Pro wrestling fans are anxiously awaiting news about a TV deal for upstart promotion All Elite Wrestling, which will hold its first PPV event later this month. But according to a report from sandwich-themed Hollywood gossip blog The Wrap, they won't have to wait much longer. A previously-rumored deal with Turner is "virtually done," The Wrap reports. AEW officials including billionaire money mark Tony Khan are expected to appear at Madison Square Garden for WarnerMedia's Upfront presentation on Wednesday at 10AM.
Launching on the heels of the successful All In event, AEW will hold its first PPV, Double or Nothing, on May 29th. Yesterday, the company announced that it would be carried in the UK thanks to a deal with ITV. The company was founded by Cody Rhodes and the Young Bucks and has quickly positioned itself as the number two wrestling promotion in the United States without putting on a single match.
AEW's arrival comes at an interesting time for pro wrestling, with WWE's ratings sinking despite a lucrative television deal to begin airing Smackdown Live on Fox in the Fall. When that happens and Smackdown moves to Fridays, AEW could take the vacant Tuesday slot for their own show. And while WWE will be expected to perform better than they are now when moving to broadcast TV, something the company hasn't managed to do since ratings began consistently dropping when the Attitude Era ended, AEW can be considered a massive success on TNT with the same amount of viewers Smackdown has now. Further, the return of wrestling to TNT will be a homecoming of sorts for fans of WCW who may have tuned out when WWE bought their rival back in 2001.