Is Tony Khan Booking a Show Against WrestleMania?

1/18/2024 11:59 PM

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Is Tony Khan Booking a Show Against WrestleMania?

Is Tony Khan Booking a Show Against WrestleMania?

January 18, 2024 11:59 PM
Is Tony Khan Booking a Show Against WrestleMania?
Wrestling News

New Report Suggests There Will Be a PPV WrestleMania Weekend

Is Tony Khan booking a show against WrestleMania? "The Showcase of the Immortals" is booked for 6 and 7 April in Philadelphia and fans are already looking forward to the WWE's biggest event of the year (not to be confused with SummerSlam, the biggest party of the summer). Now, Fightful Select is reporting that Tony Khan has plans to run a pay-per-view on 5 April:

Fightful Select has learned that internally, ROH Supercard of Honor is listed on the company’s schedule for April 5 in Philadelphia. Specifically, the event is listed for the Liacouras Center. The venue has a capacity of 10,000, but is almost always scaled for much less.

H/T Fightful Select

As always, plans are subject to change but it looks like ROH will compete against the 5 April edition of SmackDown.

Although many slots are open to run pay-per-views (PPVs) and premium live events (PLEs), the WWE's policy of running PLEs the same weekend as AEW PPVs dates back to 2022.

A Long History of Head-to-Head Competition

Running shows against a competitor is a longstanding practice in wrestling. Unfortunately, it has a history of backfiring for one of the competitors. In 1987, the WWF aired its new pay-per-view Survivor Series against Jim Crockett Promotions' Starrcade. The WWF told pay-per-view providers it couldn't get WrestleMania IV if they chose to air Starrcade. WrestleMania III was an enormous financial success, and most pay-per-view providers chose Survivor Series over Starrcade. This meant that there were far fewer opportunities for fans of Jim Crockett Promotions to order the show, and the promotion suffered financially.

More recent examples include the WWE moving NXT from the WWE Network to Wednesday nights on the USA Network when AEW launched Dynamite on Wednesday nights. Here, the WWE suffered in the ratings and eventually moved NXT to Tuesday nights. However, the WWE's resurgence since Triple H became Chief Content Officer has some fans and industry observers expecting the WWE to air one of its shows against Dynamite when RAW or NXT move to new broadcast homes in the 2024-2025 fall season.

Is Competing Against WrestleMania a Wise Move?

Should Tony Khan be running an ROH PPV during WrestleMania weekend? Technically, the show isn't running directly against 'Mania but it's still running the same weekend, and it will face competition from SmackDown. One would like to think Khan isn't under the false impression that a Ring of Honor PPV will hurt SmackDown's ratings (although, as fans have seen, WWE PLEs running on Saturday nights have hurt AEW Collision).

Perhaps Tony Khan feels Ring of Honor offers enough of an alternative to the WWE product that wrestling fans who don't enjoy the WWE will order ROH's 5 April show. He may have other reasons too, but they're hard to figure out. What do you think of Tony Khan's apparent decision to run a PPV on WrestleMania weekend?