In case you missed the news, AEW announced Wednesday that their long-awaited third hour of television has the green light. AEW’s Rampage will debut Friday, August 13 at 10 pm ET on TNT. Tony Khan has spoken about how he plans to have Rampage on equal footing with Dynamite as core properties of AEW.
That announcement has brought forth tremendous excitement from fans, and one can’t help but wonder what the new show will be like. Details are sparse at the moment, so here is a wishlist of ideas I’m hoping for when Rampage is ready to rumble.
AEW currently has the World Championship, TNT Championship, Tag Team Championship, and Women’s Championship. An extra hour of television could stretch the champions thin if there are increased defenses. To keep the novelty special for the titles, I propose adding one more to the mix. Introducing the Trios Championship!
I’m favoring the trios division to get the golden call. AEW already has tons of factions, so threesomes could be put together quite easily. The matches would be fast and furious as a great draw for underused stars. I don’t think a Trios belt would need to be exclusive to Rampage, but it would certainly make things easier to consistently offer marquee main events.
I considered a second championship for women, whether singles or tag, but I passed for two reasons. I don’t think the division is deep enough, and I don’t think AEW has yet shown the ability to maximize booking of the women’s division. Get everything in order first before adding more complication.
Experiment with identity
Make Rampage feel special in its own right. As a viewer, I’m not looking for Dynamite lite. Give Rampage its own unique identity as something to look forward to. It should also be different enough in style from WWE, so it doesn’t feel like hour 3 of Smackdown.
One idea I’m partial to is to embrace the late night time slot with an edge. Make the show gritty and raw to set it apart. Explore different settings. For example, the early days of Shotgun Saturday Night had a pretty cool aesthetic in unique venues.
In regard to edge, I don’t mean reboot ECW or the Attitude Era with weekly hardcore fights and excessive debauchery. It is more about experimenting to find a nice niche for Rampage to be memorable. A cross of vibes between Sylvester Stallone’s Over the Top and Arnold Schwarzenegger’s The Running Man would be neat to play around with.
Quicker stories that are exclusive
Stories that start on Rampage should finish on Rampage. And with that idea, make the progression quicker. Dynamite has a tendency to let feuds fester for months before the big match. Rampage should be different in the sense of having a steady flow of shorter feuds.
Exclusive stories are one way to make sure Rampage stands on its own feet. Crossing over between the two shows runs the risk of watering down appearances. I don’t have the desire to see the same faces twice a week all the time. AEW has a large enough roster to rotate wrestlers in and out at a fresh pace.
With a name like Rampage, it is only fitting to feature one primo hoss fight each week. Let the biggies go hog wild for a high-octane pummel session. It doesn’t need to be an epic match. Just give me 8 minutes of 100% destruction. HOSS FIGHT!!!
That’s my wishlist for Rampage. I declined to include Sting winning the AEW World Championship, zombies, and Kenny Omega’s broom dancers, although, I certainly wouldn’t mind those as staples of Rampage. What’s your wishlist? What kind of show are you hoping for on Rampage?