Bully Ray On How AEW's Tony Khan Should Handle Locker Room Issues

AEW co-owner and CEO Tony Khan is becoming an increasingly controversial figure in the world of pro wrestling. After starting up the promotion in 2019 and finding a surprising amount of success, Khan has been under a microscope regarding instances of locker room discontent over the last several years, as well as middling opinions on the company's creative direction. Speaking on a recent "Busted Open Radio," WWE Hall of Famer Bully Ray offered up his thoughts on Khan's leadership.

"Tony Khan never sat under a learning tree like all of the other great promoters of the past," Bully said. "In my opinion, Tony Khan is not a booker. He's a matchmaker. There's a huge difference."

Bully explained that Khan has essentially been learning on the job, which accounts for some of the mistakes made over the last two years. The radio host expressed his hope that Khan is aware enough to see the consequences of those mistakes, such as CM Punk finding renewed success in WWE, and will change the way he operates moving forward with that knowledge. One of the lessons Bully hopes that Khan learns is how to get people who don't like each other to come together and do business.

After citing examples of reported disagreements in AEW, including The Elite and CM Punk as well as Britt Baker and Thunder Rosa, Bully said Khan simply needs to get the aggravated parties in a room together and tell them to put their personal issues aside.

The Value Of Leadership

Continuing with his point, Bully compared the situation in AEW to various other locker rooms he's been a part of over the years. The veteran wrestler said that he has seen some very severe problems get squashed in the name of making money, but only under the right leadership.

"I only bring ECW up when I absolutely need to," Bully said. "You are talking about volatile personalities in that locker room. Guys that would — I can't even put into words how they would rip your throat out — that got along so well. Why? Because we respected our boss and our boss's vision. And if there was ever a problem in that locker room, the boys would police themselves. And if the boys didn't police themselves, Paul [Heyman] would step in and squash it immediately."

According to Bully, every successful wrestling locker room he's been in has had a promoter at the helm that the performers respected. The "Busted Open" host doesn't think that is the situation in AEW at the moment. However, Bully doesn't think that it's over for the company just yet.

"I do hope Tony could learn from this," Bully continued. "Because if Tony can learn from this, then he will have a better grasp of his locker room, and maybe all the outside issues and problems won't be affecting the perception of the company."

If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit "Busted Open Radio" with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.