Top Star Leaving NJPW?, NXT Ratings For 2002
In this issue we look at NXT TV ratings for 2022, as well as Jay White's NJPW contract reportedly ending soon.
Big Backstage Updates On 'Switchblade' Jay White And His Future
BY DAKOTA COHEN / JAN. 10, 2023
Jay White recently dropped the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship to Kazuchika Okada in the main event of New Japan Pro-Wrestling's Wrestle Kingdom 17 — shortly thereafter, White challenged former Bullet Club stablemate Hikuleo to a Loser Leaves Japan match, which has officially been scheduled for The New Beginning In Osaka on February 11. While White would go in as the favorite based on past accomplishments, White's contract may expire sooner than some have been led to believe, according to Fightful Select. This may lead to Hikuleo — who WWE are reportedly currently interested in — walking away with the victory.
With White's contract reportedly coming to an end "relatively soon," both AEW and WWE have expressed interest in the two-time IWGP World Heavyweight Champion. Those within WWE are seemingly confident he would choose to sign with them over AEW. WWE has reportedly expressed interest in White for well over a year, before his second reign with the IWGP world title. While WWE's interest has been confirmed by White, he has stated in a prior interview with Fightful that AEW had not approached him.
A Look At WWE NXT TV Ratings In 2022
BY RAJ GIRI / JAN. 10, 2023
WWE NXT averaged 630,000 viewers in 2022, which excludes two episodes that aired on SyFy in February due to the Olympics. That is down 7% from the 672,000 viewers that the show averaged in 2021.
NXT averaged a 0.14 P18-49 rating in 2022, which again excludes the two episodes that aired on SyFy. That is down 18% from the 0.17 P18-49 rating NXT averaged in 2021.
You can see NXT ratings since 2020 below, which was the first full year on the USA Network:
NXT On Tuesdays vs. Wednesdays (Against AEW)
AEW saw a significant ratings increase when NXT moved to Tuesday nights on April 13, 2021. NXT also saw a short-term bump after the move, however it quickly subsided.
For the 52 weeks before NXT moved to Tuesdays, against head-to-head competition with “AEW Dynamite”, the show averaged 681,000 viewers with a 0.18 P18-49 rating. For the 52 weeks after, NXT averaged 657,000 viewers (-4%) and a 0.16 P18-49 rating (-11%), so the show fared better when it was head-to-head with AEW.
NXT 1.0 vs. NXT 2.0
NXT rebranded to NXT 2.0 on September 15, 2021, although elements of the black-and-gold returned last September. The 52 episodes of the black-and-gold NXT before the rebranding averaged 684,000 viewers with a 0.17 P18-49 rating. The 52 episodes after the rebranding averaged 625,000 viewers (-9%) with a 0.14 P18-49 rating (-18%), so the prior reincarnation of NXT fared better.
We will look at AEW Dynamite 2022 ratings tomorrow.
WINC Podcast (1/9): WWE Raw Review, WrestleMania, Steve Austin
Quote Of The Day
Saraya speaking to DJ Whoo Kid on speculation that Mercedes Monè will be her partner on AEW Dynamite this Wednesday:
"I don't know. I wish I knew that… Even Meech, my manager, is constantly asking, and I'm like, 'I have no idea.' I asked Tony Khan like, 'What's the deal?”'
"I would love to [wrestle her] in AEW because I'm there. Tony has a good relationship with New Japan and he loves New Japan. Sasha, I texted her the other day just to be like, 'Congratulations.' She said that she was happy."
Mandy Rose spoke about her WWE firing during an appearance on "The Tamron Hall Show." Rose stated that she was “forever grateful” for the opportunities WWE presented her, but admitted that she was “very hurt.”
Tully Blanchard revealed that he is no longer under contract with either AEW or ROH.
Ronda Rousey admitted during a recent YouTube livestream that “everything’s in a little bit in flux with the WWE right now.”
NJPW announced Monday night that it sold out its upcoming “Battle in the Valley” pay-per-view event in San Jose, California, which is Mercedes Moné debut match for the promotion. Moné vs. KAIRI for the new IWGP Women's Championship has been the only match announced for the show so far.
After Monday’s RAW, confirmed Royal Rumble participants include Seth Rollins, Theory, Bobby Lashley, Kofi Kingston, Santos Escobar and Ricochet for the men’s Rumble, and Rhea Ripley, Candice LeRae and Liv Morgan for the women’s.
Karl Fredericks has been one of the more impressive talents to come out of NJPW's Los Angeles Dojo, but ever since his NJPW contract expired last August, he's been largely missing in action. However, he was spotted at a WWE Performance Center tryout late last year, and sure enough, PWInsider now reports that Fredericks has signed with WWE and reported for duty to the Performance Center as part of the "NXT" brand.
Andrade El Idolo posted the tweet below with a photo of his black mask, which he wore during his entrances before AEW matches, in a bag along with this brief message: "BYE."
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