Tony Khan Says Things “Got Really Hot” When He Took Over AEW Creative In 2020

AEW President Tony Khan was recently on Moose & Maggie on WFAN to talk AEW and the Jacksonville Jaguars. Khan discussed the impact marquee signings like CM Punk and Bryan Danielson have brought in.

"It's been amazing with the business lift we've seen, in terms of every major business metric," Khan said. "At All Out, we set our pay-per-view record last month with the biggest pay-per-view, not just that we've done, but any independent wrestling company outside of the big guy, the WWF and WWE has done in the last 23 years, since 1999. Since the '90s was the last time anybody had gone out and in competition done that kind of pay-per-view, and what really made me very happy is it was the most critically acclaimed pay-per-view in a really long time.

"People really engaged with it and liked it, and I'm so glad it clicked with people because so many people saw it. And then, to do a show everyone really was happy with and was well received meant a lot to me. CM Punk and Bryan Danielson have come to AEW and given us a huge lift because not only are they these really recognizable wrestlers, pretty much almost every fan knows CM Punk and Bryan Danielson from all the years they've been on television to such a wide audience around the world, but also, they're great wrestlers, and that's AEW's about is great matches."

Khan also announced The Buy-In for Rampage on YouTube where Danielson and Fish competed individually before their match against each other on Dynamite. It was recently reported that the AEW EVPs had lost creative control, and Khan was the main person in control of AEW creative. That report was later debunked stating that the current situation had been in place for over a year, and Khan addressed that report and talked about having more creative control in AEW.

"Yeah, I have been. I saw that came out recently," Khan stated. "It's true that I am booking and writing everything by hand, but that the fact is each kind of program I'm very hands on but I also am great at working with people. I just work with a ton of people. So that means having personal relationships with maybe 100 or more people in the company, but that's a good thing, and in the pandemic, you've learned how to keep in contact virtually more than ever.

"It's allowed me to get my hands around it, but even before the pandemic, really before that, it was at the beginning of 2020, really at the end of 2019. I told myself going into the new year, I'm just gonna do everything by hand, because at first, coming in, I was timing everything. And I would keep track of times, and we had a great group of people. I still do have a great group of people, but I just needed to probably take more ownership of what I was doing because at the end of the day, there were a lot of cooks in one show.

"And it's just hard because I still want to get everyone's ideas, but you have to organize everything into one show, and that's why I still love working with everyone. But I just thought it was a little misleading because somebody just reported that recently, but it's really been that way since about 2020. And things got really hot around then too. So I think it's been good for our business because I'm very organized and meticulous about how AEW's structured, what matches go on, and I make sure we have a lot of time for the wrestling and have great matches."

If you use any quotes from this article, please credit Moose & Maggie with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.