WWE Hall-of-Famer President Donald Trump struck a blow not only against American democracy on Wednesday, but also on his former colleagues in the pro wrestling business. A rampaging mob of Trump's dangerously moronic and gullible supporters ransacked the U.S. Capitol building on Wednesday afternoon in an attempt to disrupt Congressional proceedings to verify President-Elect Joe Biden's defeat of Trump in the presidential election by millions of votes. The mob was spurred on by Trump's nonstop stream of lies, including a live speech telling them to go to the Capitol shortly before the incident. In the aftermath, Americans were glued to cable news and the ratings for AEW Dynamite and WWE NXT were down as a result.
Though both shows suffered from viewers tuning in to the news, it affected them in different ways. For AEW Dynamite, coming off high ratings last week for the Brodie Lee tribute show, ratings and viewership were down, with 662,000 viewers tuning in and a .25 in the 18-49 demographic, which is particularly low for Dynamite. This happened despite a star-studded New Years Smash show that had a guest appearance by Snoop Dogg, an appearance by Sting, and the first AEW Championship defense since Kenny Omega won the title.
NXT's ratings, because they were so low last week, were still up despite the show losing to AEW. NXT had 641,000 viewers with a .16 in 18-49. ShowBuzz Daily's ratings charts are delayed due to last week's holiday, so we don't yet know where either show ranked, though Dave Meltzer had the numbers for Dynamite and NXT in the latest edition of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter. However, based on past ratings during the Summer protests last year and during the election, and during Tuesday's George runoff elections, we can guess that the Top 25 spots at least were dominated by cable news while all other programming was down.
Donald Trump's association with WWE goes back decades, with WrestleMania 4 and 5 taking place at Trump Plaza in Atlantic City. Trump was also featured in the main event of WrestleMania 23. The McMahon family donated millions of dollars to Trump's election and reelection efforts, earning Linda McMahon a spot on the cabinet. Shad Khan, father of Tony Khan and owner of AEW, also financially supported Trump's rise to power. Khan broke with Trump over social issues during his presidency but continued to praise his handling of the economy as recently as 2019.