Next week’s (Oct. 15) episode of WWE SmackDown is the go-home show for the Crown Jewel event scheduled for Thurs., Oct. 21, 2021, in Saudi Arabia.
WWE is dubbing this episode as “Supersized SmackDown” and is loading the card up with the return of Brock Lesnar, Becky Lynch vs. Sasha Banks, and semifinal matches in the King of the Ring and Queen’s Crown tournaments.
The big wrinkle here for WWE is that this “Supersized SmackDown” is being bumped off the FOX network and will instead air on FS1. This is happening because the MLB playoffs are airing on FOX that night.
So what makes this episode of SmackDown supersized? Televisions listings indicate the show is scheduled for a runtime of 2.5 hours. That means the final 30 minutes of the show will directly compete against the first 30 minutes of AEW Rampage from 10:00 pm ET to 10:30 pm ET. Rampage will be airing live that night, instead of its typical taped format.
AEW head honcho Tony Khan is aware of WWE’s move, and he is ready to win:
I saw you’re doing a half hour head-to-head with us. I can’t wait to finally beat your main show head-to-head. It’s been a long time coming. See you next Friday for #AEWRampage on @AEWonTNT!— Tony Khan (@TonyKhan) October 9, 2021
Oh boy. It looks like the Friday night wrestling war is here, at least for thirty minutes next week.