AEW founder, president and head of creative Tony Khan conducted a media call today ahead of this Sunday's All Out where he discussed relationships, collaborating with CM Punk, the future of AEW Dark, and the possibility of adding trios titles.
You can hear the audio by scrolling down and clicking the red button.
On CM Punk:
Khan talked about how talks with Punk went back 18 months and how in that regard, All Out has been building for that long. He said that he is enjoying both collaborating with Punk and building a relationship. He said that some of the things that Punk was asked to do before he left wrestling in 2014 didn't make any sense to Khan, and that he has told Punk to let him know if he ever asks him to do something he's uncomfortable with or that would be bad for his career.
On booking All Out:
Khan said that the card is the strongest that AEW has presented. He said that for the past week, he has been working close to 24 hour days between Fulham, the Jacksonville Jaguars and AEW. Khan said that figuring out the match order for All Out was actually easy and that when he's shared that information with other people, they seem to agree on the match order. He said that he got the match order right on his first pass.
On AEW Dark's future:
Khan said that Dark will be taped at Universal Studios in Orlando most weeks as he wants it to have the feel of the old WCW Worldwide show. He said that by moving Dark to its own taping rather than the same night as Rampage, he and the other AEW coaches will have the opportunity to devote more energy and time to the characters and talent on that show. He said that AEW Dark: Elevation will still be taped before Dynamite.
On the possibility of adding a trios championship to AEW:
Khan said that he was open to the idea and that it would make sense, but that they already fit a lot of stories into Dynamite and Rampage and nothing is imminent. He said that he used to book more trios matches for a variety of reasons, especially when Dynamite was running out of Daily's Place every week.
On Jon Moxley:
Khan said that Jon Moxley's forthcoming book is one of the best wrestling books in many years. He said that when Moxley first came to AEW, "...some people really tried to do a number on him personally," and painted Moxley as difficult to work with or a malcontent, but he has found the opposite to be true. He said Moxley is an easygoing guy and they have built a great relationship.
On touring internationally:
Khan said that they have plans to do a few things in 2022 and that he wants Craven Cottage, the home of Fulham FC to be the England home base for AEW, but that they are at the mercy of circumstances as the last couple of years have shown and that he didn't want to give a timetable.
On the roster size:
Khan said that there is no such thing as a full roster and that one of the things he enjoys about AEW compared to Fulham or the Jaguars is that there is no salary cap to deal with and no limit on the size of the roster. He said that there are many different philosophies when it comes to building a roster. He said that he didn't expect that he would have the chance to sign 2point0 when the year began, but he jumped on them after they were released from NXT. He said he was familiar with their work both from the independents and NXT.
On AEW's financial success:
Khan was asked if AEW was successful earlier than he had expected, and he said yes. He said that they were not making much money from Dynamite when they started out, but TNT has since put up $175 million over four years to keep them. He said that he has put eight figures of his own money into developing the AEW video game so that they don't have to share in the profits with a developer when the time comes.
On the women's division:
Khan said that the division is a work in progress and that things continue to get more cohesive as they have added talent and the talent that they already had has gained more experience. He put over Kenny Omega's eye for talent and put Britt Baker over as one of the great World Champions in wrestling. He said that he will be the agent for Sunday's Casino Battle Royale.
On the TNT Championship:
Khan balked at the idea that the TNT Championship is a midcard title. He said that the only wrestlers that have held the title are main eventers and protected stars.
On the Jericho cruise:
Khan said that some AEW talent advertised for the Jericho cruise will obviously not be on AEW television that week. He said the the Jericho cruise is Chris Jericho's personal project, but that Chris is a big part of AEW and he wants to help out if he can. He said if he needs someone for TV that week and they're advertised for the Jericho cruise, AEW is the first priority.
On the "forbidden door"
Khan said that he has different relationships with all the various promotions he works with, from the folks at Impact, to Billy Corgan with NWA, to Gedo and Rocky Romero with NJPW. He said that he thinks he has a good reputation for being fair and honest with them, that he has done a lot of favors for a lot of different places over the last year, but that he isn't doing that to get something out of it, he just thinks it's good karma for AEW.
Here is the card for Sunday's show, starting at 7 PM Eastern with the pre-show:
- AEW World Championship: Kenny Omega (c) vs. Christian Cage
- CM Punk vs. Darby Allin
- AEW Women's World Championship: Britt Baker (c) vs. Kris Statlander
- AEW World Tag Team Championship steel cage match: The Young Bucks (c) vs. The Lucha Brothers
- TNT Championship: Miro (c) vs. Eddie Kingston
- Jon Moxley vs. Satoshi Kojima
- Paul Wight vs. QT Marshall
- 21-woman Women's Casino Battle Royale: Thunder Rosa, Nyla Rose, Penelope Ford, Jade Cargill, Anna Jay, Riho, The Bunny, Big Swole, Tay Conti, Hikaru Shida, Red Velvet, Julia Hart, Diamante, Emi Sakura, Kiera Hogan, Abadon, Leyla Hirsch, KiLynn King, Jamie Hayter, Rebel, a mystery participant
- The Buy-In pre-show match: Matt Hardy, Private Party & TH2 vs. Orange Cassidy, Chuck Taylor, Wheeler Yuta & Jurassic Express