When NBC Sports Network went bye-bye and the question of the NHL’s future came up, everyone knew it would greatly affect the Wednesday Night Wars between USA and TNT. We just didn’t know it would have this many repercussions.
At first, it seemed like NXT would move to Tuesday nights and that would be it. Then, that happened, but NBC didn’t retain the broadcasting for NHL. In a surprise move, NHL went over to Turner, which then made it seem as though AEW would be moving Dynamite to another night of the week.
People speculated it could go to Fridays and kick off a Friday Night War with SmackDown. Now, we have the answer.
Instead, it was announced that while there will indeed be an AEW show on Friday nights (at 10pm, called AEW Rampage), in actuality, Wednesday Night Dynamite will remain…but on another station: TBS.
I couldn’t help but immediately think of two things: What about the TNT Championship and the name Dynamite?
There are really three reasons why AEW’s flagship show is called Dynamite, whether or not anyone wants to fully admit it and own up to it:
- It references Nitro.
- The name “just sounds cool” in a sense. You’re not going to call your professional wrestling program something like AEW Dandelions.
- TNT being the name of the network means Dynamite references that.
TBS doesn’t have that association anymore. There’s no way to spin it. Turner Broadcasting System is just not explosive. Hell, the closest thing you could get to that would be to go with AEW Shower on TUBS, which is just horrendous.
So now, no longer being on TNT means one of the core reasons for calling the show Dynamite is off the table. It’s not the end of the world by any means, but it’s a disappointment nevertheless.
Think about it this way. If WWE had named its show something specific to USA on its debut, rather than Monday Night Raw, then when they switched over to Spike TV, it wouldn’t have felt right.
Losing Wednesday might have been a better call in the long run, rather than leaving TNT. Perhaps Tuesdays or Thursdays would have worked.
Even more so, though, the TNT Championship loses significantly more of its gusto.
I’ve been a big fan of the name “TNT Championship” from its start because of how it does in fact reference the station, but doesn’t 100% tie itself down to that. After all, the show is called Dynamite, so the TNT Championship works alongside that just the same. That’s why we have the Raw Women’s Championship and SmackDown Tag Team Championship and so on. I’ve never liked the “TV Championship”, particularly as there aren’t house shows the way they used to be and if you’re always defending something on television and on pay-per-views, it defeats the purpose of calling it that. That’s like saying something is the “WWE Winner Championship”.
But while that doesn’t stop them from still using the TNT name, simply because it does reference Dynamite, what about the logo itself?
Look at it in the picture above. The logo IS the TNT network’s logo. There’s something to be said about corporate synergy and the fact that they’ll be still in the same family, sure. But just because TNT and TBS are sister stations doesn’t mean they’re the same thing. NBC and USA, FOX and FS1, etc work in similar tandem. They aren’t exactly using the other one’s logo.
Does that mean Rampage becomes the home for the TNT Championship? Tony Khan said before that the third hour was going to revolve more around the FTW Championship somehow (ugh). Perhaps plans have changed. More than likely, they haven’t. I’m assuming the TNT Championship stays exactly where it is and they just kind of toss their hands up as “well, this isn’t as effective as it used to be, but whatever.”
There are far worse ways this could have played out. As I mentioned above, it’s not the end of the world. It’s just an unfortunate situation. Two of AEW’s core elements are diminished in their branding. They’ll survive, but it’s definitely a hit, and there’s no way of knowing how moving to TBS will influence the ratings for another hit, too.