Tony Khan spoke to the media for an hour Thursday to help hype up All Out, but the AEW head also garnered some headlines for defending his booking of the men's and women's interim World titles and some issues he has with WWE.
The full audio from the presser is available for free below.
Khan was asked to address how he handled the announcements of both the men's and women's interim World titles. As a Twitter user shared recently in a side-by-side video, then-World Champion CM Punk got eight minutes to announce his health situation while Women's Champion Thunder Rosa had considerably less time to announce her injury.
Khan disagreed with the notion that they were similar situations, saying he that an eight-minute Punk promo would be a better ratings draw than a Rosa one. Additionally, he was told hours before the Dynamite where Rosa made her announcement that she was hurt and needed to pull off All Out.
He said he has seen more interest in the interim title four-way Sunday than the original match between Rosa and Toni Storm while also saying you can't please everyone. He then talked about some fans grumbling about the Jon Moxley-Kyle O'Reilly interim World title qualifying match -- a match he loves and has rewatched repeatedly.
Asked if the new regime change at WWE meant a possible Forbidden Door-style collaboration would ever be possible, Khan shut that down quickly, saying that he was optimistic at one point but then less optimistic given "how they have treated me." He didn't go into further details, nor was asked, about what that meant.
He did talk about the talent meeting and, without saying WWE by name, alluded to a major point of conversation being the WWE tampering claims with contracted AEW talent that emerged over the past few weeks.
Asked about Rampage ratings, Khan said he had to put his biggest stars and angles on Dynamite due to all the injuries this year and wasn't able to offer big matches on Rampage that he used to. He's excited and wants to reset after this weekend due to the renewed roster strength. He is going to put his full attention on improving the show after this weekend.
Khan said the reason for the Zero Hour name returning for Sunday's All Out pre-show is that he wanted to tie into history of All In/All Out at the NOW Arena and present something new and fresh. He emphasized that Zero Hour is not just a pre-show, but its own event. He also said he may add another match on Friday to the pre-show or even the PPV.
Khan said the ratings were great for the CM Punk/Moxley World title match two weeks ago and that AEW has never done a PPV build like this before. He thinks there is increased interest in Sunday's rematch as a result as there's been a lot of talk in the aftermath of the quick result.
A dream match?
Khan said Punk & FTR were originally set to face Will Ospreay & Aussie Open several weeks before Forbidden Door. He said he also had a Punk/Hiroshi Tanahashi tag team match idea that would have been a MOTY candidate given the opponents that he still may do at some point.
For the full audio, click here to listen.