It’s official folks, All Elite Wrestling’s (AEW) live television show will air weekly beginning on Wednesday, October 2nd, from 8:00 pm – 10:00 pm on TNT. The show will emanate from the Capital One Center in Washington DC, the site of the Sting vs. Hulk Hogan (formerly named the MCI Center) match from Starrcade 1997. AEW looks to be the first major promotion with the ability to absorb a significant piece of the pro wrestling market share from WWE since WCW during the Monday Night Wars in the mid to late ’90s.
AEW already announced a tournament to crown their inaugural tag team champions will be the focal point of their show during its initial launch. Their pay-per-view on August 31st, All Out will run some angles promoting to their TNT debut.
Also, with rumors of WWE moving NXT to Fox Sports 1 on the same day and time as AEW’s Wednesday time slot, this could be the genesis of a new wrestling war. The show will be preempted on Christmas Day, which is usually when TNT airs A Christmas Story in a loop for 24 hours.
The term “Dynamite” has been trademarked by AEW for several months with all signs pointing to it being the name of the show. Ticket information is expected to be announced on July 29th for the history-making show. TNT, the former home of WCW Monday Nitro, is available in an estimated 89 million homes.
AEW will mark the first time a major pro wrestling show will air consistently on Wednesdays. Raw and Nitro cemented the genre’s place on Mondays. SmackDown has spent long periods of its twenty-year history on Thursday, Friday, and currently on Tuesday with a return to Friday nights in October with the move to Fox.
ECW on TNN aired on Fridays during its run, WCW placed Thunder on Thursdays, and TNA/Impact also made Thursday night their home. Wednesday has been mostly untouched by televised wrestling content on cable and TNT is an excellent platform for AEW to launch.
Superstar talent will be vital for AEW’s long-term success. Chris Jericho and Jon Moxley (formerly Dean Ambrose) are the two most recognizable names on the roster. Kenny Omega, The Young Bucks, Cody Rhodes, Hangman Page, SCU, Pentagon, and Fenix are the most prominent stars with the diehard audience.
MJF is a name on the rise and a high level heel in the making. Jungle Boy has the potential to be a star, and AEW is going all-in with their women’s division. CM Punk is appearing at the Starrcast convention adjacent to the AEW pay-per-view. Rumors are running rampant that Punk is signing with the promotion, which would be a game-changer.
Ever since WCW went out of business in 2001, fans have been wondering if a wrestling centric alternative can thrive on a mainstream level. It is clear Vince McMahon is out of touch with what the audience wants. There has never been a better time for a new promotion to enter the space, and AEW’s potential is white-hot.