Report: TNT's Original Plans For AEW Rampage Revealed

TNT hoped for some fan crossover with AEW Rampage

AEW Rampage debuted as All Elite Wrestling's second TV show back in August 2021, with the show being given a Friday at 10 pm ET time slot on TNT in the United States. 

The show started off with strong ratings due to CM Punk's AEW debut and other key moments like Christian Cage winning the IMPACT World Title on early shows, but viewership has declined over the past two years to the point that many no longer consider Rampage must-watch TV. 

The ratings decline wasn't the plan, though, and Dave Meltzer reported in the Wrestling Observer Newsletter that TNT chose to air Rampage at 10 pm ET on Fridays as they hoped many of the two million fans watching Friday Night SmackDown would change the channel to Rampage for more wrestling when WWE's show was finished.  

That ultimately hasn't happened and ratings over the past two years have shown SmackDown peaking late often leads to lower viewership for Rampage and the majority of viewers in the United States aren't watching more than one hour of wrestling on a Friday night.

Meltzer noted: "In fact, most likely one of the reasons Rampage has dropped so much in the past year is because Smackdown has been the more attractive show on Friday night to the vast majority and has dominated people's minutes watching wrestling."

Rampage is set to undergo some changes upon the premiere of AEW Collision on Saturday, June 17, with reports indicating the Friday night show will be booked in a similar way to WWF Sunday Night Heat.

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Aidan Gibbons

Written by Aidan Gibbons

Editor-in-Chief of Twitter: @theaidangibbons