TNT broadcasting the NBA and NHL playoffs has meant a lot of on-the-fly changes for AEW President Tony Khan as his wrestling show confronts the age-old challenge of scheduling conflicts with major sports. This year’s NBA playoffs are unique, however, in that they’re forcing Khan to rethink the timing of a major pay-per-view — that is, if he wants anybody to watch AEW Double of Nothing.
The Boston Celtics and the Miami Heat are currently all tied up in their best-of-seven series to determine the winner of the Eastern Conference and the East’s representative in the NBA Finals, with each team having won two games. If the series goes to seven games — which seems likely, considering neither team has yet won two games in a row — it will take place on Sunday night, the same night as AEW’s PPV.
“If there is a Game 7, I will make sure, I’ve actually planned ahead,” Khan said while talking to Richard Deitsch of Sports Media. “First of all, there will not be any long gap, I’m not going to hold [the show] up. I planned where we’re going to start a little bit later in terms of when the action’s going to start and we have a little bit more in the window, so I expect the total night of wrestling to be very similar to what we did at [AEW] Revolution.”
“AEW Revolution” featured a “Buy-In” pre-show with three matches. Combined with the main card’s nine matches, the event’s run time totaled just over five hours. Wrestling fans have notoriously despised longer, drawn-out shows, with WWE WrestleMania recently becoming a two-night event to compensate, and Khan explained how he’s going to combat that concern from fans.
“There would be some great action before the game and after the game, in case anybody does end up watching it,” Khan stated. “The pre-show, as we call it the Buy-In, will maybe not have as much action as the last show, and the total night of wrestling will have more because I plan to put more in the pay-per-view, but it’ll be the same total amount of wrestling we’ve been doing. I’m not trying to keep people forever, but it’s a holiday weekend in particular, and the last one was not, so it might be even better received now. “
Boxing has been notorious over the years for holding off the main attraction from shows until a conflicting event ends, making sure their main event goes on unopposed. Khan plans to do something similar.
“I’m not going to have [the event last forever], we have plenty of action, it’s going to be a great night,” Khan said. “And I promise if there is a Game 7, a lot of the best action will be at the very end, including the main event … There’s so much on the card, so I plan to leave a lot for later.”
Double or Nothing will be headlined by AEW World Champion Adam Page defending his belt against CM Punk, along with the finals of the “Owen Hart Cup Tournament” for both the men and women.
If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit Sports Media with Richard Deitsch with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.
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