WWE tried their best to counter program AEW with an EVOLVE special and then NXT on a weekly basis. It turns out that did not work at all. In fact, it might have only complicated things for WWE.
The fact that WWE rushed to get NXT on the USA Network two weeks before AEW’s October 2nd debut might have done them more harm than good. The Wrestling Observer Newsletter noted that NXT’s decline in ratings over the first three weeks of the show on the USA Network might have been contributed to fans already getting a chance to see what NXT is all about.
WWE might have also caused even more fans to not watch their live broadcast because the program will be available on the WWE Network the next day. No matter how well AEW did in the ratings, it’s still impossible to ignore WWE’s influence.
Another aspect is the quick replay, on Thursday night on the WWE Network, probably does them no good. But at the same time, AEW had a replay at 10 p.m. that night, available in 90 million homes instead of 1.2 million U.S. homes the next night, so all things considered, that was not an AEW advantage.
The Wednesday Night wars are just beginning and you know WWE is looking for an eventual win in the ratings. They could be likely to try any number of tricks to entice viewers, but their attempts to stop AEW before they could get going haven’t worked out so far.