AEW Dynamite Headlined by Sting Appearance Beats WWE NXT in Ratings Battle

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistDecember 10, 2020

IMAGE DISTRIBUTED FOR WWE - WWE Superstar Sting makes his first ever WrestleMania appearance at Levi’s Stadium on Sunday, March 29, 2015 in Santa Clara, CA. WrestleMania broke the Levi’s Stadium attendance record at 76,976 fans from all 50 states and 40 countries. (Don Feria/AP Images for WWE)
Don Feria/Associated Press

One week after he debuted, Sting helped AEW Dynamite beat WWE NXT in the Wednesday night ratings battle.

According to Showbuzz Daily, Dynamite averaged 995,000 viewers on TNT, compared to 659,000 for NXT on USA Network.

Sting made his shocking arrival in All Elite Wrestling on Dec. 2, which came with no prior fanfare. As a result, it's hard to say how much of Dynamite's 913,000 average viewers were drawn to that dramatic moment. Sports Illustrated's Justin Barrasso reported some inside AEW were hopeful of getting 1 million-plus to tune in Wednesday, with the benefit of being able to advertise Sting's presence.

The WWE Hall of Famer didn't go in depth regarding his purpose in AEW but appeared to tease a possible collision with Cody.

All Elite Wrestling @AEW

The only thing for sure about @sting...is nothing is for sure. Watch #AEWDynamite NOW on @TNTDrama. #AEWonTNT https://t.co/HGtKsoqsOG

Sting wasn't the only massive star to interact with a member of the Rhodes family.

Shaquille O'Neal gave a sit-down interview with Tony Schiavone alongside Brandi Rhodes in which he spoke about Jade Cargill's backstage attack on Brandi, which left her with a significant arm injury. O'Neal said he'll be there when Cargill and Brandi eventually clash with one another.

The interview ended badly when O'Neal suggested to Brandi that she could "get some pointers" from Cargill while recuperating. Brandi responded by throwing a glass of water in his face.

The Inner Circle looked to be on the brink of dissolution during Dynamite a week ago. The faction remains as one, but it may still be an uneasy alliance between the original group and newest additions MJF and Wardlow.

MJF prevailed in the main event, defeating Orange Cassidy to claim the Dynamite Diamond. He got some help from Miro, who delivered a massive clothesline to Cassidy that allowed MJF to get the pinfall.

NXT saw a pair of big returns as Finn Balor and Karrion Kross were back in the Capitol Wrestling Center.

Balor opened the show, with the NXT champion confirming he'll put the title belt on the line at New Year's Evil on Jan. 6. Naturally, a number of challengers stepped up to make their case as Pete Dunne, Kyle O'Reilly and Damian Priest took to the microphone. However, Scarlett provided a surprise when she approached Balor on the entrance ramp.

Not content to let the situation end there, Priest told Scarlett that Kross should "step to me like a man" if he had something to say. Kross did exactly that later in the show.

A feud between Kross and Priest would probably be a welcome sight for Balor since it would mean their focus is turned away from the champion for the time being.

Elsewhere on NXT, Tommaso Ciampa earned a victory over Cameron Grimes, and Raquel Gonzalez rode the momentum from her team's WarGames win to defeat Ember Moon in the main event.