By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
AEW President Tony Khan spoke with Dan Gelston of the AP earlier this week. The following are the highlights of the interview that can be read in full at APNews.com.
Khan on his role in AEW: “I’ve found the company has gotten stronger the more I take on. And I think the fans would agree with that. The really hardcore fans would actually really agree with that. The people who know, know the more hands-on I got about everything, the company has gotten a lot stronger.”
Khan on whether he’s surprised that so many star talents have been available for AEW to sign: “I had a lot of wrestlers that were very well-regarded in terms of the hardcore fans. But in terms of the very mainstream audience, not as many recognizable names, and I knew I’d have to really build that recognition. I didn’t expect somebody with so much recognition and as much experience wrestling on TV as Jon Moxley would become available so quickly. He has been such a great blessing for this company. He was a great champion through the pandemic. He’s still one of our most important stars today. I didn’t expect that at the time. Since then, absolutely. By making this a great home for wrestling and a place where wrestlers want to work, we’ve had so many people that want to come here, and have defected. It is more than I ever could have dreamed.”
Khan on whether WWE sees AEW as true competition: “I’m a big wrestling fan and I would say, objectively, AEW is the hottest wrestling company right now. So many people who watch wrestling know that AEW’s gaining ground, AEW is hitting all-time highs. It’s helping us build new fans, it’s helping people want to take the leap and check the shows out. I’m sure other wrestling companies are paying attention to that. We have great relationships with a lot of wrestling companies that know what’s going on with AEW. I think if you work in the wrestling business, you’re following what we’re doing and the success we’re having. We’re catching a lot of eyeballs outside of the world of wrestling and mainstream attention, so you better believe in the world of wrestling people are paying very close attention to it.”
Powell’s POV: The first quote was too much. While what Khan said about himself might be true, he’d be better off letting others say it for him. Khan also spoke about how AEW came out of the pandemic a strong company, how he can keep the deep AEW roster happy, and more.