AEW and Warner Bros Discovery’s current working relationship may change dramatically very soon. WWE is likely coming in with RAW, and that will be a big change for the company. CM Punk return to WWE appears to have led to brand-new opportunities, with Endeavor’s Mark Shapiro, along with Nick Khan and Paul Levesque, holding meeting with WBD on Monday morning. It appears that they are using Punk in a big way as part of their pitch, someone who Warner Bros Discovery used to have as a part of AEW.

The scenario holds broad implications, especially for AEW, currently in talks with WBD on various deals, extending beyond television rights renewals to include potential streaming. WBD also garners a share of AEW’s streaming PPV buys through Bleacher Report.

Dave Meltzer observed on F4WOnline that WWE is leveraging CM Punk’s name as a significant draw to secure a deal with RAW. With Punk now aligning with the red brand, the unfolding events will be interesting to witness.

According to one report, Punk played a substantial role in the pitch, envisioning him as a regular on the Raw brand. The report included emphasizing his merchandise sales, social media views, and recent show ratings.


During his Rumor and Innuendo podcast, Nick Hausman stated that he was told that WWE’s deal with Warner Bros Discovery is likely going to happen. If that does go down, then it could move AEW programming to Discovery or Max for streaming.

It didn’t look good for AEW re-signing with Warner for TNT or TBS, because they wanted to bring in WWE RAW. Now, this morning, the same information came in that I reached out to WWE PR and they told me this is inaccurate information. I talked to another higher up WWE source this morning that it’s possible the reason why people thought it was making the rounds had to do with travel schedules, but it’s possible that executives are kayfabing people in the company.”

“I was also told in the past 24 hours that this is going to happen, but possible landing platform for AEW could be Discovery. That doesn’t mean they will be on Discovery plus, but they still may be on Max for streaming to get that AEW fan base on Max.

There’s a belief that WBD holds ownership in AEW, a claim Tony Khan neither confirmed nor denied, choosing to focus on his 100 percent voting and decision-making power. The new WWE ownership, distinct from Vince McMahon, hints at the unlikelihood of pursuing brand exclusivity.

UFC’s deal with ESPN, negotiated by Endeavor, allowed a rival like PFL to secure a deal with ESPN and ESPN+. The CW deal for NXT is also believed not to insist on exclusivity in the wrestling genre, but the uncertainty remains about whether WBD would entertain two wrestling franchises.

Tony Khan has professed loyalty to WBD, vowing to stick with them even if another entity offers slightly more money. After acquiring ROH, he exclusively approached WBD stations, demonstrating loyalty despite CW’s prior interest in ROH.

Predicting outcomes in negotiations proves challenging. SmackDown’s shift to the USA Network was anticipated, while NXT moving to CW seemed unforeseen. Levesque’s absence from Raw for a meeting with another potential suitor hinted at serious discussions. In the past, UFC’s move from Spike to NBC was unexpected, underscoring the unpredictability of negotiations in the television landscape.

What’s your take on this situation with AEW losing TBS? Let us know what you think in the comments section!

Felix Upton

Felix Upton is a seasoned writer with over 30 years of experience. He began his career writing advertisements for local newspapers in New York before transitioning to publishing news for Ringside News. His expertise includes writing, editing, research, photo editing, and video editing. In his free time, he enjoys bungee jumping and learning extinct languages.

Disqus Comments Loading...