Predicting How AEW Rampage Will Be Different from Dynamite

Philip LindseyContributor IAugust 7, 2021

Predicting How AEW Rampage Will Be Different from Dynamite

0 of 3

    Photo credit: All Elite Wrestling

    Next Friday, Aug. 13, All Elite Wrestling will introduce its second network television show, Rampage. The series premiere of the company's new show will air on TNT at 10 p.m. EST.

    AEW's flagship show, Dynamite, is doing well, generating over a million viewers for the last four weeks in a row. Still, it isn't hard to see how another weekly show could help the company as it heads into its third year. The growing roster could use a space where unestablished stars can get more screen time and develop a following.

    In that regard, an extra hour of programming would be beneficial, and it was a good choice to shoot for another time slot as opposed to making Dynamite three hours long. One of the show's strengths is that it's often jam-packed but surprisingly concise.

    It's always better to avoid overstaying your welcome and instead manage to leave fans wanting more. AEW has mastered that presentation on Wednesday, albeit with some quirks it still needs to iron out. So, how can it bring that same energy to Friday nights following WWE SmackDown?

    Well, the relative newcomers could tease the most highly anticipated return to professional wrestling in the last decade on its second episode. That's quite a draw, right? Nevertheless, at this point, we don't know that much about Rampage.

    AEW has announced that Mark Henry will be a part of the commentary team. Here are some more ways that the new secondary series could differentiate itself from Dynamite.

Rampage Will Be Straightforward Matches with Less Filler

1 of 3

    On Tuesday's "AEW Dynamite: Homecoming" media call, Cody Rhodes answered some questions about the return to Daily's Place in Jacksonville, Florida. The American Nightmare also revealed some small details about Rampage.

    "With Rampage, we're gonna have a bunch of news, hopefully coming in the following week," Rhodes said (h/t Matt Black of Sportskeeda). "But I can say just a few things about the show itself. One, I think you'll see that it's more centered around the match itself. Being that it's a one-hour program. I think you'll see a little bit more fight-forward focus." 

    That isn't much to go on, but this sounds like a similar formula that WWE utilized for NXT when it was a one-hour network exclusive series. The fan-favorite show rose to popularity as a streamlined version of the company's program that focused on great matches with minimum backstage segments. It's an approach that also worked well with 205 Live at one point.

    With that in mind, it would be easy to see Rampage as a succinct hour of television that showcases what AEW does best, high-quality matches. Most weeks when Dynamite isn't as engaging, fans can usually count on the roster to deliver a great main event. So, this could be a way to give its audience more of that on a smaller scale with a rotating cast of characters.

Focus on a Handful of Up-and-Coming Stars

2 of 3

    As stated earlier, Rampage could be a tremendous way to give some unestablished stars some much-needed screentime. A show that isn't dominated by the company's main stars could be just what the doctor ordered.

    Using a core group of wrestlers who can do the heavy lifting seems like the way to go. This worked incredibly well for WWE's blue brand with the inception of the iconic SmackDown Six. Eddie Guerrero, Kurt Angle, Edge, Chris Benoit, Rey Mysterio, and Chavo Guerrero became the centerpiece of the "B show," giving it something to galvanize around. This also created a lane for these individuals to develop into bigger stars.

    Now, we're not suggesting that AEW should do something like a brand split. However, giving a few names a consistent home where they can grow as performers should be the goal of Rampage.

    Initially, it may not be a bad idea to focus episodes around the current TNT champion, Miro. That could be the main title on Friday nights at least until the secondary show moves to TBS in January. After all, the mantle isn't meant to be merely a midcard prize. So, why not allow the reigning flag-bearer to consistently headline a weekly series?

Concerted Effort to Highlight AEW’s Women’s Division

3 of 3

    Although the TNT champion would be a great option to focus on, it would make even more sense for AEW to use its new show to put a spotlight on its talented but underutilized women's division.

    Straight away, Britt Baker will return to her hometown to defend her AEW Women's World Championship against Red Velvet on the debut episode. Hopefully, that's a step in the right direction for the series.

    The lack of a concerted effort to highlight women's wrestling has been the company's biggest weakness. It's an issue that has drastically improved this year, but there's plenty of work to do. So, why not reward the roster by giving them a show where we can see women compete in the main event more often?

    During a recent interview on Wrestling Observer Radio (h/t John Duffy of Inside the Ropes), Kenny Omega expressed interest in seeing the division get its due on Fridays.

    "The content I think we're lacking is in our women's division. I would love to see Rampage be a home to more women's wrestling, I want people to see and appreciate and enjoy the talent we have to offer. I hope we get to show some of these matches that perhaps aren't seen by those people.

    "We have a lot of great talent on Dark and people maybe don't want to watch our YouTube channel. Maybe they just want to watch Dynamite and want to see a television product. I get that. I think the extra hour with Rampage, rather than give them more Chris Jericho, more Kenny Omega, more MJF, and the guys you know you're going to see on Dynamite; I'd rather give them all of the extremely talented individuals that maybe you don't see that week.

    "I feel like we have incredibly gifted female wrestlers that have been working very hard and fighting for a spot and maybe it's time for them to get more. I think that would count as a variation on more women's wrestling. We always try to have a variant." 

    Omega has been a proponent for AEW's women's roster since day one, and maybe Tony Khan will fulfill his wishes in a big way in the upcoming weeks. The division deserves an opportunity to continue to grow independent of some of the constraints of Dynamite. Moreover, this would be a fantastic way to differentiate the two shows in an impactful way.

    Furthermore, this could be an opportunity to introduce the women to a new audience. If a certain Second City Saint does debut on the second episode at the United Center in Chicago, he will give some of them more exposure.