Hello and welcome to the WrestleTalk News – I’m Oli Davis, and today’s episode is sponsored by NordVPN – where you can get 70% off a 3 year plan when you go to nordvpn dot com slash WRESTLETALK and use the code WRESTLETALK for an extra 2 months of NordVPN free!
But what is NordVPN, you might ask? Here’s the story of Luke Owen to tell you more…
Luke Owen is just a man. Just a man who wants to watch The Mandalorian in the UK the same time it’s released in the US.
But Disney Plus isn’t available in his country until March 2020, five months after everything would’ve been spoiled for him on Twitter. Poor Luke Owen.
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Help end these injustices today by visiting nordvpn dot com slash WRESTLETALK to get 70% off a 3 year plan, and use the code WRESTLETALK for an extra 2 months of NordVPN free!
If you’re in the US, I also recommend using NordVPN to watch AEW Dynamite on Fite because then you get the unedited feed, where you can see Chris Jericho roast inanimate objects during the commercial break. If only that kind of quality content was on the televised broadcast, AEW might’ve won in this week’s Wednesday Night Wars.
Because for the first time since AEW Dynamite started going up against NXT on the 2nd October, the 7 week winning streak has now come to an end – with Wednesday’s episode of NXT absolutely trouncing AEW by a ridiculously massive… 23,000 viewers.
That’s right folks, we’re so obviously AEW-biased here – we’re going to tell you Dynamite won even when they lost.
Before I dive into the ratings numbers, which are super interesting guys, I do want to point something out – all of us here in the office genuinely absolutely love both AEW and NXT. We’ve made it so our coverage of both shows is totally equal on the channel, where we don’t dedicate more time to one over the other. This is quite easily the best time to be a fan of wrestling in the last two decades. If you went back and told 2008 Oli that we’d have two in-ring focused wrestling shows on mainstream TV going head-to-head on a weekly basis, I would’ve broke down crying ‘there is hope’. This is my warning against tribalism, against blind brand loyalty. You can enjoy both, and someone saying something good or bad about one company, doesn’t mean they’re slighting or being paid off by the other.
With that said, the NXT victory isn’t really that impressive when you take a deeper look. Bank transfer’s easiest for me, Tony!
This week’s episode of NXT drew 916,000 viewers, about 2.5% more than AEW’s 893,000. That’s a 166,000 increase for NXT from last week, and a 64,000 drop for Dynamite after their post-Full Gear show last Wednesday.
But despite NXT picking up its first ratings win in the Wednesday Night Wars so far, the all-important demographics tell a slightly different story.
The most valuable viewer age for TV networks is those between 18 and 49, as they’re the ones with the most disposable income, meaning they’re the ones advertisers like to target most – because that’s the exact audience far more likely to buy whatever they’re selling. And Dynamite still beat NXT in that 18-49 viewership range by 25%.
In fact, AEW beat NXT in every viewership demographic apart from the 50+ audience, which is assumed to be because of the older skewing Raw audience pushed there from Monday’s episode where Triple H teased that any WWE wrestlers are welcome to show up in NXT this week.
So even with its wrestlers showing up on Raw and SmackDown for the last several weeks, top main roster stars like Becky Lynch and Seth Rollins appearing on the show, and it being the go-home episode for Survivor Series in which NXT is competing, they only managed to beat AEW by 23,000 viewers.
It’s not a defeat, but I wouldn’t quite say that’s a win either.
Nevertheless, Cody took Dynamite’s first loss as a chance to improve:
“Take it on the chin, learn from it, get up off the mat and get to work. Excuses are for assholes.”
While Le Champion Chris Jericho joked:
“Remember guys, it’s a marathon not a sprint….. 😝”
Most likely a reference to Triple H’s interview earlier this month: “this is, for me, a marathon. It’s not a sprint.” And then having the bulk of WWE’s main roster appear on the show just two weeks later.
The most important number to note here, though, as fans of wrestling, is that the combined Wednesday night viewership for both shows was 1.8 million fans. Which is amongst the highest so far. 1.8 million people are watching the incredibly high quality wrestling products of NXT and AEW. That’s incredible news for the industry and artform we all love.
Hot tag to Chopper!
Thanks Oli! Wrestling controversy certainly has a little more public on social media lately, hasn’t it? In recent times, we’ve seen talent such as Luke Harper, Sin Cara, Mike Kanellis, and most prominently, ACH, air their grievances with WWE, and ask for their releases, on Twitter,
However if you ask one Cerebral Assassin, certain things in the business should be kept behind closed doors. On the NXT Takeover War Games conference call, Triple H was asked about this recent trend, and what he thinks about it, to which he responded:
“If you have an issue, talk to us. If you think ‘You know what? I’m gonna go put that on the media…’ That’s not the way to do your business. If I had a complaint with talent, I don’t go on Twitter and complain to them. I speak to them.”
While that is something that is agreeable, when you take into account certain stories from WWE talent such as Jon Moxley, the former Dean Ambrose, and his dealings with Vince McMahon that he aired on the Talk Is Jericho podcast, sometimes speaking to internal WWE management doesn’t actually solve any problems, meaning the talent then seeks out alternative means of venting frustrations. Trips then went on to say:
“Anybody who’s out there that is serious about [complaints] that’s talking about it on the Internet, that’s not the place to do it. We all have phones. You meet, you handle your business like a professional. Everybody thinks we don’t like to say, everybody wants to say ‘professional wrestler,’ but the keyword in front of that is ‘professional.’ That’s what we’re trying to change about the business, make people more professional.”
Triple H just said the W word! He said wrestler! Sound the alarms everyone, they’re professional wrestlers, but only when it’s convenient to not call them sports entertainers.
But speaking of Twitter releases, the most vocal and prominent in recent times has been ACH, formerly Jordan Myles, with him calling out WWE for perceived racism over a t-shirt design that displayed racist iconography. ACH started a Twitter movement, and did a very public and very not PG rant livestream on Twitter where he said he quit WWE, but up until now, it was unknown whether he had actually been granted his release or not.
PWInsider and Fightful are both reporting that ACH has now been officially released from his WWE contract, effective immediately. ACH himself has tweeted Vince McMahon saying:
“Hey Vince McMahon. Can’t hold me down no more. This is FOR THE WRESTLING CULTURE.”
And he also tweeted a picture of himself signing some papers that look suspiciously like a contract, with the hashtag #KingIsBack.
Fightful also reported yesterday that ACH’s locker had been cleared out at the WWE Performance Center, with his belongings left in the open “so everyone could see, a clear message” as one talent reportedly said.
Curiously enough, it seems he’s not been subject to the usual 90-day no compete clause, and he has advertised himself for bookings immediately, as soon as tonight at Heavy Metal Wrestling in San Antonio, Texas.
This was then followed a few hours later by the announcement that on December 1st, he would be making an appearance at Atlanta Wrestling Entertainment.
ACH certainly isn’t wasting any time to further his career outside WWE.
Is WWE suing AEW? Press the video to the right to find out more, and the video below that to find out more about a potential major WWE return being revealed! A special thank you to our pledgehammers on Patreon, some of whom you can see scrolling below me right now! I’ve been Chopper Pete Quinnell, and that, was wrestling.