AEW defeat NXT in the first ratings battle of the Wednesday Night Wars

A collection of some of the leaders of AEW, including Tony Khan and Cody Rhodes

The numbers are in, and it proves that AEW's first weekly show was a resounding success.

There's skepticism with any new wrestling promotion, especially one that tries to go head-to-head with WWE, but there was a positive feel surrounding AEW - mainly due to the owner Tony Khan being a huge wrestling fan and also being extremely rich.

Weeks before AEW's first pay-per-view - Double Or Nothing - in May, Dave Meltzer stated that TNT would be happy with around 400,000 viewers for their weekly episodes to start with.

But considering their 'Road To Dynamite' preview episode the night before saw 631,000 people tune in, it was a very positive sign that the actual episode of Dynamite would draw much, much bigger.

And that it did, and it has trumped WWE in the first ratings battle of the Wednesday Night Wars.

ShowBuzzDaily have released the figures and it shows that Dynamite's two-hour show drew a total of 1,409,000 viewers live in the United States, compared to NXT's figure of 891,000 on the USA Network.

Jake Hager's AEW debut and alliance with Chris Jericho closed the first episode of Dynamite

NXT's previous two weeks have seen only one hour shown on television, and the other on the WWE Network, and week-on-week the numbers have decreased from 1,179,000 to just under 900,000.

That's a bit of a significant drop, and compared to its first week when it was number four on cable for the evening, NXT was 10th last night.

Only a Major League Baseball game could defeat AEW though, who saw 560,000 of their viewers in the key 18-34 demographic, compared to NXT's 230,000.

NXT may have been banking on Finn Balor's shock return to bring in a higher number than the previous two weeks but it didn't work - however it is very early on in the battle, but AEW have landed the first blow.

Finn Balor meanwhile was one of two surprise returns to NXT last night

And in a classy move, WWE have actually released a statement congratulating AEW on their successful launch of Dynamite.

They stated that the real winner on the night were 'the fans, who can expect Wednesday nights to be a competitive and wild ride as this is a marathon, not a one-night sprint'.

That was released before the official numbers came out, but you could tell they knew AEW had trumped them on night one.

This is just the beginning though, and the bigger picture will become clearer in the coming weeks and months to see who has the stronger brand.

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