Tony Khan, President of AEW, has taken aim at WWE once again, this time saying that a recent edition of their flagship show Monday Night Raw “sucked.”
Tony Khan was speaking ahead of what could be a banner weekend for All elite Wrestling, which will see one of the company’s shows compete against main roster WWE programming for the first time. WWE Friday Night SmackDown will be a supersized two and a half hours long on October 15th, with AEW Rampage competing for the final half-hour of the blue brand’s offering.
Furthermore, due to the start of the NHL season, AEW Dynamite, which is usually found on Wednesday nights, will be moved to Saturday for the next two weeks starting on October 16th.
In the run-up to Rampage, Khan has spoken of his desire to defeat SmackDown in the ratings while admitting that he wants to “recreate the spirit” of the 1990s wrestling war.
In an interview with Robbie Fox on My Mom’s Basement, Khan expressed his disappointment at having to temporarily relocate from Wednesday nights due to Dynamite’s recent success on TNT:
“It sucks to not be on Wednesday night, this week [especially] to be honest. We’re on this great run recently. We had six straight weeks as the number one show on cable and satellite on Wednesday night.”
“The show is huge thanks to the great fans and the great support of Barstool and outlets that give AEW coverage and have allowed AEW to come from nothing, nowhere two years ago to now in the eyes of many, over a million fans, the number one wrestling company in America.”
Despite this, Tony Khan explained that there are advantages to being able to organise a major wrestling weekend:
“I’m just really fired up, even though we’re not on Wednesday the next couple of weeks. It allows us to make these big weekend events. We do Friday Night Rampage every week on TNT, but this week we get to do Friday Night Rampage and Saturday Night Dynamite.”
The AEW supremo went on to say that he made a deliberate decision to air Rampage immediately following SmackDown:
“We’ve really allowed the shows to co-exist. I put my show on consciously after SmackDown, knowing that there’s a huge audience that watches that show and many of those people are going to watch Rampage. It’s been a huge hit for TNT. We’ve had nights where we were number one. We’ve been in the top 10, top 20 consistently.”
“I want for the fans to be able to watch all the wrestling. I’ll coin a phrase right now that I’ll use from now on: WYW. Watch your wrestling. Whatever you want to watch, watch it. A lot of people have chosen to watch AEW because it’s the best show.”
Looking forward to October 15th, Khan noted that it was the second time WWE had chosen to compete directly with AEW. He also stated that he wants Rampage to be as popular as AEW’s flagship show Dynamite:
“It’s the second time they’ve chosen to put their wrestling head-to-head with mine. The last time they did it, it didn’t happen overnight, but really from the start AEW consistently did better numbers than NXT, and we won that war. AEW is now the Wednesday night show.”
“I want Rampage to be just as big as Dynamite in time. Dynamite has consistently been number one. My goal is for this show to be the top cable show. If they’re going to do a show on cable, that’s great. We’re competing for that.”
While Tony Khan is unsure whether Rampage will come out on top in the ratings battle, he is determined to put on a better show. Especially since he recently stated that a recent episode of Raw “sucked:”
“We’ll see what happens. I’m not saying for sure we’ll win, and maybe the odds are against us in some ways,” Khan said. “But we’re going to give a better show. I know. If you don’t believe me, watch the go-home show they did last night, because it sucked.”
Khan is not taking the overlap in SmackDown and AEW Rampage lying down and for the first time ever Rampage will feature a Buy In that will go head-to-head with even more of SmackDown than the last half hour.
Fans tuning in for that will be treated to a dream match straight out of the forbidden door as Bryan Danielson faces NJPW’s, Minoru Suzuki.
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.
H/T Wrestling Inc