This past Saturday night, All Elite Wrestling presented its first episode of AEW: Collision following the termination of its central focus, CM Punk. The show started off with AEW President Tony Khan addressing the fans at home with a pre-taped address, explaining he had been advised to terminate Punk, real name Phil Brooks, after a backstage altercation between The Second City Saint and Jack Perry at AEW: All In London. It was headlined by Punk’s CMFTR stablemate, Dax Harwood, unsuccessfully taking on Bullet Club Gold’s Jay White.
The news of Punk’s termination from the company broke a few hours before Collision hit the airwaves, and many wondered if the news would draw interest from fans or turn some off who enjoyed seeing the “Real AEW World Champion” on Saturday nights. This week’s installment of Collision also faced stiff competition from WWE Payback, whose first two hours went directly head-to-head with the show. There was also the LSU vs. Flordia State college football game going on at the same time on ABC.
Wrestlenomics reports that this week’s episode of AEW: Collision drew an average of 345,000 viewers, with about 144,000 of those in the coveted P18 – 49 demographic. This is the lowest viewership so far for Collision, which has thus far presented twelve episodes, with one going up against WWE SummerSlam. It was down 38% in overall viewership from last week and 29% in the P18 – 49 demo.
The highest viewership for the show came for the first quarter hour, which featured Khan’s statement regarding Punk’s termination, along with the angle setting up Bryan Danielson vs. Ricky Starks for AEW: All Out. That quarter hour drew an overall average of 472,000 viewers, with about 234,000 of those in the P18 – 49 demo.
The overrun of the show, featuring the conclusion of Harwood vs. White and an appearance from The Young Bucks, saw a 19% bump from a show-low final quarter-hour, ending the episode with an average overall viewership of 290,000 fans, with about 133,000 of those in the P18 – 49 demo.