The worst kept secret in pro wrestling is officially out, courtesy of the dual Being The Elite announcement & Dave Meltzer report on the creation of All Elite Wrestling (AEW). Further details will be, as they say, forthcoming, but another report from PWInsider points out some interesting things - especially as the relate to WWE SmackDown.
As Meltzer also said on Wrestling Observer Radio, the Tony Khan-backed AEW is said to be getting significant interest from potential broadcast partners. That’s largely off the success of ALL IN, which is being seen as proof a Cody Rhodes & The Young Bucks-focused show can attract big audiences. According to Mike Johnson at PWInsider, Kahn & team are focused on getting a Tuesday night time slot for whatever their show ends up being called. The idea being to slide into the slot SmackDown LIVE has occupied on cable for the past couple of years when that show moves to Fridays on FOX, in a time slot when a lot of fans are already accustomed to watching wrestling.
Doesn’t sound like a guaranteed path to success, but it does seem like a sounder strategy than Impact’s alleged hope fans will seek out Pursuit Channel on Fridays after SmackDown ends. The Khans will likely help AEW land at a better network than the Anthem-financed outdoors channel, too.
This morning’s announcement also included word of a Jan. 8 promotional event for AEW’s next pay-per-view (PPV) event, Double or Nothing. A lot of the attention regarding that has been focused on its Jacksonville, Florida location. Part of the Khan business empire is the NFL’s Jacksonville Jaguars franchise, after all. But that’s not the only - or maybe even the main - reason The Elite chose J-ville for their pep rally.
Join us January 8th in JACKSONVILLE for more information on Double or Nothing...and AEW! pic.twitter.com/72gnO6fqOh— Double or Nothing (@ALL_IN_2018) January 1, 2019
SmackDown will be taping their first live show of 2019 later that night, just down the road from TIAA Bank Field at Jacksonville Memorial Arena. Insider says fans attending the WWE show at 7:30PM ET will need to drive by the AEW event. And most of us probably remember what happened the last time Cody, the Bucks, Hangman Page and crew were within shouting distance of a WWE taping...
In addition to that quartet, the Jan. 8 rally is also advertising SCU (Christopher Daniels, Frankie Kazarian & Scorpio Sky) and Brandi Rhodes.
Still no word on Kenny Omega, who’s involvement may hinge on AEW’s working agreement with New Japan. But we should know more about Omega and the NJPW/All Elite relationship after Fri., Jan. 4’s Wrestle Kingdom 13.
We already have some idea of the new promotion’s approach to WWE.