In a recent interview on Oral Sessions with Renee Young, Tony Khan discussed AEW adding a third hour of television, competition in wrestling, and much more. You can read his comments below.
Tony Khan on AEW adding a third hour of television in 2021: “I’m really excited about adding a third hour of television. I think that’s gonna be the most important thing for us. Right now, we’ve accumulated so much talent and so much depth on the roster…..it will not be a third hour of Dynamite, and it will not be on Wednesday. But it will be a third hour with Warner Media. It’ll be a third TV hour, and it’s great exposure for us. We’ve got Dark, which has been a great platform for our wrestlers on YouTube. I think there are other streaming options and shows we can do with YouTube or other streaming platforms. So, there’s gonna be more opportunities and more real estate for our wrestlers without oversaturating it. I definitely don’t want to do three hours of Dynamite, and I feel really strongly about keeping our big four pay-per-views. I think just expanding our calendar will be a big thing in 2021.”
On competition in wrestling: “I think it’s great. Before the pandemic, which has obviously changed the way wrestling is presented, you would’ve said a year ago that what a great time it is to be a wrestling fan. I still think you feel that way, but there’s nothing anybody can do to control the pandemic. I do think when the arenas are full, the competition has been very, very good. It’s been a great time for wrestling. I can only imagine how frustrated wrestling fans would’ve been through this if there had not been an AEW. I think it’s been the best show through the pandemic, and I’m very biased. I’ve seen other good shows, and I’m not saying it’s the only good show, but I think it’s been consistently the best show. I’ve seen other people do great stuff, and I think we all push each other. Likewise, I think the competition is good for us too. Mostly, I think it’s good for the fans. Certainly, right before the pandemic when Jon [Moxley] won the title, I was saying I thought this was the best time to be a wrestling fan.”
On whether he watches other promotions like WWE and NJPW: “Not as far as the creative process goes so much, though you don’t want to be doing the exact same stuff. I do think it’s important that you’re not doing the same stuff somebody is already doing. But I also just like watching wrestling. I watch a lot of shows – I watch those shows, and I watch other shows too. I watch New Japan the big AAA shows – Triplemania was great. There’s been great wrestling all over the world. I watched Wrestle Kingdom, I try to keep up on their shows. I think there was some great stuff on Wrestle Kingdom. There have been other shows this year in New Japan that I liked. There are a lot of shows I didn’t like from other companies, them included. But I think for the most part, everybody in wrestling has done their best to try and keep the fans entertained and also keep everybody working. That’s something I take a lot of pride in. We’ve maintained our staff and have actually grown through the pandemic. We actually have more people than we started with.”
On his favorite matches: “When I was really young, it might have been Steamboat vs. Savage from WrestleMania 3, or Bret Hart vs. Mr. Perfect at King of the Ring 1993. Then I got Ric Flair and Ricky Steamboat matches. Then later, I might have said the John Cena and Brock Lesnar match where they beat the hell out of each other – Brock’s first match back at Extreme Rules 2012 where he absolutely beat the shit out of John. It wasn’t for everybody, but it was a lot safer than the match he had with Randy Orton at SummerSlam. And then I would’ve said a lot of matches that involved The Young Bucks and The Golden Lovers. I really liked the Young Bucks a lot. I thought these guys are gonna be the next Hardy Boyz in 2009 or 2010, and I think a lot of wrestling fans thought that way. They’ve come to transcend tag team wrestling, and they’re so important for our division…..before AEW, these are some things I might have pointed out, and now when people ask me to point to a match, I would point to Revolution. I would say watch that show above it all – I think the best wrestling pay-per-view I’ve ever seen.”
If using any of the above quotes, please credit Oral Sessions with Renee Young with an h/t to 411mania.com for the transcription.