The debut of AEW Rampage took place last night at the Petersen Events Center in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Kicking off the show was Christian Cage defeating Kenny Omega for the Impact World Championship.
Moments after the event end, Justin Barrasso of Sports Illustrated spoke with AEW President Tony Khan about how he thought things went.
“This was one of the biggest nights in the history of the company, and it was a great show,” Khan said. “We went in with a tremendous card of three championship matches and a plan to deliver the best one-hour wrestling TV show anyone’s seen in a very long time. We needed to hit a home run, and we did. Everyone across the board, including production and staff, did a tremendous job.”
Khan noted he wanted to go in “as hot as possible” with the first show on TNT. He also reiterated that fans should know what to expect at next week’s Rampage at the United Center in Chicago, of course that being the return of CM Punk.
“We highlighted our people, and that led to great moments,” Khan said. “Tonight was all about showing fans the top stars of AEW, ones that are becoming mainstream names in wrestling and even outside of it, too. This is the perfect time to launch Rampage, and I wanted to go in as hot as possible. Next week’s Rampage is ‘The First Dance’ and I think everyone knows what to expect — and everyone is very excited. We built a foundation here for what you’re going to see next week. This was a huge premiere, and there is tons of anticipation for next week in Chicago.”
Khan actually made a quick appearance on last night’s show after Fuego del Sol’s loss to AEW TNT Champion Miro. Had Sol won, he was going to earn an AEW contract. Khan ended up giving Sol’s friend, Sammy Guevara, a clipboard and Guevara ended up informing Sol he was signed anyways (which Sol had no idea about).
“That was a complete shoot,” Khan revealed. “Fuego had no idea that was going to happen. Sammy was the only person I told, and Fuego was legitimately surprised to receive the contract he’s been dreaming of and chasing.”
With Rampage only being one hour, Khan also mentioned how it’s going to be a total different format compared to its other shows. He also referred to next week’s “The First Dance” as a “very atypical episode.”
“This show belongs to the wrestling fans,” Khan stated. “Now is the time for more AEW on TNT and TBS. There is only more excitement to come in the weeks ahead. I’ve looked forward to this day for so long, and this was a great debut for Rampage. It’s a totally different format for us, and next week will be a very atypical episode of Rampage. I’m so excited for what is ahead next week. We’re going to give people very special wrestling television. ‘The First Dance’ is going to be a one-time, historic wrestling television event.”
Rampage airs Fridays at 10 pm ET on TNT.