For the first time ever, WWE SmackDown and AEW Rampage will be airing at the same exact time, at least for a bit.
Last night on the broadcast, WWE announced that SmackDown would not be airing on FOX as per usual due to the MLB Playoffs taking precedent on the network. The show will instead be airing on FOX Sports 1. The difference in viewership between SmackDown’s home network and FS1 is staggering, as FOX is viewable in roughly 20 million more homes. The show has traditionally lost well over a million viewers when they’ve been forced to temporarily move networks in the past. Given the huge drop in viewership that the blue brand is sure to have, the door is open for Rampage to beat SmackDown in overall viewership for the first time ever.
WWE is doing everything in their power to prevent that from happening.
Next week’s “Supersized SmackDown” has not only been given a stacked card, but also an extra 30-minutes of runtime. Therefore, the final half-hour of SmackDown will be airing at the same time as the first half of Rampage. All Elite Wrestling Owner Tony Khan took to Twitter to directly respond to WWE’s attempt to Counter-program the fledgling show.
The two-and-a-half hour edition of SmackDown will be airing at it’s usual time of 8 Eastern on FS1. AEW Rampage will air in it’s usual slot of 10 Eastern on TNT.