Tony Khan has reacted angrily to WWE’s decision to run the final 30 minutes of SmackDown commercial-free, claiming that he, too, can do so, and for an even longer period of time since he has more money.
On October 15th, a special two-and-a-half-hour edition of Friday Night SmackDown will air. Because of the extra half-hour, instead of the show ending right before AEW Rampage, the final half-hour will now compete with the AEW broadcast.
WWE has also announced that the final 30 minutes will be free of commercials.
In response, AEW President Tony Khan has gone on the front foot, repeatedly attacking WWE and emphasising his desire to defeat SmackDown while admitting he wants to “recreate the spirit” of the 1990s wrestling war.
Khan has also been critical of some WWE programming, saying that a recent episode of Monday Night Raw “sucked.”
Tony Khan addressed the upcoming showdown once more in an interview with The New York Post. WWE’s decision to extend SmackDown was initially described as “pretty predatory” by the AEW boss:
“It’s a little bit different than the Wednesday Night Wars because that was from the very beginning of Dynamite and we put our head down and it was an every-week thing. This seemed like pretty predatory, which is fine if that’s how you want to play it. It’s not outwardly how they’ve (WWE) shown they wanted to play it.”
I’ve coined a phrase which is WYW, watch your wrestling. Whatever people what to watch, I want them to watch it. Unfortunately, if we are on at the same time it’s harder for people to watch their wrestling, at least live.”
The ‘Million Dollar Khan’ then addressed the lack of commercials in SmackDown’s last half hour and says his pockets are deeper than WWE’s so he can do that too but did not his surprise at the move:
“We can take the commercials out of it. If you want to take the commercials out of it, I can do that too. It doesn’t seem very civil but I have more money than they do so I can afford to do that longer than they can. But that’s how we make money at the end of the day, so I was surprised when they took those out.”
Tony Khan has also revealed that for the first time, AEW Rampage will include a Buy In. Bryan Danielson will compete in a dream match against Minoru Suzuki on the show, and Bobby Fish will also be in action.
The AEW Rampage Buy In will be streamed live on YouTube beginning at 9 p.m. ET. TNT will air a special live episode of Rampage at 10 p.m. ET.