Wrestling's Wednesday Night Wars kick off on 2 October, when All Elite Wrestling's weekly two-hour show debuts on TNT, going head-to-head with a WWE NXT broadcast that will have already enjoyed a two-week headstart on USA Network.
This is the biggest development in Vince McMahon and Tony Khan's promotional battle thus far. AEW and WWE have technically been "at war" since the newer company was unveiled in Jacksonville on 8 January, though this is the first time they'll be jostling for ratings. An exciting proposition for anyone who believes that direct competition will spur both promotions to become their best possible versions.
That's the ideal scenario: a hyper-competitive midweek battle featuring two cutting-edge wrestling products trading blows, onscreen and off. It'd be fun, exciting, one hell of a time to be a fan, and hopefully convince the tribalists who've already adopted a disappointing, predictable "my side is great"/"your side is awful" attitude to at least soften their stance. The last thing internet wrestling discourse needs is more insecure bickering.
AEW's pathway to success is unclear and their first few viewership figures will tell us much about their prospects, through their first four pay-per-views (while far from perfect) have offered more reasons to be optimistic than cynical. WWE, meanwhile, have been here before. They've run countless promotions off, from WCW and ECW all the way back to the territories, and while "Vince McMahon is out of touch" remains a popular criticism, his winning strategy is evident...
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