CM Punk kicked off the debut episode of AEW Collision with a buzzworthy promo that included a quote from Warner Brothers Discovery President and CEO David Zaslav. According to Punk, the executive refers to him as “One Bill Phil” in part because he isn’t a “counterfeit Buck,” but it is also widely believed the line was regarding AEW’s upcoming TV rights fee renewal negotiations and how Punk’s drawing power could lead to a rumored one billion dollar deal for the young promotion. If that does come to fruition, it would likely be spread across several years, like WWE’s one billion dollar, five-year deals with Peacock and Fox.
To get that big bag of cash, AEW Dynamite and AEW Collision must meet a standard of success that impresses WBD executives. Reportedly, those executives view Collision ranking as a top five show in cable originals on Saturdays as a success, something it has been able to do all but one week so far, and that was for a pre-taped edition. With the viewership numbers for this past Saturday’s Collision coming in now, it looks as if AEW’s latest flagship show has once again met the expectations it has been given.
Wrestlenomics reports that this past Saturday’s episode of AEW Collision drew an average of 739,000 viewers, with about 354,000 in the coveted P18-49 demo most attractive to advertisers. It is the highest overall viewership and P18-49 viewership for the show since the debut episode on June 17, which drew an average of 816,000 viewers, with about 430,000 in the P18-49 demo. Compared to last week, Collision was up 20% in overall viewership and saw a 49% jump in the P18-49 demo.
The main event featuring MJF and Adam Cole battling FTR for the AEW World Tag Team Championships drew the highest quarter-hour viewership averaging 837,000 viewers. By comparison, AEW Dynamite’s highest quarter-hour on Wednesday, the third quarter, drew an average of 997,000 viewers and featured promos from Claudio Catagnoli, Jack Perry, and Britt Baker.
While no official rankings for Saturday night have been released, it seems all but assured Collision will again rank in the top five. With that said, Saturday night saw some stiff competition as the UFC 291 prelims were also playing out on ABC simultaneously.