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WBD loves AEW, even if Power Slap proves they don’t get wrestling fans

All Elite Wrestling

In a good sign for Tony Khan’s ability to get a new television deal with Warner Bros Discovery when AEW’s current one expires next year (hopefully for more money), WBD U.S. Networks Chief Content Officer Kathleen Finch told Deadline this week that Dynamite and Rampage “kills” in the ratings each week.

It’s why Finch again spoke about the media giant’s desire to develop related programming that will appeal to the AEW audience. Unfortunately, one of their ideas on that front is Dana White’s Power Slap, which in addition to drawing criticism from all over, also failed to retain much of Dynamite’s audience for its premiere last Wednesday (Jan. 18).

Per Finch, that must have come as a surprise to WBD execs who thought there was “a lot of overlap” between pro wrestling fans and people who enjoy seeing defenseless humans get concussions from taking open hand strikes.

“This [Power Slap] is an experiment. The goal is, we are making shows for our fans, that’s who we work for. Fans of wrestling have a lot of overlap with the fans of this and it’s huge on social media so the idea really is, if we can take something that’s huge on social, bring it to a linear audience giving the fans what they want.

“This may surprise you to know that I did not know much about wrestling before I took this job. I know, I seem like a wrestling fan, but I’m not. But I did have to learn a lot about the audience. A lot of families that watch [wrestling], I was very surprised to learn this. I have huge respect for this audience. AEW wrestling airs on two of our networks, TNT and TBS — on both nights it kills. Finding something that speaks to that audience, that would be gold.”

The strategy of trying to keep the AEW audience tuned in makes sense. But I’m not sure how you think a slap fighting league is the best way to appeal to the families you’ve learned watch wrestling together.

Why’d they move BattleBots, anyway? Kids love Robot Fighting Time!

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