Tony’s Takes: Three-hour AEW television shows, Will Ospreay at AEW All In, Cody Rhodes vs. Logan Paul at WWE King and Queen of the Ring

By Tony Donofrio, Contributor (@TonyDonofrio)


-In recent weeks, AEW has had to run with three-hour blocks due to being preempted by the NBA and NHL. That’s required Dynamite and Collision to air with Rampage attached on the back end. If you’ve paid any attention to those ratings you’ll notice that in most cases the third hour (Rampage) falls pretty hard off of a cliff but still performs better than most of the standalone Rampage episodes do on Friday nights. I have to wonder if those at WBD are looking at this and pushing Tony Khan to run with a third hour of either Dynamite or Collision should they renew its TV deal with AEW.

First of all, let me state that I am not advocating for any pro wrestling weekly TV show to run for three hours. Three hours of WWE Raw is hard enough to deal with and it’s much improved over the past 12-18 months. Having said that, I think it still might be in the best interest of AEW to have either Dynamite or Collision run for three hours and for Rampage to be put in moth balls. The Rampage name is so damaged at this point that, unless you’re in the exclusive “I want matches club,” there’s not really a need to watch it.

As I stated, the third hour of the three-hour blocks have fallen off pretty hard in recent weeks when they’re bundled on the backend of Dynamite and Collision. However, what if they were bundled as a part of one of those two shows? The Dynamite and to a lesser extent Collision names still hold some gravitas and I’d be willing to bet if either was just a three hour block by itself, without the “Rampage appendage,” it might hold up better. If I’m giving a choice of my wrestling hours being 2-1-2 or 3-2, I actually think I’d prefer the 3-2 split over the 2-1-2.

-As we inch towards All In at Wembley Stadium, the conversations intensify and the question gets bigger: What will AEW do with Will Ospreay? The closer we get, the more I think that putting the AEW World Championship on Ospreay is the right thing to do. Swerve Strickland is still freshly into his run as AEW World Champion and I can’t say anything bad about it thus far. That said, timing is everything. Last year, it could be argued that AEW bungled the main event at All In by not having the MJF and Adam Cole feud explode at that time.

As we saw, injuries happen and who knows if we’ll ever get the payoff to that story the way it was intended? Plus, the moment was right to do it at Wembley Stadium last year. Was it still a fun main event? Sure, but it could’ve been bigger and better. Ospreay’s debut and first few months have been better than most had to have expected. The idea that he’s been off TV two of the past three weeks is also mind boggling, but that’s another story.

AEW has something big in Ospreay. They shouldn’t drop that ball. But, what if they don’t go this way? Then, I propose that Ospreay wins the AEW International Title at Double or Nothing and then goes on to unite the International and Continental Title at All In. Kazuchika Okada and Ospreay in front of 50,000 rabid fans would still be great. It also is an opportunity to get rid of a title in AEW, thereby combining the International and Continental into the newly minted AEW Intercontinental Title. It’s probably not the best idea, but it’s a solid backup.

-I have to assume that Hangman Page will be coming back at Double or Nothing to rejoin The Elite, right? After this week’s Dynamite, I thought there was an outside chance that he’d be the new partner for Team AEW and he could be used as a plant to turn on them. However, since he’s not the guy, he has to be the one to help The Elite to win in Las Vegas. It’s also already been teased the Swerve Strickland will be feuding with The Elite so having Hangman come back into the fold here seems to make the most sense. I’m encouraged thus far by what the new version of The Elite have been doing. There’s no longer the crutch of Being the Elite on YouTube to tell their stories and make the viewing audience go out of their way to fill in gaps. That’s a big time positive.

The Young Bucks are doing great heel work so far in their new roles. Okada has been a nice surprise as a heel. I think Jack Perry is still finding his way a bit, but being part of a group while he does that should help him. As much as I love Perry dumping a Wooooo Energy drink on Tony Schiavone for heat this week on Dynamite, I also think it took away from the heat that the Bucks should have had for “firing” Christopher Daniels. Having said that, it was still a great spot. On a side note, I’ve tried the Wooooo Energy Drinks and they’re some of the worst energy drinks I’ve ever had. I can’t blame Perry for dumping it out. Schiavone was just in the wrong place at the wrong time.


-Speaking of combining titles, is Cody Rhodes really going to be a dual title holder at the end of this month? The pairing of Cody Rhodes and Logan Paul certainly is interesting, but I feel like this match doesn’t end conclusively and both men walk out with their respective titles. Or is it a champion vs. champion match with no titles on the line?

Will this match also be branded around Prime Hydration drinks? Cody did sign a deal with Prime just before WrestleMania. I hope that’s not the only reason that we’re getting this match in Saudi Arabia (although I doubt it is). I know that we’re getting the King and Queen of the Ring finals matches in Saudi Arabia, but otherwise, this might feel like a filler PLE for WWE if Cody doesn’t come out as a double champion. You’ll notice I haven’t given any thought to Logan Paul coming out as a double champion. That’s because it just won’t happen. I’ll eat a ton of crow if it does. That doesn’t mean Paul can’t be a world champion someday in WWE but that time isn’t now.


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