AEW media call report: Tony Khan speaks with the pro wrestling media ahead of Sunday’s AEW Double Or Nothing pay-per-view

By Jason Powell, Editor (@prowrestlingnet)

AEW President Tony Khan spoke with the pro wresting media on Thursday, May 23, 2024 to promote Sunday’s AEW Double Or Nothing pay-per-view. Refresh the page for the latest updates.

-Tony Khan opened the call by talking about AEW Double Or Nothing while noting that it is available on more pay-per-view platforms than any show in AEW history.

-The first question regarding AEW Double Or Nothing and Khan talking about the event. Khan said the first two AEW pay-per-view events of 2024 were home runs.

-Khan was asked about building stars or keeping wrestlers in a holding pattern at a time when the company has had a lot of injuries. The caller also jokingly asked about whether a permit is needed to use a flamethrower. Khan joked (I think!) that fortunately Allin has a permit. Khan spoke about the Double Or Nothing card and said looks strong. He spoke about going back to Las Vegas with a strong card. He said the stars being injured creates opportunities for them to come back and create great moments. He said the people who are keeping things strong now will have great opponents walking through the door for future matches.

-Khan was asked whether they are looking at running future television events in places they have not been before. Khan said they are. He spoke about the summer series that will be held in Arlington, Texas. He said there are other markets that they have yet to mine in the U.S., Canada, and overseas. He touted the addition of Kosha Irbay as the AEW COO and the live events team that they have put together.

-A caller mentioned a report that Mark Henry’s contract is expiring soon and asked if Khan has interest in keeping him in the fold. Khan praised Henry and said he is a great media person as well as a philanthropist. He indicated that it was something they would need to look at internally.

-Khan was asked whether the summer series in Arlington could be a preview in terms of the way they do things for television shows in the future. Khan said the Arlington deal was a unique opportunity, but he is open if there are other cities that have interest in doing something similar. Khan says if things go well, it could be a model for similar series in the future.

-Khan was asked about Serena Deeb’s comeback after suffering through a series of seizures. Khan said it’s an inspirational story. He said she had medical challenges that she got through to get to the point where she’s challenging Toni Storm for the AEW Women’s Championship at Double Or Nothing.

-A caller asked Khan about the Willow Nightingale vs. Mercedes Mone match at Double Or Nothing. Khan said he feels this is in an important chapter in what could be a great rivalry. He said they have a lot of chemistry.

-Khan was asked about playing a character on television after initially expressing reluctance to do so. The caller asked what changed Khan’s mind. Khan said he’s tried to limit the number of appearances that he’s made over the last five years. Khan said he loves being at the events and appearing in front of the live crowd before and after shows. Khan said it’s important to him that the focus is on the wrestlers and the wrestling. Khan said that even when the focus is on the office, it’s still important to spotlight the wrestlers. Khan said he was on the show for roughly two seconds and he feels that’s how it should be.

-Khan was asked about running the MGM Grand Garden Arena as opposed to the T Mobile Center. Khan said one of the things that mattered to him was the sentimentality of this being the company’s five-year anniversary. Khan said they ran MGM Grand initially. He said he thinks it is cool to go back to the venue where it all started.

-A caller asked how satisfied he is with the new signings of Kazuchika Okada, Mercedes Mone, and Will Ospreay. Khan played up having them all wrestling on the same AEW show for the first time. He said he thinks AEW will be a much better place because they added all three wrestlers.

-Khan was asked if there were other wrestlers who were considered to replace Eddie Kingston in the Anarchy in the Arena match. Khan said the addition of Darby Allin to the match was a case of great minds thinking alike. He said they have very different interests, but one thing they have in common is keeping late night hours. Khan said he texted Allin to ask how he was doing in his recovery. Khan said Allin said he was good and let him know that he could replace Kingston in the match. Khan laughed and said that Allin answered the question before he could ask. Khan said Allin was the perfect choice, but he said he would not have allowed him to wrestle had he not received medical clearance.

-Khan was asked what the Double Or Nothing anniversary means to him. Khan said it means a lot. He said he feels like the original event was the beginning of a great journey and he feels like they are still close to the beginning of a long journey and yet they have come so far. Khan said he had a dream of running a major stadium event and they did that (at Wembley Stadium). Khan said they will continue to do great things and they’ve set a lot of milestones for pro wrestling, especially for a company that did not exist five years ago. Khan said it’s been an amazing run. He said they started with two hours of weekly television and now have five yours. He said the shows are airing in over 150 countries. He said they planned to do quarterly pay-per-view events and are up to nine pay-per-view events in 2024. Khan said he feels it is amazing what they have done over the last five years.

-Khan was asked about moving All Out to a week later and what lessons he learned from running back-to-back weekends last year. Khan said there was a lot of feedback about putting more time between the two shows. He said they had run on Labor Day weekend for several years going back to All In prior to AEW. Khan said he wants to give the fans in Chicago a great show and felt like this is a way to give them an even better show. Khan recalled that they were the only company running on Labor Day weekend when they started. He said the competition started to do the same and that was cool. Khan said he likes listening to fan feedback and the move was positively received. He said the show will now be held during NFL opening weekend, so moving it to Saturday as opposed to running on Sunday made sense.

-The next caller asked running a triple main event and when the women will headline a show. Khan spoke about Swerve Strickland vs. Christian Cage. Khan spoke highly of both men and said Christian has been an MVP of the company and he feels he’s one of the best signings the company has ever made. Khan said the hype regarding his arrival in AEW was justified. Khan said it’s a huge match and Swerve’s first title defense on pay-per-view. Khan spoke again about Mercedes Mone challenging Willow Nightingale for the TBS Title. Khan said Anarchy in the Arena will be crazy. He said he thinks the past variations of the match have been some of the best matches in the world even thought it’s brawling and pure anarchy as opposed to traditional wrestling. Khan said he feels there are other matches on the card are main event worthy.

-Khan was asked about the most valuable lessons he’s learned and the biggest surprises and whether there are things he looks back on and wishes he could change. Khan said there are a lot of things like that and they learn every day. Khan said there have been a lot of great opportunities and moments, but there are countless things he would change if he could go back in time. He said that doesn’t just apply to AEW, it also applies to football and life. Khan said he studied pro wrestling history long before AEW started because it was important for him to study things that happened and try to learn from them. Khan said that while he would change things if he could, he’s also very happy with everything. Khan said he’s been fortunate to get a lot of great opportunities. He said there are some opportunities that are once in a lifetime, but otherwise you hope that you’ll get another chance. He said he thinks you learn from the swings you take so you have to keep swinging. Khan said he didn’t want to bury anyone in the company. He pointed to the NFL Draft and how all 32 teams would go back and change things they’ve done over the years.

-The final caller asked about how the NBA negotiations affect AEW. Khan said he obviously won’t talk to anyone before the exclusive negotiating period with Warner Bros Discovery ends. He said he is very happy with WBD and feels it fits like a glove. Khan said WBD CEO David Zaslav has been great to him and green lit AEW Collision. Khan said expanding from three hours per week to five hours per week is a big deal. Khan mentioned other WBD executives he has worked with. Khan cited WBD executive Jason Sarlanis as someone who is knowledgable about pro wrestling and cares about it. Khan said it’s a blessing every day they are on TBS and TNT.

-Khan closed out the call by saying it’s been five great years while also speaking about his excitement for Double Or Nothing this weekend. Khan also spoke about the calls he’s done over the years and said some have asked tough questions while others have asked fun questions. Khan said he feels there has been a strong turnout at the calls and the media scrums. Khan said he appreciates all of the coverage that AEW has received. Khan said pro wrestling is his favorite thing an he appreciates all of the time the wrestling media puts in, particularly on AEW. Khan thanked his media call team of Jim and Mandy, as well as Adam Hopkins. This wrapped up the call.


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