Wrestling fans have been hearing about a new AEW show coming to TNT Saturday nights for so long, it’s easy to forget that no one from Tony Khan’s company or his partners at Warner Bros Discovery have actually said anything about it.
That was expected to change this morning (May 17) when WBD presented its upcoming programming slate to potential advertisers at what are known as “upfronts”.
It actually broke before it was mentioned at Hulu Theater in New York City. While that presentation was going on, AEW sent out the following press release announcing the premiere of their new two-hour weekly series Collision. As you can see, several stars are mentioned, but not the one whose been most associated with the Saturday show in reports — CM Punk.
One of the guys who is name-dropped is rumored to be an early Punk opponent, so he’s being included despite the fact he’s primarily been working on the Ring of Honor brand lately could be a sign we’ll get an announcement about Punk as soon as tonight.
Here’s the presser for Collision:
TNT LAUNCHES A SECOND NIGHT OF WRESTLING WITH “AEW: COLLISION” FEATURING HEADLINERS THUNDER ROSA, MIRO, SAMOA JOE, POWERHOUSE HOBBS AND ANDRADE EL IDOLO ON SATURDAY, JUNE 17
NEW YORK (May 17, 2023) – TNT launches a second night of professional wrestling with a new tentpole series, “AEW: Collision” on Saturday, June 17, it was announced today by Kathleen Finch, Chairman and Chief Content Officer, US Networks Group, Warner Bros. Discovery, during the company’s 2023 Upfront presentation at Madison Square Garden in New York City. This live, two-hour, in-ring show will air every Saturday night from 8-10 p.m. ET and feature more wrestlers, more stories and more action to super-serve fans. “AEW: Collision” will feature headliners including Miro, Samoa Joe, Thunder Rosa, Powerhouse Hobbs, and Andrade El Idolo.
In only four years following the launch of “AEW: Dynamite,” AEW’s footprint has more than doubled across TNT and TBS. Along with “AEW: Dynamite,” Friday night’s “AEW: Rampage,” the recent follow-doc “AEW: All Access,” and now “AEW: Collision,” TNT and TBS deliver the best matches and most entertaining moments in professional wrestling today. AEW has reached 23M total viewers so far this year across all of its shows on TBS and TNT.*
“We’re doubling-down on wrestling with ‘AEW: Collision,’ which gives fans two more hours every week,” said Jason Sarlanis, President, Turner Networks, ID and HLN, linear & streaming. “AEW’s roster of talent has expanded so quickly that we felt it needed another night to bring our audience the epic rivalries, unforgettable matches and stars they love to watch. Adding ‘Collision’ to our programming mix on TNT will allow us to satisfy the massive demand we’ve felt from our hardcore fanbase and be the ultimate complement to ‘AEW: Dynamite’ on TBS.”
“With the addition of ‘AEW: Collision’ on TNT, I’m extremely proud that a Turner network will be the home of Saturday night wrestling for the first time in more than two decades,” said Tony Khan, CEO, GM and Head of Creative of AEW. “The debut of ‘Collision’ is significant across numerous sectors including television, wrestling, entertainment and sports, and reinforces AEW as the bold property we envisioned when we launched in 2019. ‘Collision’ will deliver live every Saturday night more of what fans and viewers tell us they want – athleticism, big personalities, exciting storylines and hard-hitting wrestling action, all of which have become synonymous with AEW.”
There have been multiple reports about an AEW brand split coming along with Collision, but there’s also no specific mention of that here. The inclusion of names like Andrade and Miro, who’ve been out of action for various reasons for months, could be a sign that’s another detail which will be fleshed out soon.
More to come, for sure.