Pro wrestling is about to get a whole lot more fun. Since announcing their partnership with TNT back in May of this year, All Elite Wrestling has ran three major Pay-Per-View events (Double or Nothing, Fyter Fest, and Fight for the Fallen). All three have been well-received sell-outs, often within minutes. Those events, along with an overwhelming social media presence for the company and its stars, has stoked the interest of wrestling fans the world over. The only remaining question was when exactly AEW’s much-anticipated television show would debut.
That question has finally been answered.
All Elite Wrestling will begin airing their new weekly show on TNT on Wednesday, October 2nd from 7-9 p.m. (CST). This show will debut just two days before WWE’s SmackDown Live moves to its new home on Fox.
This first TNT show will take place from Washington, D.C. at the Capital One Arena, home of the Washington Wizards and Washington Capitals. The arena has a noted capacity of 20,356. If past sales are any indication, this show should easily sell out the day that tickets do go on sale.
It should be noted that very little of this information is what I’d call surprising. There had been industry scuttlebutt that AEW’s show would air on Tuesdays, resulting from multiple reports that they’d trademarked the name “Tuesday Night Dynamite” last fall. The thinking was also that fans were conditioned to watch wrestling (i.e. SmackDown) on Tuesdays, so AEW could fill that void that Smackdown-to-Fox would create.
However, complicating Tuesdays is TNT’s marriage with the NBA, as they regularly air NBA games during the second half of the season through the playoffs. That would cause numerous issues for a wrestling company that, despite an enthusiastic fanbase, would suffer if continuously preempted.
Therefore, as PWInsider first reported, AEW filed for the “Wednesday Night Dynamite” trademark on June 18th.
WWE is likely to continue airing their weekly NXT show on Wednesday night as competition for AEW. Smart money would be on AEW pulling strong numbers for their show, despite the competition, simply because they will be live rather than tape-delayed and accessible anytime like NXT via the WWE Network. If at some point in the future NXT moves to FS1, then, perhaps, we’ll have a real war.
In the meantime, while WWE tries to pop ratings (to appease the USA Network) with Raw Reunions and other short-sighted tactics, excitement is high for something new. I think that most wrestling fans will give AEW a real chance in the hopes that they can stoke the competitive juices of everyone involved and give fans something that they haven’t had since WCW folded: Two viable pro wrestling promotions.