Tony Khan Says Raw Sucked; Drew McIntyre Eyes Brock Lesnar; Roman Reigns Set for Raw

Mike Chiari@@mikechiariFeatured Columnist IVOctober 13, 2021

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Khan Takes Shot at WWE Raw

AEW President Tony Khan continued to stir the pot Tuesday by taking a shot at Monday night Raw, one of WWE's flagship shows.

During a discussion about Friday night's episode of WWE SmackDown on FS1 doing a 30-minute overrun and overlapping the first 30 minutes of AEW Rampage on TNT, Khan didn't hold back regarding his thoughts on the WWE product.

Appearing on My Mom's Basement with Robbie Fox of Barstool Sports (h/t WrestlingInc.com's Liam Crowley), Khan offered the following critique of Raw: "We'll see what happens. I'm not saying for sure we'll win, and maybe the odds are against us in some ways. But we're going to give a better show. I know. If you don't believe me, watch the go-home show they did last night, because it sucked."

Recently, Khan has gone to great lengths to stoke the proverbial flames of competition between AEW and WWE.

After WWE announced its "super-sized" edition of SmackDown on FS1 following its bump from Fox for the MLB playoffs, Khan tweeted the following:

Tony Khan @TonyKhan

I saw you’re doing a half hour head-to-head with us. I can’t wait to finally beat your main show head-to-head. It’s been a long time coming. See you next Friday for <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/AEWRampage?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#AEWRampage</a> on <a href="https://twitter.com/AEWonTNT?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@AEWonTNT</a>!

Khan also announced a "Buy In" show airing live on YouTube beginning at 9 p.m. ET. Khan initially moved Bryan Danielson vs. Bobby Fish from Dynamite to the Buy In before upping the ante and making it Danielson vs. Minoru Suzuki instead.

WWE has been accused at times of attempting to counter-program AEW, but Khan seemingly isn't hiding the fact that he is trying to counter-program WWE on Friday.

Rampage has a chance to compete with SmackDown on Friday since TNT is a far more popular and watched channel than FS1, but with WWE advertising a Sasha Banks vs. Becky Lynch main event, SmackDown will undoubtedly be tough to take down.

McIntyre Wants Rematch vs. Lesnar

Drew McIntyre beat Brock Lesnar in the main event of WrestleMania 36 to win the WWE Championship, but the Scottish Superstar wants to run it back.

Appearing on WWE's The Bump (h/t Jack Waynick of Ringside News), McIntyre said: "I'm always excited to get into the ring with the absolute best. There's not many that are as good or as physical as Brock Lesnar. At WrestleMania, I did defeat him in five minutes. But I would like the opportunity to face Brock again and in front of a live audience."

As McIntyre referenced, his WrestleMania match against Lesnar was a short one and it took place with no fans in attendance because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

After Lesnar lost to McIntyre, he went on hiatus for over a year before finally returning to WWE at SummerSlam in August.

Lesnar immediately set his sights on Roman Reigns and the Universal Championship, and that continues to be the case, as The Beast Incarnate will challenge Reigns for the title at Crown Jewel next week.

Since Lesnar is a free agent and not tied to any single brand, he can essentially do whatever he pleases whether he wins the Universal title or not.

McIntyre got moved from Raw to SmackDown as part of the draft, and it seems likely he will be involved with Reigns in the not-too-distant future.

A McIntyre vs. Lesnar rematch seems like a fairly sure thing as well, especially since fans would undoubtedly love to experience that battle of behemoths live.

Reigns Advertised for Nov. 29 Raw

WWE is pulling out the big guns for the Nov. 29 episode of Raw at UBS Arena on Long Island, New York.

The arena announced Tuesday that SmackDown Superstar and Universal champion Roman Reigns will be present for the event:

UBS Arena @UBSArena

🔥 JUST ANNOUNCED: “The Head of the Table” Universal Champion <a href="https://twitter.com/WWERomanReigns?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@WWERomanReigns</a> will be live at UBS Arena for <a href="https://twitter.com/WWE?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@WWE</a> Monday Night RAW on 11/29! <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/WWERAW?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#WWERAW</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/WWELongIsland?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#WWELongIsland</a><br><br>Get tickets now: <a href="https://t.co/FB7tXI4zTw">https://t.co/FB7tXI4zTw</a> <a href="https://t.co/eowx5N6gF2">pic.twitter.com/eowx5N6gF2</a>

UBS Arena is the new home of the NHL's New York Islanders, and it is set to officially open Nov. 20, just nine days before Raw is held at the venue.

The announcement came amid WWE's struggles to sell tickets for the event, especially compared to an episode of AEW Dynamite running at UBS Arena on Dec. 8.

WrestleTix tweeted a breakdown of the sales Tuesday, noting that AEW had sold about 7,500 tickets compared to WWE's 2,800:

WrestleTix @WrestleTix

UBS Arena, Belmont Park - Long Island, NY<br><br>WWE Raw • Nov 29<br>Available Tickets =&gt; 4,397<br>Tickets Distributed =&gt; 2,837/7,234 (39%)<br><br>AEW Dynamite • Dec 08 <br>Available Tickets =&gt; 2,163<br>Tickets Distributed =&gt; 7,536/9,699 (78%)<a href="https://t.co/yRCOtL75Yu">https://t.co/yRCOtL75Yu</a> <a href="https://t.co/BSjWsMzxRg">pic.twitter.com/BSjWsMzxRg</a>

While there is no hard evidence that WWE made the Reigns announcement to combat AEW, there is no question the decision was made in order to boost its own ticket sales.

Reigns is WWE's biggest star and draw among full-time Superstars, and a chance to see The Tribal Chief could provide the type of boost WWE is looking for.

Although Reigns is part of the SmackDown roster via the WWE Draft, WWE has shown a penchant for relaxing the brand split rules in certain situations.

It isn't yet known if Reigns will be on the televised portion of the Nov. 29 Raw or if he will take part in a dark match after the show, but it will be a special treat for the live audience regardless.

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