In the latest chapter of the ongoing inter-company warfare, WWE has been accused of leaking some AEW information to news websites.
For those who aren’t aware, full details on Friday TV ratings don’t become available until the following Monday, but in the past few weeks, “fast nationals”, an early version of the ratings that are usually lower than the final ones, have been reported online.
The fast nationals aren’t available for free publicly but are available to be purchased.
The Voices of Wrestling Twitter account is alleging that WWE is leaking the “fast nationals” number for Rampage, tweeting:
Here’s the scoop. WWE is leaking the Rampage fast nationals. This was tipped off to us and then confirmed by at least one of the outlets that has been reporting them. Come up with your own motivations, but that’s who is feeding it to the news sites.
My theory is that their strategy is to present Rampage as AEW being weak. Smackdown airs on the same night, so it’s great P.R. to compare the numbers, especially since the general public has no understanding of what a good number is at Friday 10pm (I mean, just look at this app)
It’s also notable that these leaks weren’t happening until Rampage began to level off. Find me a fast nationals headline for the Punk return or Rampage being #1 on cable. WWE can only claim AEW isn’t competition for so long. P.R. leaks and 2.5 hour Smackdowns were inevitable.
Tony Khan is bringing the heat this coming Friday, having reacted to SmackDown overrunning 30 minutes into Rampage by counter-programming with a pre-show on YouTube during SmackDown featuring Bryan Danielson vs Minoru Suzuki.
With SmackDown on FS1 and Tony Khan’s recent comments, including saying this past Monday’s Raw “sucked”, tomorrow is certainly going to be a very interesting night.