For WWE, it's hard to measure what of their first-run content is the most viewed of the year. They're media juggernauts, and most of their Raw, Smackdown or NXT videos don't crack their top 100 after over a decade's worth of content. Fortunately, WWE release their own top 10 most viewed original content video. Oddly, they did it on December 2. It didn't make much of a difference, as nothing in December reached that benchmark. Their top 10 list was also very honest, and reflected the actual rankings, except for Becky Lynch's case, where the birth of her child surged the views to put her higher on the list.
It does seem like WWE avoids redundancy in some cases, and opts to only put one video from each storyline on the list.
- Edge returns at Royal Rumble (23,399,742)
- Retribution swarm Braun Strowman (19,162,460)
- Braun Strowman flips over Miz and Morrison's van (15,880,366)
- Roman Reigns dishes out dog food to King Corbin (13,241,982
- Dominik Mysterio fights off Seth Rollins & Murphy (9,486,106)
- Mandy Rose debuts her new look, attacks Sonya Deville (8,412,228)
- Goldberg spears the Fiend (6,123,817)
- Braun Strowman uses Alexa Bliss to entice the Fiend (6,044,453)
- Seth Rollins & Murphy brutalize Dominik Mysterio with Kendo sticks (5,887,325)
- Becky Lynch Announce's She's Pregnant (5,716,642)
- Aftermath of Randy Orton's Assault on Edge (5,550,005)
- Goldberg Spears Wyatt 4 times (5,445,536)
The Dominik, Rey Mysterio, Seth Rollins and Murphy angle had five clips that all landed over 4M viewers, which goes beyond statistical anomaly into bonafide, proven Youtube draw.
WWE had a "hero in all of us" video that drew 2.5M for English language, and 5M for international, as well. A year-old Roman Reigns vs. Bobby Roode match drew 5.7M.The 2019 Survivor Series brand warfare full match did 6.8M million a full year later.
As far as original content, the numbers for WWE are far less impressive in the top 10 than the year prior. In 2019, Goldberg hit the tenth-most with 9.2M views, which would have put him at sixth in 2020. Shane McMahon, Cain Velasquez, Ronda Rousey, Dean Ambrose and others that ended up on the 2019 list were gone all of 2020, and Goldberg, Brock Lesnar, Undertaker, and Becky Lynch would all be absent or leave by the time May rolled around.
Although it wasn't a big year for original videos for ROH's Youtube, it was a big year for their Youtube. Last year's review of their output read as abysmal, which couldn't be further from the truth. They have dipped into their robust archives and done huge numbers for things like Tyler Black vs. Kevin Steen (1.9M) and Lio Rush vs. Punishment Martinez (4.6M). In fact, well beyond their top ten overall videos this year are archived content, to the point it likely paid for the person they hired to reinvigorate it.
- EC3 Puts ROH Roster on notice (198,000)
- Is This The Craziest Battle Royal in ROH History? (94,000)
- Mike Bennett returns to ROH (91,000)
- Free Enterprise Battle Royal (78,000)
- EC3 & Briscoes vs. Shane Taylor & SOS (75,000)
It should be noted that many of ROH's clips wouldn't fall in what we determine the "new" category, because there isn't much incentive for them to post their new clips on Youtube. They're a syndicated program in which makes their full shows readily available on their website due to their ownership by a broadcast company allowing it. For example, the battle royal that made the list was a 2020 match/moment from February, but didn't post to their Youtube until July.
In all, nothing even approached 2019's leader -- Rush vs. Matt Taven -- at 261k, but there was much more steady and consistent traffic going to ROH's channel even without operating for half of the year. In all, ROH's new Youtube approach has to be seen as a big step forward.
Many wrestling companies had a down year, but IMPACT Wrestling didn't have a lot of first-run content that ended up cracking their "most viewed videos" ever. This means much different things than it would for a Ring of Honor, which hadn't realized the potential of the platform until this year. IMPACT has 18 years of history, including much of that on cable, and had already dipped deep into their archives for content that would land well on Youtube.
In 2020, only two first-run, original clips cracked their top 100, and both featured....Katie Forbes. Apparently before she departed the company, she was doing numbers on Youtube.
- Katie Forbes Walks Out On RVD (3.2M)
- Sami Callihan Piledrives Katie Forbes (2.2M)
With Kenny Omega, Good Brothers, EC3 and a host of other big names popping up in IMPACT, none of them managed to cross the hefty 1.5 million view threshold to make it into that territory. Many of Omega's clips would land around 300-400k.
It's worth noting that IMPACT's Youtube strategy appears to be working, but they also have the uphill battle of being on a smaller network than years past and over a decade of content already on their channel. Their "Best of 2019" did a stunning 12M views.
AEW actually had a full year to post content, and it immediately became number 2 in that space in the wrestling world on Youtube. The company had five 2020 videos that outdrew everything they did on Youtube in 2019, and all of the 30 videos below would have been enough to land in their top 8 last year.
Three distinct draws stand out. Jon Moxley above all else was the most consistent, but Orange Cassidy has actually been by far the biggest Youtube hit for AEW. Of AEW's top ten videos of all time on their channel, four of them include Orange Cassidy throwing a very light kick, and he became the first to eclipse 10M views besides a Moxley/Kenny Omega clip, and a "feel good" clip that actually bears Cassidy's name. In all, 7 of the top 24 videos for AEW's year have an Orange Cassidy influence.
A dozen of the top 30 include Jon Moxley, who has long been a major Youtube draw across AEW, NJPW and WWE. His feud with Chris Jericho and the Inner Circle stable ended up garnering huge numbers for AEW relatively speaking. Jericho, Inner Circle, Moxley and Cassidy's interactions also all routinely land on the list, displaying that these aren't coincidences.
Debuts were also big for AEW, with Sting, Miro and Matt Hardy
- Orange Cassidy tries at AEW Revolution (12.6M)
- Inner Circle attacks Jon Moxley at Bash at the Beach (9.1M)
- Orange Cassidy faces off with Luchasaurus (7.8M)
- Mike Tyson in AEW (7.3M)
- Moxley strikes back on Inncer Circle (6.2M)
- Jon Moxley turns down Inner Circle (4.8M)
- Chris Jericho and Orange Cassidy face off (4.6M)
- Jon Moxley comes after Chris Jericho in Cleveland (3.7M)
- Chris Jericho AEW Revolution entrance (3M)
- Sting AEW Debut (2.7M)
- Orange Cassidy vs. Chris Jericho highlights (2.7M)
- Jon Moxley blinded (2.6M)
- Jon Moxley determined to face PAC (2.4M)
- Matt Hardy AEW debut (2.3M)
- Chris Jericho promo on Jon Moxley (2.3M)
- Darby Allin vs. Jon Moxley highlights (2.1M)
- Orange Cassidy and Chris Jericho's first face off (2M)
- Miro's AEW debut (2M)
- Orange Cassidy and the Dark Order (1.9M)
- Orange Cassidy vs. Serpentico on AEW Dark (1.8M)
- Sammy Guevara busts open Matt Hardy (1.8M)
- Jon Moxley vs.Jake Hager (1.7M)
- AEW fans sing Judas on the Cruise (1.7M)
- TH2 vs. Best Friends (Orange Cassidy Thumbnail) (1.7M)
- Jon Moxley vs. Jeff Cobb (1.7M)
- Cody lashed by MJF (1.6M)
- Matt Hardy and Chris Jericho face off (1.6M)
- Jon Moxley vs. Brian Cage (1.4M)
- Jon Moxley vs. Pac top contender match (1.4M)
- Moxley responds to Taz (1.3M)
Many of the views came in after the new year, but it should be noted that several Brodie Lee tribute show videos ended up surpassing 3M views each.
In addition to AEW's channel, TNT posted a few videos that gained good traction. No surprise, Orange Cassidy is among those, as are Moxley and Jericho.
Orange Cassidy interferes in Jon Moxley vs. Trent match (2.5M)
Orange Cassidy and Rey Fenix (2.2M)
Chris Jericho and Jon Moxley's weigh in (1.7M)
New Japan still doesn't quite have the Youtube profile of most American companies, but it was good enough to land right around the number three spot as far as consistent, high profile content goes. It landed right around the consistent viewership of IMPACT Wrestling and beat out the likes of ROH, MLW and NWA.
As poorly received stateside as the EVIL push was, it did great numbers for the company, as did....Taichi. No surprise that Jon Moxley continues to draw, as everything he touches seems to turn to gold. Tetsuya Naito's numbers are also impressive, but New Japan's draws seem much more spread out. Moxley, EVIL, Bullet Club, Kenta,Taichi, Tetsuya Naito, Kauchika Okada and others are included in the top ten.
To expand on EVIL, four of the top nine videos on NJPW's list either focused on EVIL or featured someone discussing EVIL. With his push being the focal point of a huge part of New Japan Pro Wrestling's 2020, there was at least a curiosity to check out what was going on with him.
- Jon Moxley lays out Suzuki at New Year Dash (690k)
- Moxley retains against Suzuki (550k)
- EVIL becomes double champion (349k)
- EVIL joins Bullet Club (342k)
- Taichi destroys Okada (342k)
KENTA ruins Naito's moment again! (334k)
- Ospreay starts a new faction (293k)
- Naito is coming for EVIL (257k)
- Naito beats EVIL in Jingu (252k)
- Naito retains at Wrestle Kingdom (212k)
- Moxley's kiss of death to Suzuki (196k)
- Toru Yano steals 6-man gold (168k)
- Shingo Takagi wins NEVER Openweight title (154k)
- Hiromu Takahashi vs. Naito stipulation (153k)
- KENTA holds court in Korakuen (144k)
- Marty Scurll returns to NJPW (139k)
- EVIL vows to send Hiromu Takahashi to hell in Nagoya! (136k)
- Can Hiromu Takahashi make it to his title match with Ishimori? (135k)
- King Minoru Suzuki rules the NEVER crown! (132k)
- Ibushi still believes in Tanahashi! Can he carry GoldenAce forward? * (132k)
- Evil and Sanada EXPLODE (120k)
Will Ospreay and Kazuchika Okada will meet at Wrestle Kingdom 15! (120k)
Hiromu Takahashi is back and he's ready to play (114k)
Dangerous Tekkers retain, but Toru Yano makes a challenge for November 7 (113k)
Will Great-O-Khan Eliminate Kazuchika Okada Nov.7 at Power Struggle? (111k)
Naito stands tall as NJPW returns! But what about Hiromu and Shingo? (109k)
Hiromu and BUSHI challenge for Desperado & Kanemaru's junior tag titles! (104k)
Suzuki-Gun attack Tomohiro Ishii backstage! (103k)
Is there a BULLET CLUB conspiracy against Jay White? (102k)
Kota Ibushi wins back to back G1 Climax trophies! (91k)
Shingo Takagi survives war with SHO, but Desperado takes the belt! (90k)
Kota Ibushi walks out on Hiroshi Tanahashi! is GoldenAce done? (90k)
King Suzuki reigns in Korakuen! But what's next? (86k)
KENTA spells it all out for Naito! (86k)
Minoru Suzuki BRUTALIZES Shingo Takagi backstage! (86k)
It's worth noting that a Great O Khan clip landed just outside of the top 25, but wasn't quite enough to land him multiple spots on the list. The interest in him seemed to pail in comparison to several other more established stars that New Japan Pro Wrestling had built over the years.
MLW was another company that saw their 2020 year derailed due to the pandemic. Unfortunately, the company was shelved for much of the year before returning in the autumn months. MLW and NWA have similar approaches on Youtube in that their content is primarily full episodes of their show as opposed to individual clips. As a result, we see a main event-relevant thumbnail on each episode, but there doesn't seem to be a heavy correlation to that and views. Jacob Fatu, LA Park, Tom Lawlor all appeared several time on their top ten lists.
Apparently, pork eating is a big draw for MLW, as well.
- LA Park eats pork (174k)
- MLW Fusion 110: Davey Boy Smith Jr. vs. Jacob Fatu (104k)
- MLW Fusion 101: Killer Kross vs. Tom Lawlor (102k)
- MLW Fusion 99: Los Parks vs. CONTRA Unit (98k)
- MLW Fusion 96: Jacob Fatu vs. Brian Pillman Jr. (98k)
- MLW Fusion 102: Von Erichs, Killer Kross & Davey Boy Smith vs. Team Filthy (88k)
- MLW Fusion 97: Dynasty Presents (85k)
- MLW Fusion 100: Fatu vs. CIMA (83k)
- MLW Fusion 103: Low Ki vs. King Mo (79k)
- MLW 94: No Ropes Barbed Ware (79k)
- MLW Fusion 98: Tom Lawlor vs. Ross Von Erich (72k)
- MLW Fusion 105: Hammerstone vs. Laredo Kid (68k)
- MLW Fusion 93: Opera Cup Finals (68k)
- MLW Fusion 104: MJF vs. Mance Warner (67k)
- MLW Fusion 109: Los Parks vs. AAA (62k)
- MLW Fusion 111: Lawlor vs. Rocky Romero (60k)
- MLW Fusion 108: Injustice vs. Vikingo, Octagon Jr. & Myzteziz Jr. (59k)
- MLW Fusion 106: Team Filthy vs. CATS (53k)
- MLW Fusion 113: Von Erichs vs. CONTRA (52k)
- MLW Fusion 112: DBS vs. Low Ki (50k)
As NWA Worlds Heavyweight Champion, Nick Aldis was by far the biggest draw to NWA programming according to their own Youtube numbers. All but one of the top 8 videos on the channel featured Aldis, with his interactions with Ricky Morton and Scott Steiner doing exceptionally well. Further down the list, it shows that his feud with Marty Scurll also seemed to provide consistent numbers for NWA ahead of the pandemic.
While NWA has taken time off since the pandemic, they've produced some new content that landed in their top 20 videos in the form of Carnyland and Shockwave. In addition, the Circle Squared also found two entries land. Multiple episodes of the newly released Shockwave product is a positive sign for the brand after that aforementioned time off.
Outside of Aldis, specific videos for Scott Steiner, Kamille and Marty Scurll all landed at their top 10.
- NWA Powerrr 14: Aldis & Steiner (358k)
- NWA Powerrr 15: Aldis & Ricky Morton (302k)
- NWA Powerrr 13: Aldis & Latimer face to face with Morton (262k)
- NWA Powerrr 12: Aldis, Kamille & Tim Storm
- NWA Powerrr 17: Thunder Rosa vs. Allysin Kay (228k)
- NWA Powerrr 16: Aldis & Scurll interview (225k)
- NWA Powerrr 18: Aldis & Scurll promo (200k)
- NWA Powerrr 20: Aldis, Starks, Storm & Drake (197k)
- Scott Steiner's NWA Powerrr promo (182k)
- NWA Powerrr 21: Aldis, Scurll explode (181k)
- NWA Powerrr 19: Marty Scurll (169k)
- NWA Shockwave 1: Nick Aldis (161k)
- Kamille's first match & Interview (121k)
- NWA Shockwave episode 2: Thunder Rosa (100k)
- NWA The Circle Squared: PJ & Luke Hawx vs. Dean & Neal (85k)
NWA's The Circle Squared George South vs. Colby Corino (73k)
Carnyland 1 (66k)
Redemption: Nick Aldis vs. Mike Bennett (60k)
Marty Scurll interview with Stu Bennett (41k)
Rock N Roll Express vs. Wild Card vs. James Storm & Eli Drake (37k)
NWA's full event for the Crockett Cup 2019 also landed high on the last. During the pandemic it was posted as a full event, and drew about 270k views.
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