Rampage Needs To Be A 2 Hour Show

During a recent episode of AEW Rampage, Excalibur called the show “The fastest 60 minutes in all of professional wrestling” and he’s absolutely right. By the time I’m barely feeling settled in, the show is finished every single week.

In some ways, this is a good thing. The show almost always features great matches, and it always leaves you wanting more. There’s also reasons why you wouldn’t want to do this. 10:00pm eastern time is not a great slot for a two hour show, especially when it follows the already two hour long Smackdown. All of these things considered though, I still think there are many more compelling reasons to extend the show.

First and foremost, it gives more opportunities to build stories and showcase more talent in compelling feuds and matches.

With the AEW offerings available at the time of writing, you get three hours of must-watch content. With all due respect to Dark and Dark: Elevation, they don’t match Dynamite or Rampage in really any regard. Most matches are quick squashes with the outcome almost never in doubt and with storytelling at a minimum.

Coming off the heels of yet another wave of talent releases from the WWE and ROH releasing all of their talent from their contracts, AEW has more talent available to them now than ever before. Keep in mind, criticisms were made before AEW made the big moves it has in the last few months that the roster was already too bloated. Big stars regularly go without TV time or involvement in compelling stories and feuds simply because there is not enough time for them.

Surely the constant talent releases from the WWE will keep coming and who knows what this does to the morale for talent that WWE keeps under contract. Job security is no longer something you can count on there and I expect more and more talent will pursue opportunities with AEW in the future once their contracts are up (hello Kevin Owens).

This just means more top level talent will be available to AEW, should they want them. In order to make this work though, they need more opportunities to properly use their talent.

Another key factor is that the appetite for more AEW is there. Rarely do shows feel like filler or become as hard to sit through as that third hour of RAW. Looking at Rampage, they can maintain the break-neck pace and identity the show currently has and just put on one high quality match after the other.

As we already established, they have the talent to do it and will only get more in the coming weeks and months.

Finally, from a business side, this just makes sense. Rampage goes back and forth from being pre-taped or live. We live in a spoiler filled world and it can make it so people feel less compelled to tune in if the show was taped days before.

On the other hand, investing the time and money to do the show live can be seen as wasteful with the current way of doing things. This is likely why Rampage isn’t live every week already.

AEW is riding a huge wave of momentum right now and ticket sales are doing extremely well but with Rampage, the main show is only one hour. Most of that extra time is used to film Dark or Dark: Elevation, which as I said earlier, just doesn’t match that same high level we’ve come to expect from Dynamite or Rampage.

By extending Rampage to two hours, it’s easier to justify doing it live every week and it makes the ticket more valuable for the fans. Between Dynamite and Rampage, you could still record lots of content for Dark and Dark: Elevation either before or after the live shows are done.

Tony Khan and AEW are riding high right now and they’re doing everything they can to keep that momentum going. Top talent like Adam Cole, Bryan Danielson, and CM Punk have recently joined an already stacked roster. Bray Wyatt, Braun Strowman, Keith Lee, Mia Yim, Ember Moon, Killer Kross, the Briscoes, and Bandido, just to name a few, are all recently released talents that are available on the free agent market.

AEW already has lots of stars under contract, but there is so much promising talent available now and more will be in the future. This is a critical time for AEW and if they want to maintain their moment and be the true pro-wrestling destination in the world, they need the best talent and the time to showcase them properly.

They’ve proven they can do it already. I say it’s time to go double or nothing.

You can follow Shea Angus on Twitter @BigMouthShea

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