AEW Fight For the Fallen will take place on July 13th. This is one day before WWE Extreme Rules. Since there is no NXT TakeOver event scheduled for that weekend, WWE is airing another special on the WWE Network on July 13th with the EVOLVE 131 special.
The Wrestling Observer Newsletter notes that WWE has been discussing airing EVOLVE events on the WWE Network for a very long time dating back to the creation of FloSlam. This is very interesting because they suddenly decided to air an event on July 13th.
It was noted that the involvement with EVOLVE is nothing new, but it certainly matches WWE’s MO. They have aired counter-programming for many other competitors through the years from the AWA to WCW. Now it appears AEW is getting the same treatment.
It was noted that this was the first, but it likely won’t be the last time WWE tries this. For all of those people trying to defend WWE for running opposite of AEW’s charity event, the proof is pretty indisputable when you look at the facts as pointed out in the WON.
The issue isn’t the live show, but the fact WWE has never run a non-WWE live event on the network. The idea is that it’s in Philadelphia, the same city WWE runs Extreme Rules from the next day. So the production people will be in early. McMahon’s issue has always been the idea of seeing what he considers minor league wrestling on his major league platform. But this will be a WWE produced event, headlined by top-level WWE talent, so that issue isn’t there.
It is easy for WWE to air the EVOLVE event in Philly since WWE will have their production team in the city for Extreme Rules anyway. That just made it so much more convenient.
We will just have to wait and see what kind of numbers Fight For The Fallen will be able to pull in with competition on the WWE Network. Because although it is an EVOLVE event, there will still be an NXT Title match on the card with Adam Cole vs Akira Tozawa.
If AEW is able to pull in some strong numbers for Fight For The Fallen despite the WWE competition, then it could further prove that AEW’s fan base consists of a different crop of fans who wouldn’t have watched whatever was on the WWE Network anyway. AEW is targeting the lapsed fan as they also create new ones with cross-over events like Fyter Fest’s affiliation with the CEO event.