AEW President, Tony Khan recently spoke with PWTorch about a range of topics, including the current roles of the Executive Vice Presidents. Cody Rhodes, Kenny Omega, and The Young Bucks hold those roles within the company, and Tony revealed they are still very involved, although, he has taken a more hands-on approach with writing.
“They are still very involved in a lot of aspects of the business, and a lot of those things have been enhanced. The amount of development of huge resources that we have allocated to building a great console video game. Kenny Omega has led a team and really spearheaded this project with our staff. He has been such a great leader. So, Kenny Omega has helped lead the company in a few different ways in the past couple of years,” Tony Khan revealed. “Working with The Young Bucks and Cody, they’re great leaders backstage with the wrestlers. I have been pretty open. It’s not because of anybody other than me that I have probably gotten a little bit more hands-on with the stuff I do than when we started. But that makes sense because I had never worked with a wrestling company. I had only come in from the outside, so I was organizing a lot of things at the beginning and I was the head of a committee, and I think there are a lot of drawbacks to trying to book a wrestling show with a committee. Even if you are at the forefront of it, it’s a mindboggling, difficult process.”
Tony spoke about how he now focuses and writes a lot of the shows himself after some counterproductive creative meetings. He admitted he can be more productive when he can take the work home and get things prepared so he knows what is happening the next week.
“Around the start of 2020, the end of 2019, I moved more towards me writing the show, and I think it helped. And I think the show has been better for it. Not because everybody doesn’t have any good ideas, because they’re still contributing their ideas, that part hasn’t changed. The idea of getting everybody in a room together and trying to spitball ideas, and then three people get really into one idea and they get 10 steps down the road on it, and the other two people are like, ‘what is this?’ That’s just an example. But in general, I have found it much easier and more productive if I just try to organize a show at home between shows and have a good idea arriving for TV what I want to do next week,” Khan said. “Which is why, generally, until we get pretty close to the PPV, we are always announcing matches a week ahead. Then when we get closer to the PPVs and we are building the PPVs, and I am only announcing a few things as opposed to the whole card.”
Despite the fact he is now in charge of the writing, Khan insisted that the four men are still very involved with things. He stated that they help not just with their own creative storylines, but also with other talents.
“They are all still very involved in stories, and I talk to all four of them a ton about not just their programs, but what I am doing with other people,” Khan said. “But I am just trying to be organized in a different way, and I talk to them all and have more compartmentalized conversations. It has helped me be better organized, especially to get through the pandemic when there were no in-person meetings. It worked out even better because I had already been going in that direction.”
When asked which of the four Executive Vice Presidents he works with best creatively, Tony Khan couldn’t choose between them. He said that they all bring something different, and he likes a lot of the things they bring.
“I think they all have great points, and I come to share a lot of common ground with all four of them about different ideas. I probably talk to Matt and Nick as a pair more than as individuals because we have a group chat and the three of us talk all the time,” Khan stated. “I really like all four guys and I have different relationships with all four guys, although, similar relationships with Matt and Nick. But even those are different relationships. I think it’s all of them and that’s what makes it works.
“I don’t agree with everything on all of them, and that is why there’s a lot of different flavors in the show for different styles of wrestling in an AEW episode, because I like lots of different stuff and they like lots of different stuff. There are lots of different creative influences in one company, and I like a lot of the stuff they like,” Tony Khan claimed. “There’s a lot of common ground but they have a lot of different philosophies, but the overarching philosophy at the end of the day is stuff that I can get on board with.”
If you use any quotes in this article, please credit PWTorce, with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcriptions.