The Friday Night Wars are coming to wrestling on October 15 with WWE SmackDown and AEW Rampage going head-to-head for a half hour beginning at 10 p.m. ET.
Rampage will air in its usual slot on TNT, but SmackDown will be extended by 30-minutes on Fox Sports 1.
Following the announcement of the Supersized SmackDown, Tony Khan tweeted that he was excited to beat WWE's main show.
Speaking to Joseph Staszewski of the New York Post, Khan discussed why competition is good for the wrestling industry.
"In wrestling, we’re worth more against each other and we’re better off against each other. I believe there is greater value in the wrestling market when we’re fighting and people want to see competition in wrestling. I think it’s one of the reasons people lost interest in wrestling was because there was not true competition for 20 years. Now with AEW in the mix and competition back in wrestling, I think there are more people excited about wrestling than there have been in a long time with the free-agent movement and good shows. At the end of the day, it has to be good shows. Through the 90s there were a lot of great wrestling shows. Every week, every month there would be great stories and great matches and you couldn’t miss it. I think it’s starting to get that way again," he said.
AEW and WWE have been competing from the first episode of AEW Dynamite as they went head-to-head with NXT nearly every week from October 2019 to April 2021 when NXT moved to Tuesdays.
Speaking on the differences between WWE putting NXT against Dynamite and now having an extended SmackDown, Tony said, "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."
Earlier this week, Khan announced a special Rampage Buy-In show, which will air at 9 p.m. ET on YouTube and features Bryan Danielson vs. Minoru Suzuki.
Fightful will have live coverage of both WWE SmackDown and AEW Rampage beginning at 8 p.m. ET on Friday.