In recent months, AEW has been dealing with plenty of reported tension, from the infamous brawl following AEW All Out to a confrontation between Eddie Kingston and Sammy Guevara and another incident between Guevara and Andrade El Idolo. During this trying time, three wrestlers have stepped up, both on-screen and behind the scenes — Bryan Danielson, Jon Moxley, and Chris Jericho.
Speaking with Steven Muehlhausen of DAZN, Khan discussed the trio’s importance, both with the great runs they’re currently on and with their leadership backstage.
“I think Jon Moxley, the AEW world champion, and Chris Jericho have stepped up in a major way,” Khan said. “I think a lot of fans would see they’ve both had an incredible run of matches, including against each other at Quake by the Lake in August. Since the Grand Slam tournament champions started, we’ve been on a great run. And I think they’re leaders backstage. And I think Bryan Danielson also is a huge part of this. Moxley and Chris have been here from the very beginning, and Bryan stepped in and has been one of the most prominent people on the TV shows. So he’s a huge part of it.
“Backstage, I think they’re all leaders and have helped us get through this period. Bryan was out for a while, and since Bryan came back, it’s been some of the best TV we’ve done. I am grateful he’s been a big part of it because it’s been great to have Bryan in the shows. He’s one of the best wrestlers in the world and he’s also been in some of the best matches this year, including against both the people I just named, Jon Moxley, and Chris Jericho. So both on-screen and off-screen, I think they’re just a hugely valuable presence in AEW.”
AEW has had to proceed without CM Punk, Kenny Omega and the Young Bucks while the reported physical confrontation involving the quartet and Ace Steel remains under investigation. When asked what would happen if AEW had to get by without the aforementioned trio, Khan noted that it would be difficult because they’re three of the company’s top stars.
“I don’t know. I think it’d be very challenging,” Khan admits. “If you looked at many teams, and took three players off of them, three of the most featured and productive players on the team, I think those teams would struggle. If you take (Larry) Bird, (Kevin) McHale and (Robert) Parish or Magic Johnson, Kareem (Abdul Jabbar) and (James) Worthy or (Michael) Jordan, (Scottie) Pippen and (Dennis) Rodman off (their) different sports teams (and) you took those three most productive players off.
“These (Moxley, Jericho, Danielson) are three of the most productive players on our team. A lot of great people contribute to the show, but they are three of the most important for sure.”