Report: Cody Rhodes Booked On NXT As WWE 'Really Wanted That Win' Over AEW Dynamite

WWE wanting a ratings win over AEW leads to Cody Rhodes booking

While his appearances are traditionally saved for Friday Night SmackDown, Undisputed WWE Champion Cody Rhodes was booked on the June 11 episode of NXT. Rhodes initially appeared in a segment with NXT Champion Trick Williams and he revealed that Trick's next challenger will be determined in a battle royal on next week's show. Cody then had a brief reunion backstage with fellow AEW alumni in Ethan Page, Shawn Spears, and Lexis King. 

Booking Rhodes on NXT was ultimately an attempt by WWE to beat AEW Dynamite in the ratings this week, according to Dave Meltzer on Wrestling Observer Radio. Dynamite had tough competition, airing head-to-head with game three of the NBA finals between the Boston Celtics and Dallas Mavericks. 

"Obviously the idea with Cody Rhodes was Dynamite was going head-to-head with the NBA and they really wanted that win," Meltzer said.    

WWE NXT did draw a higher total viewership than AEW Dynamite, averaging 718,000 viewers against Dynamite's 681,000. Dynamite still outdrew NXT in the key 18-49 demographic, however, with Wrestlenomics noting that the AEW show averaged 297,000 viewers in the 18-49 demo compared to NXT's 284,000. 

WWE and AEW have had an antagonistic relationship since All Elite Wrestling was founded in 2019. WWE NXT and AEW Dynamite previously went head-to-head in the Wednesday night wars until NXT moved to Tuesday nights in April 2021 after the WWE show was beaten in the ratings every week by Dynamite apart from one show in December 2019.

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Aidan Gibbons

Written by Aidan Gibbons

Editor-in-Chief of Cultaholic.com Twitter: @theaidangibbons