ROH media call report: Tony Khan speaks with the pro wrestling media ahead of Saturday’s ROH Death Before Dishonor pay-per-view

By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)

Tony Khan spoke with the pro wresting media on Thursday, July 21 to promote Saturday’s ROH Death Before Dishonor pay-per-view. Refresh the page for the latest updates.

-Tony Khan opened the call by saying he’s excited about Saturday’s ROH Death Before Dishonor pay-per-view. He said the relaunch of ROH has been amazing. They opened up the lines for callers.

-Khan was asked about the ROH roster and whether he intends to have wrestlers bounce back and forth from AEW to ROH. Khan spoke about the growth of the AEW roster due to the additions of online shows and Rampage. He said he believes they will get a weekly ROH show, but he won’t do it until the distribution deal makes sense and is right for everybody. Khan said they have some developmental stars as well as some of the key stars from ROH. He said he would expand the roster and add more people once television gets going.

-Khan was asked for an update on weekly television for ROH and whether he’s speaking with multiple television outlets or just Warner Bros. Discovery. Khan said he is talking with Warner Bros. Discovery. He said the pay-per-view will air on Bleacher Report and he feels that’s a positive step. He said he spoke with WBD officials and they are excited about it. Khan also said he believes this will be one of the most successful ROH events in the history of the brand and it’s a good way to get WBD officials familiar with ROH.

-Khan was asked if ROH will maintain a presence on AEW television long term if they get a weekly television show. Khan said he would like there to be interaction and he feels both companies would benefit from that. Khan said ROH has one of the strongest rosters of champions in pro wrestling. He feels that everything blended together makes or an interesting lineup. He feels that AEW could cross-promote ROH, but he would love to have the primary focus on ROH week to week be on a weekly ROH television show.

-Khan told the next caller that he will be adding additional matches to the Death Before Dishonor card. He said they would have more information on AEW Rampage and on their social media pages. He indicated that they will add things to both the pay-per-view and the Zero Hour pre-show.

-Khan said he was under no obligation to do the ROH Supercard of Honor event. He said the previous management started work on it, but he felt that one of the biggest pieces of the show was FTR vs. The Briscoes, and that would not have happened had he not booked FTR. Khan was asked how different the approach is this time around compared to Supercard of Honor. Khan said the last show was transitionary. He said they are still transitioning, but people know what to expect because they gave fans a feel for what the new product will be. He said he tried to keep a lot of things consistent. Khan said he will be bringing back the scoreboard for the ROH Pure Rules matches. Khan feels that this will be more of an established thing and less of a transitional show. Khan said Supercard was one of the best reviewed shows of the year and he hopes that Death Before Dishonor will be even stronger.

-Khan was asked about ROH touring and whether it would be independent touring or if they would take more of a soundstage approach for tapings. He said people have brought up Universal Studios and he said that could be good, but there are a lot of great venue possibilities. He said he would like to continue running big arenas for pay-per-view events. Khan said there is potential run bigger arenas for both television and pay-per-view events due to the renewed interest in the brand.

-A caller asked if there’s a chance of having hybrid titles between AEW and ROH. Khan said he wants to keep them separate. He mentioned the AEW All Atlantic Championship being defended against non-AEW wrestlers outside the United States. He said Pac or whoever the champion is will return to America and defend the title.

-Khan was asked if ROH would have the same ranking system that AEW uses. Khan said he’s probably not going to do that. He feels there might be something to be said for coming up with a different approach for determining contenders, but he hasn’t really decided.

-Khan was asked if there are wrestlers who have been signed to full-time deals with ROH. Khan said the Briscoes have signed long-term contracts for Ring of Honor. He said he thinks there are some other developmental wrestlers, but the Briscoes are the biggest names.

-Khan said he’s open to new designs and new championship belts in ROH. He spoke about the deal to acquire ROH being finalized. He said he had a letter of intent at the time of the Supercard event. He said they would have to think about the belts.

-Khan spoke about meeting a number of people from Warner Bros. Discovery at Wednesday’s AEW Dynamite. He was asked about cross promotion. Khan said it was valuable to have Claudio Castagnoli be able to step in at a time when AEW was hit with so many injuries. Khan called Castagnoli and ROH Champion Jonathan Gresham very important wrestlers in ROH’s history. Khan said Castagnoli is one of the most respected athletes in this business, but he has yet to win a world championship. Khan said he’s looking forward to hearing Ian Riccaboni and Caprice Coleman call the ROH Championship match.

-Khan was asked how he envisions having two distinct feels between AEW and ROH television. Khan spoke about the shows having different hosts. Khan said he is optimistic that Death Before Dishonor will be a great pay-per-view. Khan said he has told some wrestling purists that they will enjoy this show. He mentioned Rick Rubin as someone he expects to enjoy this event.

-Khan spoke about having AEW talent on the Final Battle show. He said they have done that for other companies before. He said previous management approached him about having some of the legends of ROH who are now under contract to AEW. Khan said CM Punk, Bryan Danielson, and Adam Cole are sidelined now and he hopes they will be back soon, but they were on fire at that time. He said he was happy to have them do video packages for Final Battle and he felt it added a lot to the presentation. He also recalled sending Jay Lethal to work that show (due to Bandido being a late scratch due to testing positive for Covid-19). Khan said he was happy to have his talent involved even though there was a decent chance at the time that he wasn’t going to end up buying the company. He said when people ask for favors, he tries to accommodate when he can in most cases.

-Khan was asked about AEW’s involvement at the San Diego Comic Con this weekend. Khan said he hopes they have good news at comic con. He said he doesn’t know if it will go through, but he hopes it will. Khan said he would normally be there, but it’s the same day as Death Before Dishonor. Khan said he doesn’t know that ROH will have anything to announce at comic con. He said the possible announcements would be more related to AEW.

-Khan was asked for the main differences between AEW and ROH. Khan said they are very different promotions. He said ROH has been around longer and has more history. He said ROH has different rules and a heavy emphasis on the Code of Honor. Khan said there’s a different presentation and a different feel with ROH. Khan said the sizes of the companies are also different. He spoke about AEW rising faster than any company in recent history. He said no pro wrestling company has done bigger pay-per-view numbers outside of WWE since WCW existed. Khan said ROH had risen to great heights in the past, but they were not at their peak when he acquired the company. He said there are different expectations from the two companies. He said they share a lot of the same fans, but they also have separate fanbases. Khan said there is synergy between AEW and ROH. Khan explained the meaning of the word synergy. Khan said he wants ROH to feel like a major league promotion without changing the look and feel that has been established.

-Khan was asked if there could be collaboration between ROH and New Japan Pro Wrestling. Khan said he thinks that’s possible, as well as AEW being involved.

-A caller asked about Willow Nightingale’s status with either company and whether he sees a future for her as an anchor in either women’s division. Khan said he thinks she’s a great wrestler for any promotion and would be a great face for any women’s division. Khan said she’s improved a lot in the time he’s known her and he’s appreciative of how hard she works. Khan said he’s very excited about her growth as a pro wrestler. Khan called her a great prospect.

-Colt Cabana’s status with ROH was brought up, along with whether there is an attempt being made to put some distance between him and CM Punk. Khan said he plans to have Cabana involved on the Death Before Dishonor event. Khan declined to comment “on the other stuff.” Khan said he’s happy to have Cabana around in general.

-Khan was asked about booking the two companies. Khan said he really enjoys doing it. He said it’s been great to have the wrestlers straddle both promotions. He mentioned Samoa Joe as an example and said he’s excited to have him return on Saturday. Khan spoke about paying tribute to pro wrestling history both overall pro wrestling history or AEW’s three-year history. He said there’s a great balance between the two brands. Khan said it’s a lot of fun. Khan wrapped up the media call.

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