Especially in light of how CM Punk’s much-anticipated interview with ESPN demonstrated that the beefs which led to a post-All Out fight last September haven’t been squashed, there’s a lot of interest in how AEW will utilize its roster when Punk returns on the premiere Collision tomorrow night (June 17).
For months, we’ve heard reports of a roster split. Whether that split would be “hard” or “soft”, and what those adjectives even mean in this case, has never been confirmed. But Busted Open got AEW head honcho on the record about how he’ll handle talent on the two shows. There aren’t a lot of specifics so we still have questions, but it’s clear Khan doesn’t plan to implement a WWE-style brand split:
“Nope, it’s not a separate roster. In fact, you’re seeing people that are wrestling on this show that just wrestled on Wednesday where we follow up on what happened with Toni Storm vs. Skye Blue match for the AEW Women’s World Championship... It gives us an opportunity to showcase a lot of the top stars in AEW and feature certain stars week to week.
“I never said there would be a hard roster split. In recent media appearances, I’ve been making it pretty clear that it won’t be and it’s a great opportunity for the fans to see featured stars on these Dynamite shows and Collision shows week in and week out. But also we can have rivalries carry over between shows and utilize the shows to make follow-up matches or settle grudges or book big title matches...”
The big remaining question is if “featured stars” will move between shows regularly, or if they’ll primarily be on one show with only occasional appearances on the other. We assume that performers like Punk and The Young Bucks, Kenny Omega & Hangman Page won’t appear on either Collision or Dynamite in the same week, but that still leaves PPV where TK will need all his stars on deck.
Given the history and variables involved, it’s probably smart to not publicly commit to a system. But it still seems like a management headache, and given how Khan’s handled personnel issues thus far... we’ll just say it should be interesting to see how this plays out.
H/t WrestlingNews.co for transcription