This past Saturday night, AEW Collision officially debuted on TNT and CM Punk kicked things off with a lively promo alluding to his issues with The ELITE, while also trying to look forward to things like an AEW World Title match against MJF. Later in the show, The Second City Saint teamed with FTR in the main event to take on ROH TV Champion Samoa Joe and Bullet Club Gold’s “Switchblade” Jay White and Juice Robinson. In the end, CMFTR picked up the win, sending the Chicago crowd home happy.
A lot is at stake when it comes to AEW: Collision’s success, which is reportedly key to the upcoming TV rights negotiations between Warner Brothers Discovery and All Elite Wrestling. If Tony Khan is able to prove that AEW is capable of presenting two, big-ticket, flagship shows each week, along with Rampage and AEW: All Access, the promotion could be in line for a new deal that could be around one billion dollars, something Punk also alluded to in his opening promo.
Wrestlenomics has just released the official TV ratings information for the debut episode and the show drew 816,000 viewers with about 430,000 of those in the coveted 18 – 49 demographic. Collision was ranked number three for the day in cable originals and took fourth place when it comes to broadcast primetime viewership.
By comparison, Dynamite drew 832,000 viewers this past Wednesday, a slightly higher amount than Collision, but when it came to the 18 – 49 demo, Collision eeked out a win with a .33 compared to Dynamite’s .30. The last time Dynamite exceeded the .33 rating in the 18 – 49 demo was back on March 22.
Collision effectively debuting in the same ballpark as Dynamite can only be viewed as a win for the company. With both shows operating at the same level, it is possible that, if things heat up, they could push each other even higher. A rising tide lifts all ships, as they say. According to Wrestletix, AEW has already seen a significant increase in ticket sales for upcoming Collision tapings following this past weekend’s critically acclaimed first episode.