Long-time wrestling personality Jim Cornette recently shared his thoughts on AEW Dynamite and Rampage eventually splitting rosters.
The question was posed to Cornette on his podcast, ‘The Jim Cornette Experience’. Unimpressed with WWE‘s brand split and the notion of one promotion having two world champions, Cornette dismissed AEW head honcho Tony Khan’s chances of successfully booking two different rosters.
However, the tennis racket-enthusiast acknowledged the promotion should “feature some people on TV on Friday that you didn’t feature on Wednesday and vice versa.” With ROH now under the Elite umbrella, Cornette suggested Khan utilise the promotion and brand more effectively in future, should he require an additional show to feature his talent.
Talk of an AEW brand split has surfaced this year due to the promotion’s increasingly enormous roster. With indie and ex-WWE/NXT stars flooding in alongside AEW’s core talent, the question of how Tony Khan and co. will continue to give their wrestlers adequate screen-time is looming.
For wrestling traditionalists like Jim Cornette, brand splits are bad for business due to the excess of titles they often lead to.
Instead of breaking up the roster, the SMW founder suggested AEW use Rampage more effectively in conjunction with Dynamite. Instead of being used as a separate entity, Cornette believes it should be promoting and expanding upon the angles on Dynamite to keep stories moving and developing more effectively week to week.
“Yes my flagship has the best ratings and the best timeslot, so that is going to be my A show, as Dusty used to call it. That has the top talent and the top angles, so that’s what I want everybody to know primarily. The B show on Friday, we still want to feature top talent, because it does a number whenever we do, and hockey is not kicking it off everywhere. But at the same time, this is to complement the A show.
Have an angle or two running on the Friday night show between some people that the fans might be interested in, and then use the rest of it to juice up what you have done on Wednesday night, a package, a recap and comments about what happened and looking forward to the next week. Use it to promote your show the following Wednesday and use the Wednesday show to promote Friday. Make them work together and they have their place in pecking order, but not completely different talent. Then the only thing you’ve got similar is the name AEW.”
Citing a lack of innovation and identity on Rampage now compared to when it first started, Cornette believes it needs to be retooled:
“The problem is that there is nothing that continues week to week on the Friday programme, it’s just the catch off of all the f*cking yay whos he doesn’t have time for on Wednesday night. Then you don’t really get a lot of news from Wednesday night, which is probably the stuff that the bigger stars are doing than is what’s on the Friday night show. We don’t even get Mark Henry coming out any more, we just see his head pop up with ‘It’s time for the main event.’ They started the programme with its own identity and its own commentators, now it’s just well here is the outtakes.”
With Forbidden Door, AEW’s NJPW crossover event looming, it looks like AEW’s army of talent is only going to grow further before the year is over.
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