On Friday (Oct. 15), AEW and WWE will go head-to-head on cable television for the first time since the end of the Wednesday Night War. Instead of NXT vs. Dynamite, this time it will the final 30 minutes of a “Supersized” SmackDown against the first 30 of Rampage.
Each side has some advantages: Rampage is on a more prominent network in TNT, but SmackDown has two hours to convince viewers to stick with them on FS1. WWE also announced the last half-hour of this week’s blue show will be commercial-free, giving the audience less of a chance to check out the competition.
Now, AEW’s announced their latest move. Tony Khan, who’s thrown down the gauntlet (then picked it back up and more gently placed it back on the ground), revealed during an interview this morning on WFAN that there will be a “Buy In” special on YouTube before Rampage airs at 10pm ET. Ahead of their match on Saturday night’s Dynamite, both Bryan Danielson and Bobby Fish will wrestle on the one-hour pre-show. Khan later told Barstool’s Robbie Fox that Fish is facing Lee Moriarity
“Buy In” shows are usually reserved for AEW’s quarterly PPV events, so Khan clearly thinks this Friday is a big deal. He may also be adding content to help spur ticket sales in Miami, where the gate is reportedly weak for both Rampage and the following night’s Dynamite.
Will a pre-show help AEW in Friday’s ratings battle?