Movies & TV Shows

Should WWE & AEW Worry About The NFL Stealing Viewers & Hurting Ratings?

The September 12 episode of Monday Night Raw ran up against NFL’s Monday Night Football broadcast. Should WWE or AEW worry about football’s return?


The NFL’s regular season is officially underway, so AEW and, more specifically, WWE will have more competition for attention and eyeballs in the coming months. Monday Night Raw will compete directly with the weekly Monday Night Football broadcasts on ESPN. The football league will also have a handful of options to offer fans throughout the rest of the week. Just because there isn’t more direct competition for attention during live broadcasts doesn’t mean that the NFL starting its regular season won’t offer a significant challenge for public attention, however.

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American football is, in a word, huge in the United States, occupying a massive chunk of fans’ free time. There are only so many hours to dedicate to watching sports, and that’s the area of more casual fans’ lives wrestling tends to occupy. It’s also a tremendous time commitment to watch everything that both WWE and AEW offer. Adding a full slate of NFL games to the mix dramatically compromises that ability to stay up on all things wrestling.

Related: Ronda Rousey & Shayna Baszler: Perfect Next Step In WWE Women’s Revolution

During the most recent episode of Wrestling Observer Radio, Dave Meltzer weighed in on whether or not the NFL returning will impact ratings for AEW and WWE. “[The September 12 Raw] went against the start of Monday Night Football. Which will be interesting to see how that affects it. When wrestling is really hotI mean, it’s still going to affect it. But when wrestling is really hot, football does not affect it as much as when wrestling is cold. When wrestling is cold, football affects it a lot. So [WWE] may not be as down as many people are thinking. But we’ll see.


Could NFL Be A Problem For AEW?

Meltzer’s comments about the NFL impacting wrestling when it’s cold were interesting. Between AEW and WWE, All Elite has been perceived as the chillier product since Triple H took over for Vince McMahon in late July. Raw’s ratings have been picking up steam, while Friday Night SmackDown seems to have more interest lately than in recent memory.

Meanwhile, Wednesday Night Dynamite is struggling to recapture the magic it had at this same time in 2021. CM Punk was still fresh with the company and hadn’t gone scorched Earth on the EVPs or injured himself during two World Championship matches. AEW doesn’t compete with the NFL directly on Wednesday or Friday nights but shifted the upcoming Full Gear pay-per-view to a Saturday (November 19), presumably to avoid competition from football on Sunday. Triple H’s track record suggests he’s not opposed to running WWE shows against AEW’s pay-per-view that weekend. It’ll be interesting to see how the NFL impacts both wrestling promotions, if at all.

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Source: Wrestling Observer Radio

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