AEW President Tony Khan did a second appearance on Busted Open Radio this week to promote tonight’s premiere of AEW Rampage on TNT. As expected, Khan is looking forward to the show, one he feels will kick off the most important week in the history of AEW.
“It’s a really fun card and it’s going to be a fun show every week,” Khan said. “Next week is a totally different format and I’m very excited for next week too. But first things first, we’re going to launch it the right way with a great three match, three championship bout card tonight.”
Host Tommy Dreamer made a point to mention how hard TNT and WarnerMedia had promoted Rampage, including taking out a huge billboard in New York City. Khan, who has already praised TNT’s efforts to promote the show, said the coverage reminded him of a famous moment in pop culture back in the 90’s.
“In terms of the promotion, absolutely TNT has been an amazing partner,” Khan said. “It’s been so amazing what Warner has done for all the promotion. It reminds me of, when I was a kid, do you remember in the summer of 93 when Letterman moved from NBC to CBS? The promotion was insane. I remember Dave’s first press conference and he said ‘in case anybody hadn’t heard, we’re changing networks. The Gulf War didn’t get this type of coverage.’
“We got incredible coverage, and honestly there were real life events that probably didn’t get coverage that Rampage got recently. It’s a cultural phenomenon and that’s what’s happening wrestling recently. The amount of interest in professional wrestling in major media is the highest it’s been in over 20 years. Last week was the first time two different wrestling companies have had two shows in the top five. It’s just an exciting time.”
One of the things that has made it an exciting time are the rumors that several wrestlers, from CM Punk to Daniel Bryanto Ric Flair, maybe be heading to AEW. The reigniting of the free agency cycle is something Khan admitted he was looking at trying to do when he first started AEW.
“There’s real competition and free agency is definitely bringing new fans in,” Khan said of the current wrestling landscape. “That was always part of my business plan for AEW. The free agent cycle, that really hadn’t existed in a meaningful way in professional wrestling in two decades, would help lift the sport. Help lift interest in wrestling and bring fans back. And I think we’re starting to see that and I think we’ll continue to see that throughout the summer and the rest of the year. That’s one of the things I’m really excited about.”
If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit Busted Open Radio and provide a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription