AEW Rampage has been operating as All Elite Wrestling's second weekly televised show on TNT since mid-August. But, as he confirmed in a new interview with Gavin Bridge during the Monaco Streaming Film Festival, Tony Khan revealed the show almost had a wildly different format. According to him, one of the pitches for the show was to have it emulate WWE Backstage, WWE's weekly panel show on FS1 that was canceled during the Summer of 2020.
"I didn't think [Backstage] was a good format," Khan said (h/t Fightful). "I had actually been pitched to do a format like that with AEW and I refused because I don't think wrestling fans want to see that format. Wrestling fans when they tune in to watch their wrestling show, they want to watch wrestlers wrestle and Backstage, to me, should be like a lower-budget streaming type show. I don't know if it had the legs to carry as a TV show, even though the people involved with it were awesome and a lot of them work for me now and are huge stars. I want to watch CM Punk wrestle. I want to watch Christian Cage wrestle. To me, that is the bread and butter. I love watching those guys talk about wrestling, don't get me wrong, I think it would be a kick-ass streaming show, I don't know if I would build one of my TV franchises around guys talking about wrestling. At least not in the context of analyzing it and breaking it down. For Rampage, it was part of the format that I turned down and refused to do.
"They said, 'Would you do this as part of the third hour?' And I said, 'No, it's going to be wrestling.' I have a different format for it and that's where Mark Henry (does interviews)," he added. "There is that talk show competent where they talk before they wrestle. That is a little bit of a twist on the format, but it's not, 'Let's look back on the week in wrestling' and have a cup of coffee together, which I think is not a good format for a TV show."
Did Khan make the right call by having Rampage be a one-hour wrestling show rather than something else? Let us know down in the comments! After being on Saturday nights for the past two weeks, AEW Dynamite will return to Wednesday night this week on TNT.