Here we are, to steal from Luke Harper, it's Wednesday you know what that means. It means exceptional wrestling on two channels. The NXT faithful will be tuned into the USA Network, the AEW faithful will be tuned onto TNT and a handful will stream both shows simultaneously. All ready to enjoy a night of great wrestling and ready to either avoid viewership talk or jump for joy if their side won the next day.
So let's take a look at what both shows are promoting as well as the viewership numbers for the month of December. First let's look at NXT and what they are promoting for tonight.
We are going to kickoff NXT tonight with the title being defended between Adam Cole (BayBay) and Finn Balor. Balor won a triple threat match last week with Ciampa and Lee to earn the shot. The match has also been promoted as being commercial free. This should have more wrestling fans tune into USA than would have normal to start the night.
Also WWE is promoting Angel Garza, NXTUK and then of course the NXT Women's Title for tonight's show on their website. It's believed that since the men are opening the show for the title that Rhea Ripley and Shayna Baszler will main event the show. It'll be up to NXT to put on intriguing content to keep those who tuned in for the opening to continue watching and not flip to TNT before the main event.
AEW quickly announced a tag match to open their show after the announcement of Balor vs. Cole dropped. AEW tweeted that Kenny Omega and Adam Page would take on The Lucha Bros to open the show. This is an exciting tag match and AEW played to their strengths here by opening with the tag division.
Also on the show per AEW Twitter account is Britt Baker vs. Kris Statlander with the winner becoming number one contender for the women's title, SCU vs. Young Bucks for the tag titles and Chris Jericho vs. Jungle Boy in a non title 10 min time limit match. It will be interesting to see if they go with Chris Jericho or the Young Bucks in the main event opposite the NXT women's title match.
Why are these show's countering each other's content are playing chess with formatting? It's because of how close the key demo ratings and viewership numbers have become. All wrestling fans watched AEW for nearly two months destroy NXT in the key and hold a nice lead in viewership. WWE then promoted NXT quite a bit during Survivor Series and since then NXT has put up a couple of viewership wins as well as closing the key demo gap. Let's take a look at the December numbers:
December 4th: AEW: 851k (.32 Key Demo), NXT: 845k (.29 Key Demo)
December 11th: AEW: 778k (.28 Key Demo), NXT: 778k (.24 Key Demo)
As you can see AEW has closed the gap to a .03/.04 in the Key Demo and the hope has to be that with the major title matches tonight that they can leap frog AEW in the key. AEW meanwhile has seen significant drops in the key demo since launching however still maintains top 15 cable show status.
Are you excited for Wrestling tonight? Which show will you be watching? Discuss these topics with me on Twitter @awesomephinatic and please listen to my weekly podcast RawViews on Podbean and here on WrestlingNewsWorld.