NXT bags 1.18 million viewers on live debut and is ranked number four on U.S. cable

WALTER and Matt Riddle go at it on the debut episode of NXT

The numbers are in for NXT's opening show on the USA Network and the first signs are all promising ones.

WWE have broke new ground by placing their third brand on the same huge cable channel that broadcasts Monday Night Raw, and wrestling fans have responded positively to the debut two-hour episode.

Of course the second hour was shifted back to the WWE Network to accommodate the TV series Suits, but it was plagued with issues which meant a lot of people did not get to witness the likes of Pete Dunne, WALTER and Matt Riddle live.

The same situation will occur next week with an hour split between both platforms, but from October 2 it is full speed ahead on the USA Network, as they go head-to-head with All Elite Wrestling on TNT.

Dave Meltzer claimed a few months back that TNT would be happy with a viewership starting point of 400,000 for AEW's first shows, but that was before their first event - Double Or Nothing.

NXT meanwhile garnered 841,000 viewers for a stand-alone episode back in December 2018, and they recieved a bump on that number for their first two-hour show on Wednesday.

The advertising on Raw and SmackDown may have helped as they clocked a figure of 1.179 million for their one hour on USA - which is very respectable as a starting point.

The North American Championship match between Velveteen Dream and Roderick Strong brought in a solid first rating for NXT

That number meant that NXT was the fourth most-watched show on U.S. cable television on Wednesday night, with only American Horror Story, Basketball Wives and Black Ink Crew bettering them.

Triple H and co have certainly set a benchmark for Tony Khan to hit, and you can bet AEW will be hoping for a bit more than the 400,000 estimate they apparently set back in May.

They have established wrestling stars like Chris Jericho and Jon Moxley, but the likes of Kenny Omega will be new faces to the casual fan who may tune in, and it may be harder to grab those viewers when it's a wrestling promotion not under the WWE banner.

NXT though has another week to either better or worsen their rating going into the Wednesday Night Wars - and then the real battle begins.

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