Monaco Streaming Film Festival  recently welcomed AEW’s Tony Khan for an interview. During the discussion, the President of All Elite Wrestling discussed the potential for an AEW show similar to WWE’s Backstage format on FS1.

“I didn’t agree with WWE Backstage at all. I didn’t think that was a good format, and I actually had been pitched to do a format like that for AEW and I refused. I don’t think wrestling fans want to see that format. I think when wrestling fans tune into a wrestling show, they want to watch the wrestlers wrestle. Backstage, to me, should be like a lower budget, streaming-type show. I don’t know if it had legs to carry as a TV show even though the people involved with it are awesome. And a lot of them work for me now, and they’re huge stars, but like, I want to see CM Punk wrestle. I want to watch Christian Cage wrestle, and that, to me, is the bread and butter.”

Tony thinks the talk show format would work better through some sort of streaming service, something AEW doesn’t yet provide despite an active YouTube channel. The co-owner of the Jacksonville Jaguars remains open minded about forming an organized library to offer on streaming services one day.

“[Barstool Sports] asked me about it, and there’s great demand for it. I’m excited to talk more about it because we’re building, each week, a great library of content. It gets better and better, and we can provide more new content, so I’m excited to tell people about that. But it’s still something that we’re working on.

“[Free Ad-Supported Streaming TV] is a different subject, okay? Now, there could be a lot of content that could be FAST content that is not the premium content. I’m never going to put the $50 pay-per-views or every episode of Dynamite on FAST. It’s just not going to make sense, but there may be some of our programming like Dark and things like that, which are our developmental shows. Or even some of these things we’re talking about like conversational shows– that’s great for FAST. Like, I would much rather have a couple people have a cup of coffee and talk about wrestling on FAST. It feels like a much more appropriate place for people to sit down and watch that than on network television.”

Fans and people working in the industry may wonder if a company like AEW, which will see it’s 3 year anniversary this January, will sustain itself for years to come. Tony stands by the idea that the company will continue thriving and seeing it’s loyal fanbase support them.

“We have the bug and it’s never going away, we are never going to stop watching wrestling. We move on, it moves out of your life, you stop thinking about it every day for a week, a month, maybe even a year. But, in all seriousness, we never give it up. We always check back in on it, we can’t help it. And the thing about AEW that TNT/TBS, the network people, I tried to explain to them and now they can feel and see it. When you’re starting a wrestling company, it’s all perception. And people have to perceive it as being a big company and a big thing, and now AEW is being seen in a light that no other pro wrestling company has been seen in since WCW. Okay, there’s actually another big, corporate entity, another company that can sustain. It’s a major thing.”

If you use any quotes from this article, please credit Monaco Streaming Film Festival with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.

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