AEW founder and creator Tony Khan was recently a guest on Talk Is Jericho. Among many other things, Khan talked about how AEW is good for the professional wrestling industry as a whole and how he wants to usher in an era in professional wrestling that is exciting akin to The Attitude Era. Additionally, Khan talked about whether AEW will be direct competition for WWE and Khan's admiration for WWE Chairman Vince McMahon. Finally, Khan talked about wanting AEW to offer high production values.
According to Khan, the existence of AEW is good for the professional wrestling business as a whole, including fans, performers, and other promotions.
"It's just going to be better for everybody! It'll be better for the wrestlers, it'll be much better for the wrestling fans, and it'll be better for the companies," Khan predicted. "I think it's going to be great for us getting started, but I think it's just going to be good for everybody because it's just going to be a much more interesting time to be a fan of wrestling."
Khan divulged that there is such nostalgia for The Attitude Era and the young billionaire wants pro wrestling fans to feel the same way again. Khan professed that there is more pro wrestling to consume nowadays, but there was more high quality, well-produced pro wrestling 20 years ago.
"Today there are still numerous podcasts and articles written about this era that [has] been gone for 18 years now and we relive it week-by-week all the time. And there's just something about it. I'm not saying this is going to be that, or we're trying to do that, or copy that. I just want people to feel that way again. And it doesn't have to be exactly the same, and it doesn't have to be because shows are on at the same time of the night. If anything, put more shows on more nights of the week, so there's more wrestling for people to watch. And that's the great thing about now. I mean, there is a lot of wrestling to watch now, but no, there's not as much well-well-produced, high quality wrestling now as there was 20 years ago. That's a problem and that's something we're going to do something about." Khan added, "so yeah, I think there's going to be a return of exciting wrestling with top stars and great production."
During the podcast, Khan shared that AEW is not trying to be direct competition to WWE, nor is it AEW's intention to enter all of WWE's existing revenue streams.
"Am I saying our goal is to have all of those revenue streams in place where it's a true, legitimate competition? No! I think what I'm saying is that when you're trying to produce the best possible show you can, when you're trying to get a production team together, when you're trying to get top networks interested in your product, yeah, having stars like Chris Jericho and having the top up-and-coming stars like The Elite, Kenny Omega, The Young Bucks, and Cody, it gets people really, really excited." Khan continued, "it gets people fired up."
Khan admitted that WWE Chairman Vince McMahon is one of his idols in business and that Khan has been a lifelong fan of WWE. Moreover, Khan noted that AEW is not at war with WWE.
"Vince McMahon is one of my all time idols in terms of building a brand and sustaining a great company," Khan acknowledged. "And some of the greatest matches and stories have been in the World Wrestling Federation and Worldwide Wrestling Federation. So yeah, I'm a lifelong fan of their product, so it's crazy to think that [Khan is the Vince McMahon of AEW]. I don't think that is the case [that AEW and WWE are at war]."
Interestingly, Khan indicated that AEW's television program will be the best pro wrestling show ever for fans who are interested in high production values with an emphasis on in-ring work and a competitive presentation.
"Yeah, there are a couple of wrestling shows out there with very, very good production values in RAW and SmackDown, but I think we're going to offer something completely different from what they offer, a very, very different kind of product that visually is going to look as good or better in a lot of ways." Khan said, "but for the kind of wrestling fan that we're trying to attract, the kind of person that cares about the competition, the quality of the work, and the winner and the loser, then yeah, I believe this will be the best wrestling television show ever."
Listen to the podcast here or via the audio player below. If you use any of the quotations from this article, please credit Talk Is Jericho with an H/T to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.
Source: Talk Is Jericho