WWE and AEW Will Run Head-to-Head Again During Halloween Week
The smoke has finally cleared on last week's AEW Rampage vs. Friday Night SmackDown competition. WWE's Blue Brand brought in a higher audience and won the target ratings demographic by just 1,000 people, but Rampage managed to have the higher rating in the coveted 18-49 demographic during the 30 minutes the two shows were running head-to-head. AEW president Tony Khan celebrated the news by tweeting out on Monday, "LET'S GO @AEW FANS, WRESTLERS, STAFF! EVERYONE, LFG #AEW!!!!"
But WWE isn't done placing programming opposite AEW's weekly Friday night show. SmackDown will be back on FS1 on Oct. 29 due to FOX's broadcast of the MLB World Series and while there hasn't been an additional 30 minutes announced WWE has confirmed an hour-long edition of Talking Smack will air on the channel at 10 p.m. Eastern. That week's edition of Rampage, which will be taped two days prior following AEW Dynamite, will start on TNT at the same time.
Khan explained in a New York Post interview last week that having AEW compete against WWE is good for their business.
"We can build a big audience for this weekend," Khan said. "We've never had anything like this before with three hours of live wrestling on TNT on a weekend other than a pay-per-view. There are a ton of things happening at this time of year, there's a lot of sports. There's a lot of competition outside of wrestling. So if we're going to start trying to directly head-to-head compete with each other at this time of year where there are all these other things happening in sports, let's go. I'm not the one who threw the gloves off, but if somebody has to do the talking and sell the fight I will be the one to do it. In this case, I am doing all the talking and all the selling of the fight. I do think we need to go back to an era where there is all this excitement about the shows. It's clearly built buzz because a lot of people are talking about it.
"We got a great opportunity to draw people on the weekend in a new position for us," he added. "Rampage has launched very recently and we've had this great run of Wednesdays where we've had six straight weeks as the No. 1 show on all of cable television on Wednesday. And now Dynamite is being moved to a relatively unfamiliar Saturday night time slot. Three hours of weekend wrestling is very different. I put together the Buy-In as a response, but that took some time. I wasn't able to do that right away. So I wanted to let people know the gloves are off."