Report: Key WWE Figures In "Total Denial" Following Head-To-Head Ratings Loss To AEW Rampage, Believe It Was A Fluke

A muted reaction from Vince McMahon, though

AEW Rampage and WWE SmackDown went head-to-head for the first time on Friday, October 15. 

Rampage and SmackDown aired against each other for 30 minutes from 10 pm ET to 10:30 pm ET due to a supersized edition of SmackDown. While fast nationals initially noted the night as a ratings win for WWE, it emerged on Monday that Rampage had defeated SmackDown in the key 18-49 demographic, averaging 328,000 viewers to SmackDown's 285,000 during the 30-minute battle. SmackDown did draw more viewers overall, though, averaging 878,000 compared to 602,000 for Rampage. 

Following the ratings being published, Dave Meltzer reported in the Wrestling Observer Newsletter that key WWE figures were said to be in "total denial" and they made excuses similar to those expressed by Roman Reigns last week that AEW has a smaller, hardcore fanbase that will limit the company's growth. Individuals within WWE also simply believe AEW's ratings win was a "fluke".

Vince McMahon, however, was said to be calm when the ratings were published on Monday. Meltzer noted McMahon would have known it was close in the key demo from Saturday which could have contributed to his muted reaction. The WWE Chairman has come across as "very immature" in the past when WWE has drawn poor ratings. 

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Aidan Gibbons

Written by Aidan Gibbons

Editor-in-Chief of Cultaholic.com