Though AEW Dynamite is still a few hours away from airing as of the time of publication, that hasn't stopped Tony Khan and the folks over at Warner Bros. Discovery from officially announcing the forthcoming debut of AEW Collision, the promotion's long-rumored third show, which is coming to fans on June 17th, 2023 and will air each week from 8-10 pm EST.
“We’re doubling-down on wrestling with ‘AEW: Collision,’ which gives fans two more hours every week,” said Jason Sarlanis, President, Turner Networks, ID and HLN, linear & streaming. “AEW’s roster of talent has expanded so quickly that we felt it needed another night to bring our audience the epic rivalries, unforgettable matches and stars they love to watch. Adding ‘Collision’ to our programming mix on TNT will allow us to satisfy the massive demand we’ve felt from our hardcore fanbase and be the ultimate compliment to ‘AEW: Dynamite’ on TBS.”
“With the addition of ‘AEW: Collision’ on TNT, I’m extremely proud that a Turner network will be the home of Saturday night wrestling for the first time in more than two decades,” said Tony Khan, CEO, GM and Head of Creative of AEW. “The debut of ‘Collision’ is significant across numerous sectors including television, wrestling, entertainment and sports, and reinforces AEW as the bold property we envisioned when we launched in 2019. ‘Collision’ will deliver live every Saturday night more of what fans and viewers tell us they want – athleticism, big personalities, exciting storylines and hard-hitting wrestling action, all of which have become synonymous with AEW.”
With the new show's debut taping rumored to be at the United Center in Chicago, Illinois – the same venue CM Punk debuted in back in 2021 – there's a lot to be excited about and even more questions fans have about who will be featured on the program and how it will run. Fortunately, as the details become more and more clear, fans are starting to see the full picture, and needless to say, it's looking pretty good.
As announced at the Warner Bros. Discovery 2023 Upfront presentation today, TNT will launch a second night of professional wrestling with a new 2-hour series, #AEWCollision, starting on Saturday, June 17th LIVE at 8pm ET/7pm CT on @tntdrama!
To read the full press release:… pic.twitter.com/roOipqNDD6
— All Elite Wrestling (@AEW) May 17, 2023
3. Many absent stars are returning to AEW Collision
As fans saw on the most recent edition of Dynamite, Thunder Rosa and Miro returned to AEW television in order to talk to TK about potential opportunities moving forward. While this became a bit of a meme online, with fans joking that all sorts of wrestlers and even non-wrestlers were looking for Khan that evening, it looks like Miro and Rosa aren't the only two long-absent AEW stars who are going to call the new brand home, as, according to the official press release for the show, none other than Andrade El Idolo will be calling the brand home too.
This live, two-hour, in-ring show will air every Saturday night from 8-10 p.m. ET and feature more wrestlers, more stories and more action to super-serve fans. “AEW: Collision” will feature headliners including Miro, Samoa Joe, Thunder Rosa, Powerhouse Hobbs, and Andrade El Idolo.
Now, for fans out of the know, Andrade has been absent since late 2022, when he took part in the All Out Casino Battle Royal before undergoing surgery shortly thereafter. Though the exact conditions of his return are unclear, it's safe to assume Rush, Preston Vance, and Jose the Assistant will be joining Samoa Joe, Powerhouse Hobbs, and company on Collision.
This would be an insane matchup to book & open up the AEW Colliasion era.
Miro vs. Andrade pic.twitter.com/6YyOtWyhDE
— Dark Puroresu Flowsion (@PuroresuFlow) May 17, 2023
2. AEW will be splitting the brands to some degree
It's long been rumored that AEW will incorporate a “soft brand split” now that they have a pair of two-hour weekly shows instead of one, but in the lead-up to the brand's announcement, Sean Ross Sapp of Fightful noted that the split may actually be a bit harder than many initially assumed, with only a few champions going from one flagship show to the other.
“…We're told that talent are expecting a hard brand split, with the exception of many AEW Champions. We've been told that there will be additional exceptions here and there. We have not learned how exactly the split will be determined, if there will be a draft, or how that will work out. However, the working plan as of this week is a firm brand split, with some rare exceptions,” Sapp wrote via Comicbook.com.
With the official press release for the show mentioning specific stars who will headline the show, it does look like AEW will be using Dynamite to focus on one set of stories, and Collision on another, helping to eliminate the all-too-often AEW problem where a storyline will disappear for weeks with no warning. Still, with MJF, Orange Cassidy, FTR, and The House of Black all featured on the promotional poster, it would appear at least the brand's champions will be jumping from one show to another, leading to all sorts of interesting match possibilities down the line.
It is an amazing day to be a fan of pro wrestling
Wrestling on Saturday nights is back#AEWCollision 6/17/23 only on @TNTDrama pic.twitter.com/xpPkS9ts3x
— AEW on TV (@AEWonTV) May 17, 2023
1 CM Punk “is not affiliated” with Collision… except he probably is
On the initial press release for AEW Collision, Warner Bros. Discovery mentioned CM Punk as one of the stars who will headline the Saturday night show; however, the company has since removed his name and even told Comicbook.com that “CM Punk is not affiliated with TNT's AEW Collision.”
… with that being said, CM Punk has long been rumored as the planned headliner for the show, and it's hard to imagine that he won't be the top star on the second brand when it officially hits the airwaves come June, especially if the show does debut in his town in the arena Michael Jordan built.