AEW President Tony Khan made his weekly appearance on Busted Open Radio to talk about AEW Grand Slam week in Arthur Ashe Stadium. With AEW Dynamite now in the books, the goal for Khan is for tonight’s episode of Rampage to be just as big as what fans saw Wednesday night.
“Well we’re only halfway home,” Khan said. “We had a great show on Wednesday night. And I put a card together that I believed would be the biggest TV week we’ve ever had, and it’s been huge so far. To come in and have five straight weeks at number one on Wednesday night for AEW Dynamite is a dream come true. Before this year we had never been number one for AEW Dynamite for the week. We finished everywhere from two to ten, but we had never had the number one spot until April 14. Since then we’ve had it a lot of times, including five straight Wednesdays.
“That’s really the goal every week. We’ve hit my goal. I think as long as you’re at number one or competing for number one every week, that’s ideal. Last week Rampage actually finished number two on cable, and I would love it if we could win the week and finish number one with AEW Rampage: Grand Slam, or at least compete for that number one spot every week. And this is the biggest card we’ve ever put on a Friday night by far. To have the first match in over seven years of CM Punk TV, it’s a pretty big deal for him to be wrestling tonight.”
Khan is fond of saying that the wrestling business is stronger than it has been in years, largely due to the success of AEW. He reiterated that point while also pointing out AEW’s growth.
“Really we’re in a great place right now,” Khan said. “I think with our fans, with our wrestling, it’s all coming together at a great time where every significant business metric in AEW is really peaking right now. And keeps climbing. So it’s a great time for us, and it’s a great time I think to be a wrestling fan. The business is doing so well right now. It’s probably the strongest wrestling has been in over twenty years.”
Yesterday it was announced that AEW Rampage would be staying on TNT going forward, while Dynamite will be moving to TBS in January of 2022. Khan believes the move will be great for AEW.
“Well it’s going to work out great,” Khan said. “I think tonight you’ll see Rampage on TNT, and Rampage is going to stay on TNT for the long term. Dynamite moving to TBS I think is a win win. First off all, it worked out very well for us financially. And it’s great to keep Rampage on TNT also, which has got really similar penetration. It’s a win win for us to be across these two great networks. WCW two decades ago had some really, really good runs on both networks. And to have that penetration in the two separate audiences, I think, is great.
“There is a sports audience on Friday nights and TNT’s got a little bit more history of sports. And there’s some places that frankly, after a Thursday NBA game, some of the bars and sports bars across on this country, Friday night they already have TNT on the TV. So I think it makes a lot of sense to have both networks in play for us. So I’m really excited Rampage will be on TNT for the long haul, and very excited about Dynamite in January to be making that move to TBS.”
Khan also touched upon the Kenny Omega-Bryan Danielson match from Dynamite this past week, calling it an all time great match. He believes matches like that and the the arrival of big stars have allowed AEW to put up the ratings they have over the last five weeks.
“Kenny Omega and Bryan Danielson had an all time great match,” Khan said. “I was really proud of that match and how it turned out. It was a big success in terms of getting eyeballs on the show. We’ve done 103 episodes of AEW Dynamite. After 103 episodes of Dynamite, that was one of our top three highest rated shows we’ve ever done, which is really saying something. One of the biggest things we’ve ever done since the debut, it was the second highest rated show since the debut. It was a big deal. Those two highest rated shows we’ve had since the debut have both come since All Out, since the arrival of all these big stars. Since CM Punk had debuted in the ring, since Adam Cole and Ruby Hoho and Bryan Danielson had arrived in AEW.
“So it’s really exciting what’s happening, we’ve hit all time highs for audience in recent weeks. What a great trend. For me, tonight on AEW Rampage is the culmination of the biggest week of television we’ve ever done. And to be number one five weeks in a row on Wednesday night, who would’ve ever dreamed of it? And now we’ve had Rampage ranked number one in the past, we were number two last week. The card is so strong tonight on TNT, and I really think it’s a can’t miss show tonight for Friday night Rampage.”
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