AEW President Tony Khan Talks AEW: “We’re Looking To Start Something New”

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On Wednesday’s episode of X-Pac 1-2-3-60 Podcast, Sean Waltman spoke to All Elite Wrestling (AEW) President Tony Khan, the financial backer and head of the business end of AEW, and son of billionaire Shahid Khan, owner of the NFL’s Jacksonville Jaguars and English Premier League’s Fulham FC.

On Wins & Losses Mattering:

“I really feel, like, for us, it’s a great opportunity to make wrestling – it hasn’t been taken seriously as the true athletic competition it is. In other sports, wins and losses matter, and I feel wins and losses are a huge part of the equation. I really want a win and a loss to be taken seriously, and the win-loss record should be a huge component of the competition to build up to the championship…In my background in sports, I’m a huge believer in statistics, and I think that’s one area where in wrestling, we’ve seen some cool stuff got over, whether it was the Goldberg streak with a shoot number. To me, I think there’s real opportunities to do some interesting things just in terms of building up athletes the way UFC has, with legitimate competition. It’s gotta make sense.”

On PAC vs. Hangman Page:

“I really like when I see what boxing has had a resurgence around building up some champions, and building up some challengers, and building up some big fights. I think what you saw at our press conference yesterday, like PAC vs Hangman Page is a match that people want to see right now. And we built a lot of buzz for it and I’m really excited for that match.”

Photo: AEW

On Chris Jericho in AEW:

“I’m like a life long Chris Jericho fan, I would trade for WAR (Wrestle Association R in Japan) tapes…I did the HTML for John McAdams (famous tape trader) when I was 12 years old…so I got into tape trading at a young age, so I like WAR and the match Chris had with Ultimo Dragon I think July 7, 1995…”

On Not Expecting To Enter The Wrestling Business:

“I never wanted to invest in the wrestling business, I never in all these years, other than shows and tickets, and being a regular, average wrestling fan -sure, paying more attention to it, reading the Observer every week and so forth, but not investing millions of dollars in the business. And the opportunity, the climate, it just really changed recently and yeah, it’s exciting.”

On Building the AEW Roster:

“It’s a business climate right now, it’s very good for what we’re doing. There’s a great opportunity, obviously, there was a lot of talent that was going to be available in 2019 to put together a top roster, and I think that’s what we’ve already begun to do. We already have some of the best workers in the world and I think as we build up and build out, we’ll develop top to bottom, a really, really special roster of talent here. I just think it’s something pretty cool. The guys on the top can work and the guys underneath, you better believe we’re going to get guys underneath who can work.”

On His Business Partners:

“I know these guys and I don’t have any question about the work ethic of the people I’m going into business with. How can you question Chris Jericho’s work ethic? And Cody and the Bucks are friends of mine, they work their asses off. And Hangman Page is going to be a big, big, big star in this business, I feel really strongly about him.”

On Bill Goldberg rumors:

“I have spent some time with Bill, I really like Bill a lot, he’s one of the greatest drawing cards ever in the business, he’s a huge, huge star, a household name. Obviously, I really like Bill. We’ve really bonded a lot, because both of us are really passionate about football…if the situation was right, obviously.”

Photo: WWE

On Buying Out Promotions and Partnerships:

“We’re looking to start something new, I’m not looking to absorb. I am open to partnerships, there’s a lot of people doing exciting things all over the world, especially internationally I’m very open to partnerships, and domestically I’ve seen the future and it’s what we’re doing. I’m very, very happy with where we’re at today…we have a lot of work to do going forward between now and May 25, Double or Nothing…I’m not really looking to acquire a lot of other companies, or even libraries, but as far as partnerships and things of that nature I think there’s a lot of exciting things that people can do.”

On AEW’s Philosophy As a New Company:

“I want to grow this into something that the wrestling community will embrace as – top to bottom, every show, we’re going to give you things we think you’re gonna enjoy. I don’t want to give you anything, unless there’s a reason where it’s going to be important later that you saw it, I don’t want to give you anything that you aren’t going to enjoy now. There’s no reason for that. I think what we have is a group of people with so much talent, so much wrestling know-how, I think we’re going to be able to generate a wrestling show that’s not just filled with great work and awesome promos, but spontaneity and a live show that really feels like a live show, where truly anything can happen.”

You can hear the full interview in the video below.

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