AEW media call report: Tony Khan speaks with the pro wrestling media ahead of Sunday’s AEW Dynasty pay-per-view


By Jason Powell, Editor (@prowrestlingnet)

AEW President Tony Khan spoke with the pro wresting media on Thursday, April 18, 2024 to promote Sunday’s AEW Dynasty pay-per-view. Refresh the page for the latest updates.

-Tony Khan opened the call by saying he is really excited about AEW Dynasty. He said it should be an amazing show and a great weekend. Khan said they would be in the media call moderator Jim Woodcock’s hometown of St. Louis. They opened the lines to calls.

-Khan was asked about airing the All In footage. Caller Dominic DeAngelo said it was universally panned and asked where his head was at when he made the decision. Khan said that after the ratings came in, TBS officials called and praised him. He said that was the most important thing. Khan said the rating is the number one source of fan feedback. He said there were over 400,000 viewers in the 18-49 demographic and that’s a strong performance and how TBS judges the show. Khan said they had an amazing crowd for last night’s Dynamite.

-I asked if Khan would ever consider stepping down as head of creative and hire a booker to run AEW or do you consider your position to be permanent? Khan said nothing is permanent and he wouldn’t be there forever. He said one of the highlights of his life has been doing the creative. He said he loves what they are doing. He said he’s only 41 years-old. He said some of the best wrestlers in the world are very loyal to him and he hopes he can repay that. He spoke about a valuation that came out today that listed them as being worth $2 billion. He said it would be a big right for his company with the media rights renewal coming up. He said another important aspect is pay-per-view growth. He said they expanded the pay-per-view calendar last year and it was by far their most successful year. He said they expanded again by adding Sunday’s AEW Dynasty. He said last night’s Dynamite was a really good show and felt it was one of the best received go-home shows the company has ever done. He said it’s exciting, but there’s a risk when you add a new pay-per-view event.

-Brandon Thurston asked about CM Punk stating that he paid for his own medical care while in AEW. Khan said they typically pay for medical expenses, but he would have to look into that. He said it doesn’t sound right to him. He said if that is the case, he would reimburse Punk for those expenses. He said they typically cover the cost of medical expenses, especially when they occur in the ring.

-Khan was asked about his excitement for the Toni Storm vs. Thunder Rosa match for the AEW Women’s Championship. Khan said he’s very excited about the match and to have Rosa back from a long injury layoff.

-Khan was asked by Amy Nemmity about the Oklahoma State Athletic Commission issuing a warning about having Nyla Rose work the show against a female wrestler. Khan said he is disappointed and shocked by that warning. He said there shouldn’t be discrimination against transgender people. He said he and AEW stand by Rose. Khan said he loves Rose and loves working with her. Khan said Rose does a ton for the community and is a great person with a great heart. Khan said she is one of the funniest people on social media. Khan said Rose is working with as a special host for their coverage of the AEW Dynasty event. Khan said Rose accepted that invitation weeks ago.

-Khan was asked about Jon Moxley being able to defend the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship in AEW. Khan said it was a dream come true for Moxley to win the title. Khan said Moxley is a great leader and a great world champion for any company. Khan said there’s a great partnership between AEW and New Japan Pro Wrestling. Khan said Gedo is the matchmaker in NJPW and they share Rocky Romero, who is a vice president in both companies. Khan said it’s a mutual decision between him and Gedo when it comes to Moxley defending the championship in AEW.

-Samantha Schipman asked whether the Oklahoma State Athletic Commission warning will cause them to avoid running Oklahoma and states with similar approaches. Khan said they would take it all into consideration. He said it’s a developing story and he was surprised by it. He said they want to support the fans across the country. He said the fans in Oklahoma are important to them, but he acknowledged that it was a fair question.

-Khan was asked a question about St. Louis’s pro wrestling history and whether it’s fitting to have Bryan Danielson vs. Will Ospreay in the city. Khan joked that it sounded like moderator Jim wrote that question himself. Funny. Khan spoke about his excitement for the match and said it has been given more of a pure sport build, which differs from a lot of the other matches on the card. Khan said fans around the world are excited to see the match and so is he. Khan said Dynasty should be a great card and that match is emblematic of what they have planned for the show. Khan said it should be an all-time great show for AEW.

-Bill Pritchard asked Khan about adding additional streaming options for AEW pay-per-view events as opposed to sticking exclusively with Bleacher Report and whether it would continue after the next three events. Khan said he’s optimistic they will be able to continue offering the shows on multiple digital platforms.

-Ella Jay asked Khan about booking a winner take all match and whether that means the AEW Trios Titles and the ROH Six-Man Tag Team Titles will be merged. Khan said the winners will be the undisputed trios champions. Khan said it’s exciting to have some consolidation and unification of titles. Khan said there was an injury issue and he waited until doctors cleared someone who is in the match before he officially announced it for the Dynasty pre-show.

-Dave Meltzer asked about revenue between quarter one in 2024 compared to 2023. Khan said the revenue was up considerably. He said they added AEW Collision and have run more events. He said this year’s AEW Revolution was one of their top U.S. dates ever and it surpassed last year’s Revolution. Khan said the gate and the pay-per-view buys for the 2024 Revolution were up. Khan said Sting’s retirement was one of the greatest things he’s ever been a part of. Khan said their media rights fee was higher due to the 2024 option being picked up.

-Steve Fall asked Khan why he released their pay-per-view calendar for the full year so early. Khan credited new AEW COO Kosha Irbay. He said it allows fans to make travel plans. Khan praised Irbay as well as Mike Mansury, who overseas global production. Khans said they are already working on 2025 pay-per-view shows.

-Jonathan Hood asked which cities and arenas that AEW hasn’t been to that Khan would like to bring shows to. Khan spoke of how there are so many places internationally they could run given that they’ve only run the United States, Canada, and the UK. He said there are also places in those markets that they have yet to run shows in addition to new international locations.

-Khan was asked about the Young Bucks characters. Khan said it’s been a collaborative effort between them. Khan touted Jesse Armstrong as a brilliant writer and said he inspired the Young Bucks’ change through his show Succession. Khan said he told Armstrong about it and the Bucks’ theme song. Khan said Armstrong was really cool about it. Khan recalled setting the table for everything in a January 10 meeting and said things have played out as they laid out that day. Khan mentioned the Collision and Rampage block and said it’s a great way to spend 4/20.

-Khan was asked for updates on the injured AEW wrestlers and reports that the Motor City Machine Guns are AEW bound. Khan said the caller sounded like a real wrestling fan. Khan spoke about the first AEW Revolution and now the first AEW Dynasty. Khan acknowledged that they are without Kenny Omega, Britt Baker, Jamie Hayter, MJF, and Adam Cole and said they are still able to have great shows despite those absences. Khan did not provide any updates regarding the status of the injured wrestlers or the Machine Guns.

-Khan was asked about being on a streaming platform. Khan said it’s something they will look at in their upcoming media rights negotiations. He spoke about their television and pay-per-view library and said there’s no place to go back and watch it all. Khan said it’s a really interesting idea to have it all in one place and it’s something he expects to happen in their next media rights deal. Khan said they are still in the exclusive negotiation window with Warner Bros. Discovery. Khan said he wants to respect them and the importance of those negotiations. Khan said that where all the shows live in 2025 is to be determined.

-The final question was about the signing of Carlos Cabrera and doing more in the Spanish speaking market. Khan spoke about Kosha Irby learning about the friendships the company has built with worldwide promotions. He said they were able to launch Forbidden Door and now they have a partnership with CMLL. Khan said Rocky Romero is a great intermediary who looks out of the best interest of all parties involved. Khan said he looks forward to working more with CMLL and NJPW. Khan noted that it was Mike Mansury’s idea to bring in Cabrera. Khan said Mansury is fluent Spanish and spoke highly of Cabrera after working with him in the past. Khan said the hiring seems to have been well received by the fans. Khan said he’s a fan of CMLL and it’s safe to say he was the biggest CMLL fan during his time at the University of Illinois. Khan said it was the wrestling he watched the most at the time and many of the stars from that era are still working today.

-Khan closed the call and noted that there will be a media call on Sunday night after AEW Dynasty. Khan said it will be a rare chance to moderator Jim to sleep in his own bed. Jim said he may not sleep because it will be such a great show. This concluded the media call (the audio will be posted once it’s released by AEW later today).


Readers Comments (3)

  1. “Khan said that after the ratings came in, TBS officials called and praised him.”

    Is he lying or are the TBS officials as stupid as he is?

    “He spoke about an evaluation that came out today that listed them as being worth $2 billion.”

    Who the fuck would value a company that has lost money every single year, and now has rapidly dwindling TV, PPV, and attendance figures, at $2 billion? Is this crackhead living on planet Earth?

  2. The ratings were up because of a former AEW now current WWE guy..

  3. Original Jabroni April 18, 2024 @ 11:52 pm

    AEW is done. All hope is lost. Dixie Khan’s vanity project using daddy’s money CANNOT improve if the one in charge doesn’t think it needs to. A few questions I have:

    Ratings being up for a segment has zero to do with feedback afterward.
    Stupid of liar?

    2 billion dollars?
    Stupid or liar?

    He doesn’t know if his biggest star had to pay his own medical bills?
    Stupid of liar?

    He’s not a business man. He’s not creative. He’s a wealthy man’s son. End of story.

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