AEW President Tony Khan joined Busted Open Radio this morning for his weekly appearance to promote AEW Rampage: The First Dance, taking place tonight in the United Center in Chicago, Illinois. In praising the fans for sticking with them, Khan called tonight’s show the biggest in AEW history and talked about how he formatted last week’s debut episode of Rampage.
“The AEW fans have been tremendous throughout the pandemic,” Khan said. “The support on television for Dynamite and locally in Jacksonville for over a year was outstanding. And now that we’ve been back on the road, we’ve had fans turning out all over the country to support AEW. The ratings have been consistently better than we’ve ever had. And now I think we’re reaching a new high point. Going into The First Dance tonight, it’s the biggest show we’ve ever had. I think the debut of Rampage was a major success, critically and commercially. We were thrilled with the rating we did, but also the format of the show I was really happy with.
“I spent a lot of time on that format and I thought it was the perfect format for the one hour wrestling show. The matches had great significance and really, everything on the show was built around that card. And it was a really focused show. It was very different than the format of Dynamite where we do vignettes, and we’ll do interviews kind of surrounding pretty much every story, all the big things happening in AEW. We may only cover five or six matches on a Dynamite, but really you’ll see so much of what’s happening in AEW and keep up on everyone’s story. Rampage is a lot more focused and locked in on what’s happening on that one hour, specifically.”
Khan also revealed that the format of tonight’s episode of Rampage would differ from the first week. The reason why? While Khan didn’t say it outright, he all but alluded to the rumored arrival of one CM Punk to AEW as being the catalyst.
“The format of tonight’s show will be very different,” Khan stated. “It’s going to be be different than last week’s Rampage and really different than most Rampage’s. I think for an average Friday night, it’s gonna be a great wrestling show every Friday on Rampage and I would expect the format to be more similar to what we did in the premiere episode than what we do tonight. I think tonight’s episode will be a very atypical format. It’s gonna be unusual but it’s also gonna be the biggest surprise we ever delivered and that’s why it necessitates a very different format than we’ve done for just a standard wrestling card.
“We also unlocked really something that going forward is gonna be a tremendous way to present Rampage on Friday nights. Even though tonight’s show is gonna be a little bit different from last week’s, really what we will be doing going forward, I think its a very important show we’re doing tonight and I’m very excited about the buzz and all of the momentum the company has right now.”
If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit Busted Open Radio and provide a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription