It has been 7 full months since AEW started its first show Dynamite on 1st October 2019 on TNT. Even though they got over a million viewers for the first few weeks, their ratings dropped significantly. As of now in June 2020 their ratings are varying between 600K-950K. The COVID-19 made things even more difficult for AEW, without a crowd the shows feel less lively.
But even before the COVID-19 pandemic they were getting around 750-950K viewers. Even great matches like Cody vs Wardlow steel cage, and Kenny Omega vs Pac Iron man match could not help cross the rating 1 million. Even Mike Tyson could not help cross the rating by 1 million.
So I have a few reasons why the ratings are not crossing the 1 million mark, I am listing them down below.
More Online Streaming
More people nowadays prefer to watch shows, movies online instead of paying for the cable provider. People love to watch shows and series on Netflix. Similarly, people also prefer to see wrestling online. Many WWE fans see their shows on the WWE network. Many AEW fans including myself watch Dynamite on apps such as FITE, Bleacher Report Live, etc. But as more people stream Dynamite online instead of watching it on TNT leads to lower ratings.
People Lost Interest in Wrestling in General
For around 20 years WWE was the only major wrestling show around. Casual fans like myself did not prefer to watch indy shows, NJPW or even TNA. WWE for all these years produced contents which are below par. Childish storylines and boring matches with PG restrictions. Due to WWE most people lost interest in wrestling altogether and do not think about watching AEW Dynamite as they might think it is something similar.
RVD referred All Elite Wrestling as “All Petite Wrestling” because most of the wrestlers are small. Back in the day wrestlers used to be HUGE, guys like Triple H, Test, Kane, Undertaker, The Rock, Stone Cold had amazing physique. All of them had both height and muscle mass. Most wrestlers in AEW do not have that, only a few such as Wardlow, Lance Arhcer, Brain Cage are big men. People love to watch big muscular men fight, it amazes them. People do not want to see out of shape skinny guys like Joey Jenella, Marko Stunt, Chuck (from the Best Friends), and others, hence they do not watch the show.
Too Much Nonsense
Tony Khan promised the people a sports-based presentation, serious wrestling. But most of it is turning into indy bullshit. We have to see garbage wrestlers such as Joey Jenella, Marko Stunt, Orange Cassidy who probably learned to wrestle in their backyard instead of going to a proper wrestling school. Obviously people are turned off by this nonsense and prefer not to tune in and watch AEW Dynamite.
Hopefully, AEW will get bigger wrestlers and improve their wrestling presentation. If they continue the way they are going their ratings are going to decline even more. At one point they will not be able to even beat NXT.