Tony Khan
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Tony Khan: AEW And WWE Truly Hate Each Other, It’s A Real War

Tony Khan says WWE and AEW hate each other, and the two companies are at war.

During an appearance on The Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz, the recent changes in WWE, such as Vince McMahon;’s came up in the conversation, and Khan noted that he couldn’t comment on the situation because he doesn’t work there. The AEW President then described how some members of the AEW roster have come to him and alleged that WWE reach out to them in an effort to tamper with their contracts.

“I can’t really comment on what they’re internal struggles, internal strifes are because I don’t work there and I’m not there,” Khan said. “I can only speak to the challenges we’ve had, and I’ve had a lot of wrestlers come to me and allege that WWE reached out to them to tamper with their contracts and ask them to break their contracts. I can’t confirm that specifically. I can only tell you what the wrestlers have come to me and said.

“But I’ve had multiple wrestlers and staff report that to me. It was very disturbing. I’ve had to go out and try to put on good shows, despite this alleged tampering and stuff like that, but frankly, I don’t think it’s stopped us because the quality of the product and the quality of the shows is at an all-time high right now.”

When asked whether the wrestling business is dirtier than the fight business, Khan compared the two before he stated that, based on what people have come to him and alleged, there’s a real war between WWE and AEW.

“The wrestling business is very dirty. I can’t speak to the fight business. I think it’s more organized than the fight business,” Khan said. “There’s two I think well organized promotions competing with each other. I don’t know if these things have happened. I only know what people have come to me and alleged. But I do know that it’s a real war between AEW and WWE. It’s a real war between AEW and WWE, and the fans are interested in it.”

Khan continued by describing how the fans’ interest in the competition between companies was part of the original business model for AEW. He then stated that believes the most intense story in the wrestling industry is the rivalyry between WWE and AEW, as he expressed his belief that the two companies hate each other.

“That was part of the original business model of AEW. I knew wrestling fans frankly are very interested in wrestling free agency and wrestling wars,” Khan said. “I believed we could create a free agent market that is definitely a real thing now, and that would be a big part of the story. I think wrestling fans, at the end of the day, appreciate that a lot of what happens in wrestling shows is sometimes story, and that’s why people like watching the shows. They like the stories and the exciting matches, and especially the combination of the two, when the stories lead to exciting matches and vice versa.

“What’s interesting is the story that is the most real, the most intense, and the most hated in all of pro wrestling is that between the two wrestling promotions. I think we truly, truly hate each other. I think it makes for really exciting TV and it makes for exciting wrestling war.”

When asked for an example of this hatred, Khan recalled how WWE tried to interfere with AEW’s budding relationship with New Japan Pro-Wrestling in 2021.

“I’ll give you a good example,” Khan said. “About two years ago, there was a rumor I read on the internet that my business partner, New Japan Pro-Wrestling, had gotten a phone call from Nick Khan, about switching over to work with them. I was really just getting starting with New Japan. We’d only been working together a short time, and that also frankly had been a tumultuous relationship, but it was getting pretty good. To this day, it is an amazing partnership. I called the New Japan executives and said, ‘Is this true? Did WWE call you and try to get you to turn on me?’ They said, ‘ Yeah.’ I said, ‘Okay, are we still doing the stuff we have planned?

“At the time, we had a match set up for Wednesday night Dynamite, where there was gonna be a New Japan title match in AEW. It was the first of many of those such matches. They told me, ‘No, we don’t trust them. We want to work with you, and we want to stay with you.’ Ever since, our relationship has been incredibly positive. It gave me motivation to say, again, I don’t know if that’s true or not. I only know what my business partner alleged to me and what I read on the Internet, and they were both the same thing. So following up on that, if that’s the case, I know they’re out there to get me. I know they’re out there to hurt AEW’s relationships with our business partners, if that’s the case, allegedly. It made me want to work that much harder to make AEW stronger, and then that ended up being probably the biggest year for growth we’ve ever had.”

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