AEW President Tony Khan was recently on Tuesday Wrestling Tuesday with Jonathan Hood. AEW has seen exponential growth in a short time, and during its existence, AEW has shown a willingness to work with other promotions. Khan pointed out how that is not complete unique in the history of the business.
“Vince [McMahon] Sr. was actually really cooperative,” Khan said. “Vince Sr. booked Andre out all over the country, and Andre would work for the AWA, and Andre would go to Mid South and he would work in Houston for Bill Watts and and Paul Boesch. I actually think wrestling was much more collaborative before the mid-80s, and it was actually one person that made the business less collaborative. I am trying to bring some of that spirit back. So actually, when Vince Sr. was running the New York territory, it was actually a much more collaborative thing.”
Many AEW talents currently hold titles from other promotions. Kenny Omega is the current AAA Mega Champion, Christian Cage is the Impact World Champion and the Lucha Brothers are the AAA World Tag Team Champions. Khan discussed the value of having AEW talent working in other promotions and holding their championships.
“I think Impact, AAA and certainly New Japan Pro Wrestling, I’ve done a lot of great stuff with but it has to make sense for AEW, and we’ve seen wrestlers from AEW go and capture championships in different promotions around the world,” Khan pointed out. “And a lot of AEW wrestlers still have championships in various promotions around the world, and it’s good for those promotions to have such strong, recognizable champions who have a great TV platform to wear their titles.
“And it’s good for us because it shows that we’re the top company in wrestling, frankly, and in a lot of companies out there, our wrestlers come in and do really, really well. I’m very open to it. I think it shows good bonds between the companies, but also, it really allows us access to some good wrestlers, and we have one of the best rosters, but it’s always good to have fresh, different talents. And that’s why I like working with other companies.
“Also, New Japan has had some big shows. They have some great talent, specifically. So I’ve done a lot of things recently with them, but the main focus is always on AEW and our shows, but we have such a big roster and so much bandwidth that it really allows us to expand, and partner and help out other wrestling companies.”
If you use any quotes from this article, please credit Tuesday Wrestling Tuesday with Jonathan Hood with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.