Next Friday (Oct. 15) will feature 30 minutes of AEW and WWE airing at the same time on cable television. The 10 - 10:30 pm ET block where Rampage will be on TNT in its regular spot while the “Supersized” SmackDown has its overrun on FS1 will be the first time we’ve had a head-to-head battle between the two companies since NXT moved to Tuesdays earlier this year.
The big questions are, of course, which show will have more viewers & better demo ratings, something AEW head honcho Tony Khan is already vowing his show will do. TK’s walked his tweet from last night back a little today, and in so doing tried to turn the focus to what we as consumers should probably care about the most - getting a lot of quality pro wrestling & sports entertainment on our screens.
If I’m not sweating it, you shouldn’t be either. This is what sports are about, set a goal & try your best. We’ve got a great #AEWRampage card Friday + big Dynamite matches Saturday. I expect to do well, but regardless of next Friday’s stats, it’ll be a great weekend for the fans— Tony Khan (@TonyKhan) October 9, 2021
But whether you’re watching strictly for enjoyment or because you’re rooting for one company or the other*, it’s interesting to put yourself in Tony Khan or Vince McMahon’s shoes. What do you put on at 10pm next Friday to best entertain your audience, and hopefully entice a whole lot of people to watch your show?
Here are their options so far...
- CM Punk vs. Matt Sydal
- Ruby Soho vs. The Bunny
- Inner Circle (Chris Jericho, Jake Hager & Sammy Guevara) vs. Men of the Year (Ethan Page & Scorpio Sky) & Junior Dos Santos w/Dan Lambert & Jorge Masvidal
- Brock Lesnar’s return
- Becky Lynch vs. Sasha Banks
- Carmella vs. Zelina Vega in the semi-finals of the Queen’s Crown tournament
- Finn Bálor vs. Sami Zayn in the semi-finals of the King of the Ring tournament
My money is on the Inner Circle/American Top Team tag battle and the Toru Yano fan’s pick, the Hell in a Cell 2019 rematch of Horsewomen. WWE’s said the women’s match is next week’s main event, but that’s a flexible term for promotions these days, so there’s no guarantee it takes up all of SmackDown’s final half hour. Lesnar (and Roman Reigns) could show up to close the episode, and Punk could get the nod for Rampage. Or we could get things TK or VKM are keeping up their sleeve until we get closer to showtime.
Let us know what you think, fantasy booking Cagesiders.
* To respond to the probably inevitable complaint that we’re promoting tribalism... (a) it is possible to both appreciate all the great wrestling that’s available to us these days AND be interested in comparing how companies perform as businesses, and (b) the folks who are only interested in supporting their “side” are going to exist regardless of whether we take part in little thought exercises like this or not.