KELLER’S TAKE REAX: Keller responds to reader ideas on how to differentiate Collision from Dynamite and perhaps increase viewership

By Wade Keller, PWTorch editor


The following are some great feedback emails I received regarding my Keller’s Take editorial earlier this week regarding how to improve Collision and differentiate it from Dynamite.

You can catch up and read that here: KELLER’S TAKE: What now for AEW Collision? Suggestions on how to reverse declining viewership

Hey Wade,

I’m well into my fourth decade of reading your stuff religiously and I’m pretty amazed at how you still teach me something in most reviews.

Great stuff on Collision, and objectively all of your suggestions would be an improvement.

My thoughts on AEW’s booking in general:

1. If Tony Khan was running a daytime soap opera, he’d have someone fake their death in back to back segments. He needs to ensure only one feud is using a certain angle, not three or four of them.

2. The main events are poorly hyped and usually not interesting on paper. Samoa Joe vs Roderick Strong in 2023 as an early round tourney match isn’t going to draw eyes to the screen. And “it was a good match” is a weak rebuttal from fans.

3. TK seems scared to book losses from mid-carders and above. MJF and Adam Cole could’ve had the tag match versus two guys like Buddy Matthews & Eddie Kingston. There’s no shame in either being pinned by Cole. But instead it was nine minutes with Matt Menard & Butcher who have zero intrigue and zero chance to win. Is it the fact that they show win/loss records on screen that keeps him from having better talent take losses, instead of the Bollywood Boys?

4. Either introduce talent properly or keep them off our screen. The guys who come out with Swerve, the QTV folks, etc. either need a real chance with vignettes or take them off ASAP.

I think those of us who get angry primarily do so because we know AEW is only several easy tweaks from a much better product. If it continues in this same trajectory, I will likely be finished watching after I attend their event on Aug. 2.

Thanks Wade!

Loyal Torch fan from age 16 through 42 and counting, Clay Connelly

P.S. – It may be worth mentioning that I bought a ticket for a floor seat, first row to the Aug. 2 Dynamite/Rampage for a total price of $103. That was third party, but I know that would be at least $800 for Raw or Smackdown. It could be a sign that AEW is selling tickets a lot cheaper to improve attendance.

(Keller’s Reaction: Thank you for being a loyal reader all these decades. That’s so cool! Thanks for sharing. Also, good suggestions, and I agree that wrestlers at teh QTV level need more character development on the show they’re appearing on consistently in order to justify the TV time they get. Randomly featuring them in key segments without context isn’t great for engaging viewers. It’s an astute observation that sometimes one angle is done and then another similar angle is done later on the same show. That applies to finishes of matches, too, especially similar kinds of interference. And top stars should win their matches against lower card wrestlers more decisively and more quickly. That’s been an issue with AEW from the beginning, including some Cody Rhodes matches that just went too long before Cody won. I agree Joe vs. Strong wasn’t main event worthy for Collision even if it was built up better. They tried with some promos and vignettes, but Strong just isn’t a TV main event star to the AEW audience and, frankly, Joe has been inconsistently featured on AEW TV also and could benefit from being re-introduced to the audience instead of there just being assumed knowledge that everyone know who he is and what he stands for.)

Hello Wade,

I’m a big fan of the site and the old school newsletter. I still remember in 1996 insisting my family wait for the mail before leaving for the airport on a family trip. I was expecting the Torch Yearbook to arrive. We almost missed the flight, but I had quality reading on the plane!

I feel bad for AEW. They have been putting on a lot of high quality wrestling shows and are not getting numbers. I really like how you feel like you are watching two different companies on Wednesday and Saturday.

Here are my suggestions:

1. I think the biggest thing they can do is announce a brand split, champions eligible for both shows, and then let fans know there will be a transfer window (European soccer reference) or draft at some point in the year. You can even have it happen a couple times a year, using the transfer model.

2. Come to some talent agreement or outright sign Mercedes Monet (f/k/a Sasha Banks) to appear on Collision. Collision now the exclusive home of C.M. Punk and Mercedes. I’d also balance Dynamite with a working agreement with Collision. A-level stars go to both brands. You also can split the women’s roster.

3. Get Collision replays on Max. AEW can start reporting streaming numbers/DVR numbers to downplay the overnight rating. That is always going to be a tough spot, but it’s a high-quality show, so make it more available.

4. You’ll need Punk and the Elite to feud. I know this goes against point number 1, a true brand split, but you can really save the matches for the PPV. You can have promos, video packages, and the occasional face to face (i.e. contract signing, interview segment). I think the Samoa Joe vs. Punk and The BCC vs. The Elite has been great, but my guess is the fans deep down know who should really be feuding and that’s potentially hurting these other feud’s interest levels.

5. Maybe unannounced, have the trios action only on Collision and the International Title only on Dynamite. I’m for making the TNT/TBS championships the workhorse titles and maybe the International as more an X Division/Cruiserweight type championship. Highlight the unique styles between the brands.

Thanks for the opportunity to respond. As a father of three and school administrator, wrestling is my vice.

Adam Christopher

(Keller’s Analysis: Thanks for your email, and I love the anecdote from so many years ago about awaiting the Torch Yearbook’s arrival. Those were a lot of work to produce, but I’m really proud of what we did with them each year back in our early years. As for your suggestions, I do think fans would rather have the talent situation explicitly explained with defined parameters. I’m stil waiting to see if AEW gets some content on Max. I think it’d be mutually beneficial for both parties. I’m still not sure Punk vs. Elite is realistic given the animosity that exists between the two sides. If I’m TK, I would see if it’s possible, but I wouldn’t be overly focused on it at the expense of creating really good new stories for both parties. Mercedes Monet would be a good get for Collision and give them a signature female star to build around for sure.)

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Great feedback on Collision and what they can do to differentiate themselves as well as get the other 400,00 give or take fans watching Dynamite to migrate over.

I would hope for the following (albeit unlikely to occur).

Rampage turns into ROH Rampage. A full rebranding with ROH-exclusive wrestlers. Not sure if Warner Media would go for this. The big win in this is less total content and oversaturation of AEW stars. This would make the second AEW show feel more significant as well as possibly bring new viewers into the ROH brand owned by Khan, which is all a net positive.

To your point, make exclusive top stars for Collision. For Tony, I would hope he would realize great wrestling is not a defining point in 2023. Weird to say that, but you can see quality workrate just about anywhere these days. The major driving point for me and many fans is character development and journey-driven storylines. If everyone is producing great matches, what can we do to hook fans in to our product is the question I hope Tony is considering. If you look at Smackdown and what is being done with the Bloodline storyline, how much of that greatness is really quality matches? The matches are only as good as the story behind it, right? It isn’t the coolest flip or bump; it is the fan emotionally investing in someone winning and someone losing and the continuation within those parameters. Basic stuff.

Beyond that, I would like Collision to be drastically different in tone. Some of that has occurred with music, announcing, backstage promos, and the like. I would say really lean into it, though, and produce something that grabs viewers. This is a tough one and I currently offer no real suggestions, but something the braintrust should explore.

Finally, have certain titles exclusive. The TBS Title exclusively on Dynamite, the TNT Title exclusively on Collision, and the International Title becomes the second most prestigious title and is exclusive for Dynamite. The World Champion, Women’s Champion, and Tag Champions float between brands. The Trio Champions are exclusive to Collision. Too many titles already, but making the secondary ones brand-exclusive may aid in creating more of a reason behind why they exist. Wrestlers could discuss the exclusive nature of holding the title on said show and what it means to them.

Anyway, I’m a long time PWTorch VIP member who loves what you and your team produce more than just about anything viewed weekly. Although I am an avid AEW fan, so I want them to continue to grow and I appreciate your article. I hope Tony and Co. listen and act upon a portion of it.

Ryan Carls

(Keller’s Analysis: I appreciate the kind words. I do think consideration should be given to turning Rampage into an ROH show. There are risks. The show would seem to have more of a purpose and it’d essentially be a third roster along the lines of NXT in WWE. I think it’d spread the AEW roster less thin and prevent there being storylines on Rampage that carry over to Dynamite that most people watching Dynamite have no idea is happening or just aren’t invested in at all. The most room for growth in TK’s booking within the style he’s presenting is not leaning as much on good wrestling being the defining trait of whether a match justifies the TV it is given. There is room for substantial growth when it comes to character development and establishing the journey wrestlers are on.)

You are invited to send additional feedback on this topic or other topics we write about here to

NOW CHECK THIS OUT: AEW COLLISION FEUD TRACKER: Debut column looking at the early feuds on AEW’s new show including CM Punk, Andrade, FTR

OR THIS FROM PROWRESTLING.NET: Cary Silkin on the new version of ROH, previously buying ROH, and the pro wrestling scene in Puerto Rico

If you are interested in joining our team of volunteer contributors, email PWTorch editor Wade Keller at We are always looking for passionate fans who love writing and want to expand our coverage of pro wrestling with different points of view.

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