Since October 2019, multiple wrestling promotions have started releasing their own original weekly programming via YouTube.
While WWE (NXT) and AEW have been trading ratings victories on-air, they have also been at war on the digital front.
For this particular list, we are looking specifically at AEW DARK, NWA Powerrrr and MLW Fusion. We break down how each program performed week-to-week, what the trends tell us and how the shows competed overall.
WWE/NXT does not release full-length episodes on their YT so we did not include them in the list. However rest assured, there is no one in the market who comes even remotely close to WWE’s YouTube numbers.
Between October 8-December 16, the WWE YouTube channel has been viewed more than 1.7B times!
Other weekly shows such as Beyond Wrestling’s “Uncharted Territory” were not included only because their episodes are released outside of YouTube.
Here is a breakdown of the YouTube Wrestling wars of 2019!
|AEW Dark Ep1||10/08/19||1,033,531|
|AEW Dark Ep2||10/15/19||1,112,080||+78,549|
|AEW Dark Ep3||10/22/19||756,360||-355,720|
|AEW Dark Ep4||10/29/19||676,350||-80,010|
|AEW Dark Ep5||11/05/19||627,282||-49,068|
|AEW Dark Ep6||11/08/19||445,780||-181,502|
|AEW Dark Ep7||11/19/19||460,580||+14,800|
|AEW Dark Ep8||11/30/19||134,408||-326,172|
|AEW Dark Ep9||12/03/19||471,088||+336,680|
|AEW Dark Ep10||12/10/19||412,106||-58,182|
Keep in mind most shows will see a significant dip after their debut before establishing a base audience. While AEW started out very strong, they have dropped 60.13% between Episode 1 and Episode 10.
On average, AEW Dark nets 612,597 views which puts them well ahead of programs like NWA Dark & MLW Fusion. AEW also has the highest growing wrestling YouTube channel out of the ones on this list.
|Powerrr Ep9||12/03/19||194,896||*Too recent|
NWA Powerrr drew the attention of viewers with a throwback, nostalgia look reminiscent of 1980s NWA in Atlanta. The theme really looked to resonate with fans at the get-go but a series of miscues have slowed NWA’s momentum at times (see the Jim Cornette fiasco relating to Episode 7 as proof).
Since debuting back on Tuesday October 8th, NWA has seen a 66% drop in total YouTube viewership. While averaging a respectable 267,360 views per episode, their viewership is 56% less than what AEW is producing on a weekly basis.
This has however been a positive week for NWA after premiering their Into the Fire PPV on Fite TV. Look for the promotion to continue producing new weekly YT shows in 2020.
|MLW Fusion Ep78||10/07/19||77,021|
|MLW Fusion Ep79||10/14/19||50,411||-26,610|
|MLW Fusion Ep80||10/19/19||63,402||+12,991|
|MLW Fusion Ep81||10/26/19||57,575||-5,827|
|MLW Fusion Ep82||11/02/19||50,905||-6,670|
|MLW Fusion Ep83||11/11/19||57,619||+6,714|
|MLW Fusion Ep84||11/16/19||46,738||-10,881|
|MLW Fusion Ep85||11/23/19||40,946||-5,792|
|MLW Fusion Ep86||11/28/19||59,305||+18,359|
|MLW Fusion Ep87||12/07/19||41,082||-18,223|
|MLW Fusion Ep88||12/14/19||30,187||*Too Recent|
Currently MLW Fusion averages 52,290 views per show. That comes out to about 20% of an average NWA Powerrr episode.
Other promotions also tried their hand at weekly TV programming but were not consistent enough to make the cut.
For example, Championship Wrestling From Hollywood previously launched a big promotional campaign for their new paid TV slot on ABC-13 in Houston. They also uploaded these episodes via the United Wrestling Network channel.
We can only verify a few episodes of CWFH appearing on abc13 Houston, since then the show quickly changed time slots to an even later period and then disappeared from the television guide altogether. CWFH released Houston-based episodes on YT up to the 16th of November 2019.
This is how the episodes performed on YouTube during that time:
|CWFH Houston Ep1||10/07/19||895|
|CWFH Houston Ep2||10/14/19||631||-213|
|CWFH Houston Ep3||10/21/19||1,411||+771|
|CWFH Houston Ep4||10/31/19||539||-650|
|CWFH Houston Ep5||11/07/19||560||-15|
|CWFH Houston Ep6||11/11/19||451||-109|
|CWFH Houston Ep7||11/16/19||549||+98|
CWFH Houston Edition ended the year averaging 719 views an episode with just over 5,000 total views.