In a recent interview on Oral Sessions with Renee Young, Tony Khan discussed the decision to work with Impact Wrestling, doing ads with Tony Schiavone, and much more. You can read his comments below.
Tony Khan on how the decision to work with Impact Wrestling came about: “It was Kenny’s idea. He asked me about it, and I love good ideas, but I don’t do every idea. I try not to do the bad ones, and also, I don’t do every good one. Sometimes, because I don’t realize they’re good, and I’m not perfect and make a lot of mistakes too. Sometimes, there are also good ones that just don’t fit. But this was something that Kenny brought up that I thought was a great idea. He put a lot of time and thought into it. I give 100 percent of the credit to Kenny. Don Callis and Kenny have a really close relationship, and I think that was what was behind it. I also think Kenny believed that Don would be a very powerful advocate for him and could fill the role of a really, really strong heel manager for Kenny as the top heel in the territory.
“Really, I think Kenny is the top heel in wrestling right now. I think that’s something that people wanted to see. There are some wrestlers like Steve Austin in 2001 where I don’t think people were ready to boo him or that they wanted that person to be a villain. I absolutely think people were ready to see this Kenny Omega. He was excited to present it, but he didn’t just want to present the same Kenny Omega that people had seen. He put so much thought into innovating and changing. That’s why I would say that I think the two best wrestlers in the world are Kenny and Jon [Moxley]. That’s why we have showcased them as the top two. We didn’t want to just flip a switch. It’s been a slow progression over the course of a year…….it was something he believed in and he wanted to help Don, but he also thought it could help us. He was right.”
On doing ads with Tony Schiavone on Impact: ““People seem to like them, and that’s why we kept doing them. It’s great because it promotes our show, and it also keeps the storyline with them going. When we first did it, I didn’t know that people would enjoy them as much as they have, and I didn’t plan to keep doing them for as long as we have. They’ve gotten a really great reaction, and it’s good for both companies.
On whether being an on-screen personality on AEW is something he’s considered: “No, it’s not. I made a big exception coming out, and I thought it was the right thing to do to be there on behalf of the company to express to everybody how much Brodie meant to us. I wanted to pay the highest respect to him that I could and to his family – Amanda and Brodie Jr. – and be there for them. But other than that, I’ve never come out and done that in that role. Occasionally, because of the story with Impact, there are times where I think it makes sense. Matt and Nick, this past week for example, were waiting to be introduced and instead Don brought out Anderson and Gallows. Matt and Nick were standing right by the curtain and standing there with me. But I don’t want to do that. We have a limited amount of TV time, and we have a great roster. There are a lot of other people that need to be featured. Frankly, the character of the general manager doesn’t need to be featured on TV a lot. I am the general manager of a Premier League team. You don’t see me on NBC very much. That’s not the job of the general manager to be on TV a lot.”
If using any of the above quotes, please credit Oral Sessions with Renee Young with an h/t to 411mania.com for the transcription.