Earlier this week CM Punk tweeted out how he's getting back into watching wrestling and tagged numerous other people. Most of those are also on WWE Backstage but Punk also tagged Vince McMahon and Tony Khan of AEW.
Khan was asked about Punk tagging him when he spoke to Wrestling Inc. on our WINCLY podcast.
"It's funny because I've never once brought his name up. But as you know from the scrums, whenever I get asked a question I try to be honest. I've always been really clear that I've had conversations but never tried to lead anyone on that he'd be doing anything with us," revealed Khan.
"I haven't talked to him in a long time. I wish him the best and am not sure why he tagged me but it's hard to talk about all of the great things happening in wrestling without talking about AEW."
Khan added that he wanted to make it clear Punk was not the first person he wanted to talk to about AEW, he was on a list of top people he wanted to talk to.
Long before he became a wrestling executive, Khan was a wrestling fan and he talked about the first indie show he attended.
"The first indie show I went to was a shot show in August of 1996. The main event was Jericho vs. Sabu which was Jericho's second to last match in ECW," recalled Khan. "The second indie show I attended was the ECW Arena show which was Jericho's last match vs. Too Cold Scorpio and the main event was Sabu vs. RVD Stretcher Match."
Khan has always been a big Jericho fan and even talked about recording Jericho's podcast right after the Vegas ticket announce party.
Khan's background is in finance but he talked about how his entertainment connections led to the formation of AEW.
"I'm a partner in Activist Artists Management in Los Angeles. We manage musicians and entertainers. My partner manages The Grateful Dead, Dwight Yokam, David Alan Grier and a lot of musicians and actors. I'm not hands-on representing the talent, but I am a partner of a major entertainment company in LA," stated Khan.
"That's one of the reasons AEW got launched – Activist became my partner in this."
He added that in 2016 at a Halloween party, he dressed as Macho Man and met the Kevin Reilly, the President of WarnerMedia, for the first time. Khan attended another Halloween party the next year and had on the exact same Macho Man costume.
"This was all before All In and I didn't know any of those guys real well. But things moved quickly and at this party I got Kevin on the hook," said Khan. "Next thing I know we had a long conversation about starting a wrestling league that would be nationally recognized. Kevin seemed interested but also a little suspicious. For the next year or so he put me through the ringer. I didn't lean on the friendship and I had to go from the bottom to the top. He had me go through all of his people in finance, programming and legal. We've been working so long to get to this point and it was over a year before we got there."
Khan's full interview with Wrestling Inc aired as part of today's episode of our WINCLY podcast. It can be heard via the embedded audio player at the bottom of this post. In the full interview Khan discusses how AEW Bash At The Beach came together, CM Punk tagging him and Vince McMahon in a tweet, his early memories of Chris Jericho, the controversy around Jon Moxley vs Kenny Omega's brutality, MJF's heel turn, checking AEW and NXT's viewership each week and more.