WWE recently announced plans to go head-to-head with AEW Rampage with an extra half hour at the end of SmackDown. AEW’s Tony Khan then announced that his promotion would do a commercial free hour on YouTube directly against SmackDown. WWE responded by announcing that their overrun would be commercial free. Now, All Elite Wrestling has shot back.
The opening match of tonight’s AEW Rampage on TNT will feature CM Punk taking on Matt Sydal. The opening bout, Khan announced, will be aired commercial-free. Khan challenged WWE on the commercial free strategy when he said he had more money to spend than they did.
The Friday night war between the promotions comes at an interesting time. Due to the Major League Baseball playoffs, SmackDown has been bumped to FS1 this week. That gave AEW a rare opportunity to go head to head with WWE on a cable network, as opposed to a network broadcast which is available to a significantly greater number of households. There’s a legitimate chance that AEW could beat SmackDown head-to-head in the ratings.
The AEW Buy-In show features Minoru Suzuki vs Bryan Danielson and airs on the company’s YouTube channel from 9PM to 10PM eastern. SmackDown is live on FS1 from 8pm to 10:30 PM headlined by Sasha Banks vs Becky Lynch. AEW Rampage begins on TNT at 10PM with Punk vs Sydal, Ruby Soho vs The Bunny, and Inner Circle vs Men of the Year and Junior dos Santos.
A lot of TV remotes are going to get a workout tonight. The ratings will ultimately tell the tale when they come out on Monday.
Are you watching AEW, SmackDown, or both tonight? Let us know in the comments!