WWE SmackDown usually airs for a couple of hours. But, it turns out the show was planned to have a third hour added to it. AEW is set to debut a new show on TNT every Friday at 10:00 PM with Rampage. Both Dynamite and Rampage will move to TBS in 2022, but they are on TNT for now. WWE might have been planning an attempt to threaten that program’s viewership, but this is an idea we have not heard any official announcement about.
WWE SmackDown to have a third hour?
During Wrestling Observer Radio, Dave Meltzer revealed that WWE discussed adding another hour to SmackDown and airing the final hour on FS1. That didn’t happen, but the discussions took place. Now that AEW is officially moving into that 10:00 PM time slot on Fridays, it is likely that WWE was planning a counter-programming measure that they ultimately passed on. Bret Hart Major AEW Rumor Leaks
“Rampage debuts August 13th, and when the idea came out. The old Vince McMahon would have put that third hour of SmackDown on FS1, because that was even talked about before. When the idea of Rampage, and this and this goes way, way back I mean over a year ago, the idea was always for it to be Friday at 10:00 PM from you know, over a year ago, who’s to know what WWE knew and didn’t know?”
The idea was apparently nixed to turn SmackDown into a three-hour show with the third hour taking place on FS1. They cannot run three hours on Fox, because the network must cut into local affiliates’ nightly news coverage.
We’ll have to see if WWE tried anything to counter program AEW Rampage when it finally debuts later this month.