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After months of speculation, All Elite Wrestling (AEW) has announced its launching a third show on cable television. The second largest professional wrestling company could also be looking to bring CM Punk back to the company after a long absence.
The news was announced Wednesday at Madison Square Garden, part of the Warner Bros. Discovery upfront presentation. The two-hour show called ‘Collision’ will air live very Saturday night starting June 17th from Chicago.
“We’re doubling-down on wrestling with ‘AEW: Collision,’ which gives fans two more hours every week,” said Jason Sarlanis, president of the Turner Networks. “AEW’s roster of talent has expanded so quickly that we felt it needed another night to bring our audience the epic rivalries, unforgettable matches and stars they love to watch.”
This Is Great For Professional Wrestling Fans
This is great news for professional wrestling fans that are still looking for an alternative to WWE. Make no mistake, AEW is competing with the WWE, but in different ways. The company knows that it will be second to WWE in terms of television audience. But it’s good to have an alternative, which I surely enjoy.
The days of a ‘Monday Night War’ are over, but AEW already has two shows that air every week. On Wednesday nights, ‘Dynamite’ airs from 8-10 ET, while ‘Rampage’ airs every Friday night at 10 pm ET. So, with the company now adding a third show, this will obviously lead to some type of brand split with the active wrestlers.
AEW is now slated for five hours of weekly television. This shows the rapid growth of the business that was first started with the help of guys like Chris Jericho, The Young Bucks, Kenny Omega, Cody Rhodes and Hangman Page.
“With the addition of ‘AEW: Collision’ on TNT, I’m extremely proud that a Turner network will be the home of Saturday night wrestling for the first time in more than two decades,” owner Tony Khan noted. “The debut of ‘Collision’ is significant across numerous sectors including television, wrestling, entertainment and sports, and reinforces AEW as the bold property we envisioned when we launched in 2019.”
Will CM Punk Return To AEW Television?
The long awaited question might finally be answered in the next month, or even sooner. Following his press conference after AEW All Out in 2022, Punk was reportedly involved in a real-life fight with members of the roster. The Young Bucks and Kenny Omega were both suspended following the locker room incident, along with CM Punk.
The problem for AEW was that Punk had also torn his triceps, which would keep him out of action for an extended period of time. Tony Khan decided not to eat a massive chunk of his contract, and kept him in the company. All of this, along with the constant rumors, looks to reportedly be coming to a head with AEWs return to Chicago for the first night of ‘Collision’.
Ongoing speculation from wrestling insiders have led fans to believe that an announcement could be coming soon, possibly tonight, on Punk’s AEW future. Now, they still have a few weeks, but selling tickets to the first Saturday night show is critical. If Punk is returning, they can’t hold it a secret like they did before his AEW debut.
Tony Khan Is Dreaming Big With ‘All-In’ At Wembley Stadium
AEW smashed its own company record by selling more than 36,000 tickets during a recent pre-sale for All-In. Tony Khan decided to take a massive gamble and host an event at Wembley Stadium in London, which has now sold over 60,000 tickets.
I wondered two weeks ago if the company could get to the 60K mark, which the company certainly did. Oh, and AEW still has almost four months until the PPV in London, so there’s a good chance that number gets into the 80,000 range.
It would be the highest selling wrestling event at Wembley Stadium since Summerslam in 1992. For comparison, WWE’s ‘Clash At The Castle’ sold just over 63,000 tickets in Cardiff, Wales. But AEW has a chance to eclipse that number in the historic Wembley Stadium, which would be massive for the company.
The setup at Wembley is for 74,000 fans, but Tony Khan might have to reconfigure the stage. There are reports that the company is holding an additional 15,000 tickets, if needed. Well, if this keeps up and AEW continues to build momentum, we could be looking at a sellout.
Either way, AEW seems to be headed in the right direction towards the August event. Now, with the announcement of ‘Collision,’ it only presents further opportunities for growth.
Many folks wondered if they could pull it off in 2019. I think the company has proven those skeptics wrong, in just four years.