All Elite Wrestling owner Tony Khan was the latest guest on The Battleground Podcast to discuss a wide variety of subjects. While discussing the surprise debut of Shane Taylor last week on AEW Rampage, Khan expressed his love of seeing new faces on wrestling programming he wasn’t familiar with when he was growing up.
“I know you guys were excited to see Shane Taylor. A lot of fans were, and there are fans who’ve never seen Shane Taylor before. And that’s okay. You get introduced to new faces all the time,” Tony Khan said. “When I was a young wrestling fan, that was one of the things I really liked about WCW Nitro. I think it would be very ironic that the same promoter now will tell you you don’t want to see these faces or introduce new people that we’ve never seen before on TV because they’re actually the ones that did that.
“All kinds of new faces I’d read in the magazines, people like I’d never seen before, and they would just walk out and wrestle on Nitro like it was perfectly natural, and I thought it was the coolest thing. So I guess that’s not acceptable anymore, even though it’s much, much easier to access information on the internet than it was in 1996.”
Tony Khan also discussed how he’s scaled back Ring of Honor‘s presence on AEW Dynamite as of late in favor of putting things on Rampage instead. Khan believes the relaunch of Ring of Honor has been very successful so far and expects some of their biggest numbers for Final Battle on Saturday.
“I mean, certainly, you saw wrestlers coming in from all kinds of promotions in the 90s on Nitro, so wrestlers coming to TBS and TNT from other promotions is nothing new. People complaining about it ad nauseam on the internet is certainly new, but at the end of the day, you want to listen to what the fans are saying,” Tony Khan said. “But I think overall, there’s been a really positive reception to a lot of the international wrestlers coming into AEW, and that’s why this year, we saw one of the best events we’ve ever done.
“One of the most positively received events we’ve ever done and one of the most commercially successful business events we’ve ever done was Forbidden Door, opening our doors to guests from New Japan Pro-Wrestling, some of those great fights and great matches. And now we built a great franchise there. And we’ve also had a lot of success this year with the Ring of Honor pay-per-views.”
Tony Khan went on to say that he’s tried to limit the focus of Ring Of Honor on Dynamite to mostly Chris Jericho, noting that the other ROH champions have appeared on other shows. Read more about how successful Khan’s acquisition of the ROH brand has been so far here.
What do you make of Tony Khan’s comments? Do you like being introduced to new talents you don’t know on weekly wrestling programming? Let us know your thoughts by sounding off in the comments section below.
If you use any of the quotes above, please credit The Battleground Podcast with a link back to this article for the transcription.