Since its launch in 2019, AEW President & CEO Tony Khan is astounded by how far his company has come. From their very first pay-per-view event, Double or Nothing, that predates their television debut, to the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic, Khan can admittedly say his company has taken top flight as one of the biggest promotions in North America. In his interview on Oral Sessions with Renée Paquette, Khan credits her husband and former AEW World Champion, Jon Moxley, for revolutionizing and building AEW to its full potential today.
“I’m proud of the success we’ve had. I think we’re going to have a great 2021,” Tony Khan said with certainty. “We’ve learned a lot, and we’ve had great progress, great growth. One of the biggest moments for us was when Jon [Moxley] came in at the very end of our first show. Things have been so great since then. I’m just excited – hopefully, we’ll get fans back at full capacity soon.”
Khan continues complimenting the former World Champion by mentioning how he enjoys collaborating on ideas for future storylines, as well as just talking to him about life in general.
“I love collaborating with people. But there’s nobody I love collaborating more with than with him. He’s my favorite person in the world,” he mentioned. “He has the best ideas…I love talking wrestling with Jon. I learn so much every time I talk to him. We don’t just talk about wrestling all the time. He knows so much about other things.”
Both Khan and Renée Paquette discussed Moxley working on a memoir while at home.
“I’ve read some of the book he’s writing. It’s awesome,” he stated enthusiastically.
Paquette provided more context by mentioning how much time he’s put into his memoir already.
“He’s working off of my laptop, and my email is set up on there, so anytime he sends it to himself, it’s sent through my email,” Paquette began. “So he’s like, ‘Check it, read it.’ I’ve read it all, and I had no doubt. I’ve been up his ass forever like, ‘Dude, you need to write a book.’
“He can be a very eloquent speaker, and his memory is so amazing. The stuff he’s able to draw from. The fact that he’s doing it now and writing it himself, I think it’s gonna be such a badass product.”
Khan concluded the conversation by saying he’s extremely excited to keep reading the rough drafts before Moxley officially publishes it.
“I’m so excited about it, and it’s going to be so cool,” Khan added. “The best part about reading it is you can tell he’s writing it himself. It’s literally like reading him talking, which is the best.”
While Moxley has been away, Khan says he’s taking time to structure both Dark and Dynamite around up and coming wrestlers who have been waiting for their moment in the sun. He believes Moxley’s time off has furthered other’s storylines, and he looks forward to where they’ll go in the new year.
“It’s really important to showcase people. Also, there was a good story reason why he was off. So, even when he’s gone, he’s still featured,” he noted. “Look at other times when other people have been off – either for storyline reasons or for personal reasons, or both. In this case, it was good for both. It’s a great time for Jon to be with you, but it’s also good for the story.
“It’s hard when you don’t have one of your top stars there. But I do think, you know, we try to cover it by featuring a lot of our other top stars that we have. It’s great. It’s the best of both worlds.”
In the next decade, Khan is confident his current top stars like Moxley will continue to thrive and remain at the top of the pyramid. Similarly, he believes his younger talents will continue striving towards perfection and will become the most important athletes in the industry.
“We have some really great stars,” he complimented. “But I think Jon is going to be a huge part of it. I mean, he’s part of it now. MJF, too. The biggest programming he’s been in is with Jon. What’s great for us right now is in 5-10 years, a lot of people on our roster are still going to be on top. We have a lot of top people who are in their early to mid-’30s. Those people are still going to be on top in 5 -10 years. MJF, Jungle Boy, Darby Allin, Sammy Guevara, in a decade, these guys are going to be important people in wrestling.”
You can listen to Tony Khan’s full interview here. If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit Oral Sessions w/Renée Paquette with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.