Tony Khan has hit back at WWE running the final 30 minutes of SmackDown commercial free, saying he can do that too, and for even longer as he has more money.
On October 15th a bumper edition Friday Night SmackDown will run for two and a half hours. The extra half an hour means that instead of the show ending right before AEW Rampage, the final half an hour will now go head-to-head with the AEW broadcast.
WWE have also announced that those final 30 minutes will be commercial free.
In response, AEW President Tony Khan has pulled out all of the stops, taking repeated shots at WWE outlining his desire to beat SmackDown, while admitting he wants to “recrate the spirit” of the wrestling war of the 1990’s.
Khan has also been less than complimentary towards some WWE’s programming, commenting that a recent episode of Monday Night Raw “sucked.”
Speaking to The New York Post, Tony Khan has again addressed the upcoming head-to-head. The AEW boss initially described WWE’s decision to extend SmackDown as “pretty predatory,” before expressing his surprise at the final section of the show running commercial free.
“It’s a little bit different than the Wednesday Night Wars because that was from the very beginning of Dynamite and we put our head down and it was an every-week thing. This seemed like pretty predatory, which is fine if that’s how you want to play it. It’s not outwardly how they’ve (WWE) shown they wanted to play it.
I’ve coined a phrase which is WYW, watch your wrestling. Whatever people what to watch, I want them to watch it. Unfortunately, if we are on at the same time it’s harder for people to watch their wrestling, at least live.
We can take the commercials out of it. If you want to take the commercials out of it, I can do that too. It doesn’t seem very civil but I have more money than they do so I can afford to do that longer than they can. But that’s how we make money at the end of the day, so I was surprised when they took those out.”
Tony Khan has also announced that AEW Rampage will feature a Buy In for the very first time. On the show Bryan Danielson will compete in a dream match against Minoru Suzuki, while Bobby Fish will also be in action.
The AEW Rampage Buy In will be shown on YouTube, starting at 9 p.m. ET. The special live edition of Rampage will follow at 10pm ET. on TNT.