A new AEW show to be broadcast on Saturday night is all but confirmed, and CM Punk is seemingly heading back to the company.
While nothing has been officially announced, talks around the new show have been ongoing for months. Although the idea of a new show had been bubbling away in the background, it was thrown front and centre by the news that CM Punk is on the brink of returning to AEW.
On April 13th it was reported that the “wheels are in motion” regarding a return with AEW Dynamite in Chicago on June 21st looking a likely destination. This report also stated that AEW is looking at a “soft roster split” with the launch of the new Saturday show. This is linked to the company trying to keep high-profile talents who don’t get along away from each other.
CM Punk is said to be open to working with Kenny Omega and the Young Bucks, but The Elite isn’t so keen on working with him.
Writing in the WrestlingObserver Newsletter, Dave Meltzer revealed that the working plan is for CM Punk to feature on the new Saturday show, and the AEW crew will be split. Meltzer adds that while this might work well as a solution in theory, there will still be instances where talents would need to work together on special television shows and pay-per-views.
With regard to the new TV show, AEW is hosting a show in Regina on July 8th, which they have advertised as a “live televised event.” The taping is set to start at 6 pm Central Time. Meltzer notes that start times are usually advertised at least 30 minutes before cameras role, meaning a likely start time of 7:30 p.m. or 8 p.m Eastern. The deal is not 100% finalised, but has been in the works for months.
The time slot of the new show will put it in direct competition with numerous sports events including UFC, college football, boxing pay-per-views, and increasingly WWE Premium Live Events as more and more are moved to Saturdays.
“The original idea for the show was a two-hour show that would have equal the star power of the Wednesday show. Of course, until it’s announced nothing is official.
We’ve heard talk of a June start, but there are no TV taping dates on Saturdays announced yet for June. Obviously the working plan is for the show to be rolling by 7/8 at the latest, and I don’t see the big debut episode of a new show being in Regina.”
Meltzer adds that if all goes to plan, the move will put AEW in a strong position when it comes to television rights negotiations.
“Exactly how adding another two hour show affects the money that WBD pays AEW is not known. Obviously the costs of doing two shows a week will greatly increase. AEW has the talent to do two shows a week although at that point the idea of a third separate ROH brand makes less sense.
If WBD is giving them a significant rate increase on a new deal for similar money per hour produced, then the addition of the new show is more than worthwhile and would be a giant economic boon to the company. Having two or three weekly AEW shows to sell (if Rampage stays on), particularly if they can do reasonable numbers, makes future rights fees negotiations significantly stronger on paper.”
Not everyone. https://t.co/UamPhIUXDj
— Chris Jericho (@IAmJericho) April 14, 2023
Chris Jericho Responds To Claims He’d Work With CM Punk
CM Punk has reportedly tried to push for a meeting between himself and The Elite. With regard to Jericho, a report from Fightful noted that a meeting was planned between the pair to see if there was a possibility they could work together despite their “numerous issues in the past.”
This section of the report was put to Jericho on social media, with a message stating:
“Chris Jericho @IAmJericho, correct me if I am wrong but you’ve always been willing to work with everyone and you always do what’s best for business. People are foolish to suggest otherwise.”
The post was accompanied by a photo of Punk and Jericho. In response, Jericho wrote back “Not everyone.”