On a recent episode of his weekly ‘Hall of Fame’ podcast, 2-time WWE Hall of Famer Booker T spoke about the declining TV viewership & ratings for AEW Collision.
Last Saturday’s Collision drew 345,000 viewers with a 0.11 rating in the 18-49 demo, which is down from previous week’s 552,000 viewers with a 0.16 rating.
This episode happened on the same day CM Punk was fired from AEW and the show went head-to-head with WWE’s Payback premium live event.
Here’s what the former 5-time WCW World Heavyweight Champion said about the show losing almost 200,000 viewers in a week:
“It hasn’t been around long enough to have history a part of it. To be fair, that show has been dropping since its inception, right? I think the last two ratings that went out were in the threes like 376 thousand and now what. It was really just a bad night for wrestling. As well as, the way it was structured. Certain guys could be on the show, and certain guys couldn’t be on the show.
I think that kind of like henpecked them, put them in a position where they only had so much to work with. So I don’t know if that show is going to last too much longer. I do know they’re spending money to make it happen. I know that show is not happening for free or anything like that. So I don’t know. I don’t know. CM Punk definitely, if that many people dropped off, CM Punk was definitely a part of that, that of the viewer base that was watching the show.
Look I mean, we all know CM Punk has his fans. I mean, you say something — I said the smallest little bit of things from a constructive aspect about CM Punk, CM Punk fans to just come after me like with Razor’s Edge, you know what I mean? Daggers, just want to kill me. So, CM Punk has an abundance of fans out there. I’m sure CM Punk being fired from AEW is going to affect them in some way, in some form, just because they had always been trying to crash that million viewer ceiling.
And they did it a couple of times, and I think they did it with CM Punk. And I think, CM Punk even said they drew their biggest house on his back. So I think it’s going to be a significant drop-off without CM Punk. How big? We’re going to find out. Tony Khan kind of backed himself into this situation, though. I mean, I don’t think Tony Khan has anybody to blame but himself.
Not trying to bring Tony Khan, he backed himself into this situation, hiring CM Punk, pretty much giving him the keys to the castle and saying, ‘Man, whatever you want because we’re looking for ratings. We need the ratings’. And he got what he paid for. It’s just that simple.”
Booker T wrestled for Ted Turner’s World Championship Wrestling from 1993 until the company was bought by Vince McMahon in March 2001, and jumped ship right away, coming into the World Wrestling Federation as the reigning WCW World Heavyweight Champion a few months later.
He wrestled for the WWF (renamed WWE in May 2002) until 2007 and then joined Dixie Carter’s Total Nonstop Action! (TNA) until late 2009 and eventually returned to WWE in 2011 as a part time wrestler and color commentator, among other non-wrestling roles.
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