple, effective strategy that keeps the upstart brand engaged with its audience. Wednesday’s main event between Cody and the debuting Wardlow had been promoted since January 1, and the match featured stakes where Cody would not be able to wrestle MJF at AEW Revolution unless he prevailed.
AEW’s previous heavily promoted stipulation featured the well-received 10 lashings segment, which translated to 928,000 viewers—AEW’s highest number since mid-January.
After averaging 903,000 viewers in 2019, AEW came out of the gates white hot in 2020, garnering no less than 940,000 viewers in each of its first three shows. The promotion has settled into the 820,000 range since, however, clearing the 900,000 mark just once in the past four weeks headed into the pay-per-view-like February 19 showcase.
Cody battled Wardlow in AEW’s first-ever Steel Cage match.
AEW will air a Kenny Omega-PAC Iron Man match next week for its AEW Revolution go-home show. Coming off a noticeable bounce for Wednesday’s Steel Cage match, a decline in viewership is likely, however given the big names involved in a high-profile match, AEW’s streak against WWE NXT is sure to continue.