All Elite Wrestling, the brand new pro wrestling promotion, showed face at the WarnerMedia portion of the Television Critics Association summer tour on Wednesday. Wrestlers Cody and Brandi Rhodes, Nyla Rose, Jungle Boy, and Awesome Kong, aka GLOW star Kia Stevens, took the stage to preview what fans can expect from the upstart WWE competitor, which will air on TNT on this fall.
Cody Rhodes, who also serves as an executive vice president of the company, said that the show will be compete against the WWE's TV juggernaut by offering a very different product. "WWE's often coined themselves 'sports entertainment,' we're coining ourselves 'pro wrestling,'" he said. "We want pre wrestling to to be what entertains you. It's very different."
One reporter pushed back on AEW's declaration that it's "revolutionary" and "paradigm-shifting" in the wrestling world, saying that the wrestling looks the same as any other promotion. "You can look at this panel and see a whole lot that's different about this, in that there's three women out here. You haven't seen that in professional wrestling in a long time," answered Brandi Rhodes, who also serves as the company's chief brand officer, to rule-breaking applause in the ballroom. She touted the promotion's diversity -- "different sizes, shapes, colors, genders, nationalities, sexualities, religions" -- because they go for the best talent, whoever that is. "We aren't looking for a cookie cutter. We aren't looking for a blonde that's 5'4" because we need a blonde that's 5'4". We're looking for Kia Stevens because we need Awesome Kong."
The live shows they've already done have been more graphic than what viewers are used to seeing during prime-time pro wrestling, and they were asked if that level of violence would be able to be shown on TNT. Cody Rhodes said that while there's of course violence that goes with the territory -- he was sporting a black eye during the panel -- it won't be hyper-violent, and the bloodier matches will be reserved for special events and pay-per-views.
The show premieres on TNT Wednesday, Oct. 2. The live two-hour matches will air from different cities every week and feature high-profile talent like WWE defector Chris Jericho, indie superstar Kenny Omega, and tag team favorites the Young Bucks. AEW will be more focused on the athleticism of the matches rather than soapy storylines. For the first time, statistics will be tracked for wrestlers, like they are baseball players. Their moves and damage to their opponents will be analyzed on-air to provide insights into their winning streaks. AEW is for hardcore wrestling fans.
All Elite Wrestling premieres Wednesday, Oct. 2 at 8/7c on TNT.