The Wednesday Night War: Is NXT or AEW Winning? - Triple Threat POV | Smark Out Moment

The Wednesday Night War: Is NXT or AEW Winning? - Triple Threat POV

Posted by Dallas Allsopp Thursday, September 17, 2020
Welcome to another edition of Triple Threat from Smark Out Moment, where three of us get together to discuss three questions based on one big topic going down in the week of professional wrestling.

This week, Dallas Allsopp, Bodeen Green and Matt Morgan discuss who is winning the Wednesday Night War.

NXT and AEW are currently locked in a bitter battle for supremacy during the Wednesday Night War. Both shows are fun to watch, however AEW consistently has the better ratings. Are ratings all important? Which show is currently winning? And can both shows succeed independent of each other?

Question 1: AEW Dynamite consistently has better ratings than NXT. Are ratings the be all and end all of a show's success?

ALLSOPP: Usually ratings are perceived as the be all and end all in determining how successful a show is. But what needs to be considered in this situation is how each show is presented. Dynamite is AEW's premier show, whereas NXT is the so called development brand of WWE. Both shows are achieving acceptable ratings, but AEW achieving better ratings does not indicate the show is more successful.

GREEN: Ratings are definitely not everything. Unlike the Monday Night Wars, people watch programming very differently, be it through watching highlights online, reading live results on websites such as ourselves, or just watching later through the WWE network or other streaming services. This is especially a valid option for those living in Europe or other parts of the world where watching prime time American programming is difficult due to time zone differences. As long as both shows continue to attract regular numbers and gain more viewers, they can continue to be successful.

MORGAN: Ratings are not the only definitive standard that can be used to validate either show’s success. Ratings can help fans understand which program was viewed more as it aired live. However, there are so many other factors that contribute to a show being successful. Quality of storylines, in-ring action, fan participation and other aspects of a wrestling program also need to be taken into consideration.

Question 2: Which company do you believe is currently winning the Wednesday Night War? Who is the biggest contributor to this?

GREEN: Without a doubt at the moment, AEW is winning the Wednesday Night War, mainly due to them being an alternative for those who have stopped watching WWE. However, the next stages of the Wednesday Night War will be very interesting as both shows have seen established names as their respective World Champion, with NXT having Adam Cole and Finn Balor whilst AEW has crowned Jon Moxley and Chris Jericho. As both shows will be forced to push new names as World Champions, anyone can start winning the war.

MORGAN: I would say that AEW is winning at the current moment, although I don’t believe it’s one singular performer who is responsible for AEW’s current success. Overall, the promotion is still in it's days of infancy. Being able to watch a company grow and develop every single week is really special. In contrast, NXT has been around for over eight years. It’s an established brand that people are used to. People want something fresh and new, and AEW is in a better position to provide that to wrestling fans at this point.

ALLSOPP: I would say AEW is currently winning the Wednesday Night War, primarily due to the fact that they are perceived as a viable alternative to WWE. This has been achieved through great wrestling and more mature storylines, with Chris Jericho and Cody standing out in particular for putting AEW on the map. Both of them have put on some of the best work of their careers, which has in turn given AEW a level of legitimacy.

Question 3: Has the recent schedule conflict proved that both shows can succeed on their own nights without direct competition?

MORGAN: There is not a doubt in my mind that both shows can be successful without direct competition. NXT still has a loyal fanbase, and the promotion will always have fans who check out the product no matter which night it airs. AEW has also garnered enough attention and interest that people will want to check it out whether it airs against NXT or not. It’s more fun and exciting when the shows are head to head from a fan perspective. Ultimately though, direct competition isn’t needed for each show to do well.

ALLSOPP: Both shows succeeded whilst running unopposed, which indicates that their respective fans are fairly loyal. It would also help fans who have an interest in both companies to access the shows much more easily as there would be less of a need to DVR the show they don't prioritise. There would still be a war as such due to the fact NXT is the closest match to Dynamite in terms of match quality and storylines, but Dynamite running unopposed would allow it to be compared more favourably to Raw and SmackDown.

GREEN: Both companies have shown they can be extremely successful on their own, even evidencing that they can flourish more as fans can watch both shows unopposed. Whilst the competition between both shows would die down a little, there would still be a competitive edge for both companies.

Those are our thoughts on the issue, but where do you stand?
Let us know your answers to these questions in the comments below!

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Dallas Allsopp is a writer with two main interests, Pokemon and wrestling. He has been writing for a few years for his own personal blogs and is now taking his passion for wrestling and putting it into his writing. You can follow him on Facebook.


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