Tony Khan On Honoring Antonio Inoki With AEW WrestleDream

AEW WrestleDream will not only see a handful of NJPW talent competing, but the show itself will also honor the founder of that company, Antonio Inoki, who died last year at the age of 79. As previously pointed out by AEW CEO Tony Khan, WrestleDream airs on October 1 — the one-year anniversary of Inoki's death.

During the WrestleDream media call, Khan further explained his motivation to commemorate the legacy of Inoki through an event he believes can become a yearly tradition for AEW. "Seattle seemed like a perfect venue in America to celebrate a wrestling promoter who, yeah, most of the business he did was in Japan, but he conducted business worldwide and he did a ton of business in America. He's also one of the reasons that strong style pro wrestling, junior heavyweights, and a lot of the great international pro wrestlers we saw on American television when a lot of us were kids, he's the one who brought them here," Khan said. "So I thought it was very fitting to celebrate the event in America as part of the AEW schedule, and build something that I think can be an annual event and hopefully celebrate him every year because Inoki really deserves that."

Upon hearing of Inoki's death last year, Khan said he made a mental note of the date, and began scouring for potential venues for a tribute show. Khan eventually landed upon the Climate Pledge Arena in Seattle, Washington, whose location on the USA's west coast services a shorter flight for the wrestlers flying over from Japan. Zack Sabre Jr. and Will Ospreay are among the performers representing NJPW at WrestleDream.

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