Tony Khan On What It's Been Like Collaborating With CM Punk In AEW

Ahead of All Out on Sep. 5, AEW President Tony Khan led a media call today to discuss the event and other aspects of AEW. One of the biggest stories in AEW right now is the return of CM Punk, and Khan discussed what it has been like to collaborate with Punk.

"We're having a great time," Khan stated. "I had a great time with him last night in the trailer putting stuff together. I've had a great time with him this whole run, trying to figure out ideas, coming up with the first match with Darby Allin. He's great, and he's a fun, cool guy. And I think he has a lot of great, interesting ideas, and I collaborate with a lot of people, whether it's The Young Bucks, Kenny [Omega], Cody [Rhodes] or Chris Jericho, their individual stuff.

"Whether it's with Kenny and him stealing my damn keys when we're talking or with Jericho and all his stuff, numerous people, Orange Cassidy, Darby, Britt Baker and a lot of other people on a regular basis. Pretty much anything on TV, I come in and talk with people, and I put a lot of thought into it. In some ways, it's amazing because it's him. He's amazing. I compare it to another all-time, legendary great wrestler... Sting, which is I enjoy sitting with Sting. Originally, he came in pretty tentative, and I think I took the heat for some of it because people thought of the way I was using Sting, but I think about pacing.

"And Sting now is starting to get more physically involved. Honestly, the way Sting's character has evolved in AEW is really cool. It wouldn't have made sense for him or to us to do as much physical stuff as he did. We really has to ease into it and be comfortable, and he's comfortable. He's in amazing shape, doing safe stuff and having the time of his life, and I think now with Punk, really really cool collaborating with him, and honestly, he's got a really great wrestling mind and he's brought so much to the table already.

"He's a really good person to collaborate with. I don't really understand some of the things he was asked to do before he left wrestling, and I told him, 'If I ever ask you to do something, it's not coming from a malicious place. If something doesn't make sense for you, tell me, and we'll talk about.' And that's generally how I am with everyone. If somebody doesn't like something, I'm not trying to put stuff in that doesn't make sense. Not one person, including Mr. Punk, including everybody that's on the roster has creative control."

Punk is one of my many recent signings to AEW that include Andrade El Idolo and Malakai Black. Bryan Danielson is rumored to have signed with AEW leading many fans to wonder if AEW are signing too many people. Khan commented on how close AEW is to havingĀ  a "full roster".

"I don't think there's any such thing as a full roster," Khan admitted. "I think in my experiences in football, both in the NFL and in England, and with AEW, you're constantly looking to evolve the roster. It's got to be constantly changing, and one of the benefits we have with AEW, as opposed to the NFL or English football, is I'm not really capped by a roster size or a salary cap. It's largely my prerogative, in terms of how to expand the roster, how many people to sign and how much we can grow, and we are under different limitations in other sports, but I think the idea is still the same.

"You want to grow, evolve, and keep building and always looking for young talent, or people that have expired contracts, or people that want to make a comeback, and that's something that, as wrestling fans, I think it makes it really special that you can always keep a roster fresh. For example, I didn't go into this year thinking that I was going to take 2point0, who I had seen a number of times, as independent guys, and I've seen them on NXT and I thought they were very good. I had no idea they were gonna get released. They've been super, super valuable to us, and I really liked Daniel Garcia.

"He was a guy on AEW Dark, who was working without a contract or anything and doing a very good job, and I thought he had a lot of potential, and when I saw 2point0 available, I thought there was really something there and it fit the need of what we had at the time for the spot we had. New fresh faces can help and every signing doesn't have to be CM Punk or Jon Moxley, big names like that. You can also sign talent that can really come in and enhance the quality of the show and stack up and help your roster.

"I think there's a lot of different philosophies about roster building. You're really looking to build from the top and the bottom, and that's how you grow, frankly, all the way through. There's all different spots in a wrestling company, and there's all kinds of different people that can fill the spots. And as we expand our programming and, and grow, we've expanded the roster a lot. I don't know if there ever is really such a thing as a full roster."

If you use any quotes from this article, please credit Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.

You can find the full audio from Tony's media call via the players below.

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