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AEW's Tony Khan Happy CM Punk Beat WWE SmackDown "Decisively"

Khan is happy for the former WWE Champion

AEW Rampage and WWE SmackDown went head-to-head for the first time back on October 15 when a special supersized edition of SmackDown on FS1 aired against AEW's Friday night TNT show for 30 minutes.  

All eyes were on the ratings and it emerged that Rampage beat SmackDown in the key 18-49 demo, averaging 328,000 viewers during the 30 minutes they were head-to-head compared to SmackDown's 285,000. 

AEW scored an even bigger victory in the opening quarter against SmackDown as former WWE Champion CM Punk's match against Matt Sydal drew 363,000 in the 18-49 demo compared to 277,000 for Becky Lynch vs. Sasha Banks on SmackDown. The Second City Saviour also reportedly told Tony Khan to keep him in the opening segment on Rampage as he could "take the bullet" if AEW lost.

Speaking on the Dan LeBatard show with Stugotz, AEW President Tony Khan admitted he was really happy for CM Punk that his segment defeated SmackDown "decisively."

"We beat them in the 18 to 49 pretty cleanly. I had a 30-minute head-to-head window, and I had to do six minutes of commercials. I had to. So, CM Punk won his segment decisively. And then the second segment, which was Ruby Soho vs. The Bunny, two female wrestlers who fans had been just really mean to and said your segment's not gonna do well. And Ruby Soho is a big star who had been fired from WWE just months earlier. They went up against a contract signing of Brock Lesnar and Roman Reigns. If you look at it, they tied it. But in their 15-minute quarter, that's where I pushed all six minutes of the commercials. So actually without the commercials, they would have beat that segment," Khan said.

"We won the half-hour 0.25 to 0.22, I believe, and it was a decisive victory. And I was really happy in particular for CM Punk, who is a great person, and I've gotten to know a lot better in the past couple years. And he had been out of professional wrestling for a really long time, and he had been served a lawsuit by WWE on his wedding day. 

"It's been a long time coming for him to come back, because he loves pro wrestling, and the pro wrestling fans really love him. It's been such a blessing for our business, and I thought it was a really cool moment for him to go head-to-head... people were excited to watch the skill of the wrestling match and see the art of it, and see CM Punk in his element."

Since his match with Matt Sydal, Punk has defeated Bobby Fish and The Second City Saviour will face Eddie Kingston at the Full Gear pay-per-view on November 13.

H/T to Cageside Seats

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Aidan Gibbons

Written by Aidan Gibbons

Journalist/Editor-in-Chief of Cultaholic.com Twitter: @theaidangibbons