AEW President Tony Khan appeared on Wrestling Observer Radio this week to hype tonight’s Full Gear. During the conversation, Khan discussed released WWE stars finding success within AEW.

“There have been a number of cuts where each quarter, it feels like, maybe they cut 20 people on average,” Khan began. “I think in each wave there have been a few people that were really helpful to AEW and have been very additive. That goes back to last year, during the pandemic, when people were getting fired by WWE. I thought that last summer we really strengthened the company with a lot of the people that got cut. Now we’re in a strong position because of those people.”

Tony Khan noted a few names in particular who have done well with the move to AEW. This group included: Andrade El Idolo, Malakai Black, Tay Conti, and AAA World Tag Team Champions FTR.

“Again, this year we’ve strengthened the company and I’m really excited about Andrade El Idolo and Malakai Black making their PPV debut as a team,” Khan said. “They are people that were let go and we are very fortunate to have. Last year, Tay Conti got let go, she’s now wrestling for the World Title. She’s one of the most improved, one of the most interesting young wrestlers in the world right now.

“FTR — are arguably one of the greatest tag teams in the world. I think they are one of the greatest tag teams ever. We were really fortunate to get them last year. Now they’re wrestling on Full Gear for the Tag World Titles. They’ve been World Champions and are top wrestlers here. So many people have come over in the past couple of years that way.”

Ultimately, it sounds like Tony Khan will continue this strategy of selective signings in 2022.

“I can say, at least in a few cases, as there are with each of these cuts that are pretty interesting to AEW,” Khan stated. “I think it makes us an even stronger company in 2022. We’re really benefitting with the Full Gear card that we’ve signed in the past year-plus. I think in 2022 as we look at the move for Dynamite from TNT to TBS, and increasing our programming — adding Battle of the Belts — it will be more and more that will have this payoff for us to have this great free agent talent out there.”

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