There was a lot of talk over the ratings battle between WWE and AEW last week when Friday Night SmackDown on FS1 went head-to-head with Rampage on TNT for 30-minutes.
As expected, SmackDown did more total viewers than Rampage, but they tied overall in the 18-49 demographic. AEW beat them in the 18-49 male demo with a 0.34 to 0.32 rating and also topped the rival show in the 30-minutes that they went head-to-head in the key demographic.
Dave Meltzer reported in the latest edition of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter that Vince McMahon was said to not be mad in front of anyone backstage at Monday Night Raw over the ratings. In the past, McMahon is said to come across as very immature when ratings have come out in recent weeks and not favorable to WWE.
The WWE Chairman was said to be anything but that when these numbers came out. Per the report, McMahon likely knew that the key demos would be close when seeing how the shows did in the fast nations so it wasn’t a surprise to him when the final numbers came out two days later.
Regarding other reactions in the company, it was said that the ratings were not a hot topic among those backstage at Raw just like WWE Producer Shane Helms said. Instead, they were focused on TV that night and the trip to Saudi Arabia.
Key personnel was said to be in total denial when it came to the numbers and the reaction among them was similar to what WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns recently said, which were basically how WWE appeals to more people instead of a small hardcore fanbase that AEW has.
SmackDown returns to FOX this Friday, but next week will be back on FS1. AEW Rampage will go head-to-head with an edition of Talking Smack that night.