Ahead of the debut of AEW Collision, a new report suggests that the ratings for that show could have a negative effect on AEW’s other primetime TV shows.
The highly-anticipated debut of AEW Collision is set to take place this Saturday, June 17th from the United Center in Chicago. It will air at 8 p.m. ET on TNT for two hours in the US. The show is being built around the return of former two-time AEW World Champion CM Punk, who is back on AEW TV for the first time since September 2022 when he suffered a torn triceps while winning the World Title.
During the June 14th edition of AEW Dynamite, CM Punk appeared in a brief video talking about how he had to get some things off his chest.
— AEW on TV (@AEWonTV) June 15, 2023
The interesting thing about the CM Punk video is that while there are some fans excited to see him back, there were some boos when he was shown because AEW fans are well aware of all the chaos that comes with Punk.
It has been reported for weeks now that there are still plenty of people within AEW that want nothing to do with Punk. While there is not a hard roster split in AEW, there are some wrestlers that will only be on Dynamite while others will only be on Collision with Punk due to his bad blood with the likes of The Elite (Kenny Omega, Hangman Page, Nick Jackson & Matt Jackson) and numerous others.
As for the audience numbers for Collision, the first episode should do well for fans that are curious to see what it looks like, but Saturday nights are tough for television shows. Plus, it’s also the summer season in North America meaning a lot of people are out socializing more than they would be during colder parts of the year.
In the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, Dave Meltzer wrote about how the presence of Collision will likely hurt Dynamite on Wednesdays and Rampage on Fridays.
“Adding a third show could hurt the Dynamite number, and one would expect it would hurt the still-declining Rampage numbers. The Dynamite number, while still better than the recent average, was disappointing for such a loaded show this week and much of the promotion has been the Collision launch and not Dynamite. Rampage set record lows for the regular time slot.”
“There is a dynamic in a marketplace that already has seven hours per week of WWE television programming and another several more hours readily available on Peacock each month and to most, that’s the A brand. The average person won’t watch it all. Even if AEW was putting on the better product, they are still not seen as the major league in most eyes.”
“However, in this day and age, if they can get a 0.24 consistently on Saturday given all the competition on that day, the show would have to be viewed as a success, because that’s double what the station was doing in the time slot. Two successful shows would up the value of the promotion and make it more attractive to potential rights buyers next year.”
The advertised lineup for Collision on June 17th looks like this:
* Jay White, Samoa Joe and Juice Robinson vs. CM Punk and FTR
* TNT Championship: Wardlow (C) vs Luchasaurus
* Skye Blue & Willow Nightingale vs Toni Storm & Ruby Soho
* Buddy Matthews vs Andrade El Idolo
* Miro in action