One hour prior to last Friday night’s episode of AEW Rampage on TNT, a Buy-In Pre-Show aired on AEW’s official YouTube channel, where Tay Conti defeated Santana Garrett in the opening matchup, Bobby Fish defeated Lee Moriarty in Singles action and Bryan Danielson beat Minoru Suzuki in the main event that lasted almost 20 minutes and the Buy-In Pre-Show went head-to-head against WWE’s Supersized SmackDown on FS1.
It seems that AEW booking Tay Conti vs. Santana Garrett as the opening matchup that went head-to-head against WWE’s SmackDown last Friday night had a much bigger and significant reason as the November 6, 2019 episode of NXT on the USA Network featured a Singles Match between Tay Conti and Santana Garrett and that match received a number of criticism due to some of the in-ring work, but this was WWE NXT’s first-ever matchup to win a quarter in the Wednesday Night War as the matchup drew a total of 813,000 viewers compared to AEW’s 809,000 viewers for the Private Party vs. Dark Order Match.
AEW booking Tay Conti vs. Santana Garrett to go head-to-head with the Supersized episode of SmackDown was reportedly not a coincidence and the match most likely did not beat SmackDown in the ratings, but it is believed that this was a scenario of AEW wanting to show how Tay Conti and Santana Garrett have improved since their NXT match, to put Tay Conti over, and perhaps put a spotlight on an inside joke.
You can check out the clips below from both matches: