Rhea Ripley vs. Shayna Baszler Helps WWE NXT Beat AEW Dynamite in Ratings

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistDecember 19, 2019

Photo credit: WWE.com.

After WWE NXT and AEW Dynamite were dead even in viewership last week, NXT scored the victory this week in the latest chapter of the Wednesday Night War.

Both NXT and AEW averaged 778,000 viewers last week, and with stiff competition in the form of the news of President Donald Trump's impeachment this week, NXT averaged 795,000 viewers compared to 683,000 for AEW, per the Pro Wrestling Torch.

The Torch added that NXT won "adult and young male demographics for [the] first time across the board."

Wednesday's episode of NXT was arguably one of its biggest and best since making the move from WWE Network to USA Network. The show was a newsworthy one that was bookended by a pair of huge championship matches.

NXT started with the NXT Championship match between Adam Cole and Finn Balor. Cole won the match when a distraction from Johnny Gargano allowed him to hit Balor with a low blow. After the match, Gargano got revenge on Balor by hitting him with a steel chair.

The main event of the show pitted NXT women's champion Shayna Baszler against Rhea Ripley. Despite interference from Jessamyn Duke and Marina Shafir, Ripley beat Baszler to become the new NXT Women's champion.

In addition to becoming the first person to hold both the NXT and NXT UK Women's titles, Ripley ended Baszler's 416-day reign, which was the second-longest in the history of the title.

Other NXT matches included Cameron Grimes upsetting Kushida, Io Shirai defeating Santana Garrett, Damian Priest getting revenge on Killian Dain and Pete Dunne getting past Travis Banks.

AEW Dynamite was headlined by a Tag Team Championship match between SCU and The Young Bucks. SCU won the match to retain, but the show didn't end there as The Dark Order attacked both teams, as well as Cody, Dustin Rhodes and Kenny Omega.

Also, Jungle Boy lasted 10 minutes with AEW World champion Chris Jericho, The Lucha Brothers defeated Omega and Adam "Hangman" Page, Cody and Darby Allin beat The Butcher and The Blade, and Kris Statlander continued her impressive run by beating Britt Baker. 

Since next week's shows land on Christmas Day, neither NXT nor AEW will air live episodes, although NXT did advertise an open challenge from North American champion Roderick Strong and a tag team match with Keith Lee and Lio Rush facing Priest and Tony Nese.


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