At present, it is calculably apparent who is winning, present tense: AEW Dynamite.
Some underwhelming recent numbers aside, it is encouraging for TNT that Dynamite has retained much of its viewership; last year, the show took a battering during holidays and in the wake of real world events. That overall numbers have stabilised to the 700,000+ range, even on weeks in which those numbers aren't particularly impressive, indicates that AEW has secured itself a solid and committed base of younger viewers.
NXT is performing poorly in overall viewership and the key demo. In a more anecdotal sense, it has all but vanished from the online discourse. The action can still peak to great highs, and the booking has been focused and intricate in recent months, but the tone feels increasingly consistent with a main roster that is poison to star development. The last two decades - two decades - of WWE's output confirm that the conditions in which to become a star are hardly ideal.
The scripted promos; the regulated matches; the general soulless and muddied vibe cultivated by inconclusive finishes and slick production polish: for nearly 20 years, the WWE approach has conspired to create stars more by accident than design.
And here's the kicker: even if NXT somehow contrives to build a talismanic star capable of leading the brand to victory on Wednesday nights, that star will get immediately promoted to the main roster.
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