In an appearance on Rasslin’ with Brandon F. Walker, AEW President Tony Khan talked about recent comments on AEW Dynamite by MJF. Previously, MJF had labeled himself, Darby Allin, Sammy Guevara and Jungle Boy as AEW’s Four Pillars, similar to 1990’s All Japan Pro Wrestling’s Four Pillars Akira Taue, Kenta Kobashi, Mitsuharu Misawa and Toshiaki Kawada. Khan himself sees AEW containing more pillars than just those four.
“There’s more than four pillars,” Khan said. “Those four were who he (MJF) named and that’s his personal list. I think those four are all pillars of this company, and then some. But we have so many. He’s right that those four are all building blocks to this company. MJF and Darby Allin and Jungle Boy and Sammy Guevera. But there are many others that I can list. We talked about Orange Cassidy, Dr. Britt Baker we can talk about till we’re blue in the face. Ricky Starks and Hangman Page. There’s so many young stars.”
Khan was asked how he handles giving TV time to several of the big names AEW has brought in, in addition to the young stars on the roster. He says it’s all about finding the right blend, something he felt was accomplished well at AEW All Out in early September.
“It’s a balance,” Khan said. “We have these great stars and I think All Out was a great blend. We saw, whether it was Kenny vs. Christian, of course CM Punk vs. Darby Allin, the Young Bucks vs. the Lucha Brothers in the steel cage. We had so many great wrestlers come into AEW and we started with a great roster, and now we’ve built more. And that’s important because we’ve launched Friday Night Rampage. Now with Friday Night Rampage at 10 p.m. on TNT, you need more stars across the company to have a second show.”
Perhaps the biggest name to arrive in AEW over the past several months was CM Punk, who returned to wrestling at AEW Rampage: The First Dance at the United Center in Chicago back in August. Khan described Punk’s return as a carefully orchestrated event, largely put together by himself and Punk.
“It was very carefully orchestrated, and he had tons of great ideas,” Khan said. “It was really fun sitting down together with him, putting together what became the First Dance. It came off exactly how we talked about it. We knew the pop was going to be so massive and sustained that I planned for the first break before he talked. We planned to have this 90 seconds where the pop would sustain, and then he would come back and it would be crazier. But we had to get that break in before. It was a huge event it was for us and what a great success.”
You can watch the full interview below.