With the news of Tuesday Night Dynamite on TNT, it should shake things up. How much potential lies in this AEW deal?
I don’t know if it is competition yet, but the fact AEW has a television deal with WarnerMedia to air live matches in a weekly primetime format on TNT should make things interesting.
I’m not expecting the return of the Monday Night Wars or for Tony Khan to shout from Stone Mountain that he is in the “wrasslin business” as Ted Turner once did to the deaf ears of Vince McMahon. This isn’t the same kind of confrontation between two middle-aged men with egos bigger than the state of Florida.
Per the New York Post, “The new wrestling company and WarnerMedia announced the agreement Wednesday morning. TNT will air live AEW matches weekly in prime time starting in the fall, as well as streaming them on B/R Live and on pay-per-view. AEW will be presented to advertisers during the WarnerMedia Upfront at the Madison Square Garden Theater on Wednesday.”
If this is the kind of entrance Khan and his performers want to make, then I am all for it. Pro wrestling is moving the needle a bit from the monopoly of the McMahons with NJPW, ROH and the NWA grabbing the attention of fans – away from the stale and pungent feel of what WWE has offered ahead of the Money in the Bank PPV. If anything, there is an injection of adrenaline in a business that has been on life support in some circumstances since the last day WCW was in operation and Billionaire Ted gave in to the struggles of trying to get it right on a weekly basis.
Per Joseph Staszewski,” The deal marks the first time wrestling will appear on TNT since the final “WCW Monday Nitro” on March 26, 2001, and officially puts AEW in competition with WWE for prime-time television ratings.”
My son wasn’t two yet and I was on my first wife at the time.
Now comes the fun of seeing what Khan, who is a huge wrestling fan and part owner of the Jacksonville Jaguars will do with top-level talent (Cody, Chris Jericho, Kenny Omega, The Young Guns and Britt Baker to name a few) at his disposal.
If the branding and storylines follow that of the old NWA with a splash of WCW from the early 1990s mixed in, then Khan and his venture have a chance to rock the wrestling boat. No one is going to knock McMahon off his lofty perch. But the programming and promotion can offer hardened fans a chance to see their old favorites weekly.
What AEW did by making the announcement in grand style is deliver a message to WWE, which signifies this is an upstart that isn’t afraid to ruffle some feathers. It was the right time with the right company backing them.
It’s time to see if the McMahon old guard is as solid as it once was or can the little engine that could make a dent in a business monopolized for too long.