During an appearance on Action Sports Jax On ESPN690, Tony Khan commented on the biggest pay-per-views AEW has done and why this is a “special week” for AEW.
“It’s definitely exceeded my expectations. I had high expectations, but this year we grew more and faster than ever before. We do quarterly pay-per-view events and a lot of them have been here in Jacksonville. And this year our four events were the four biggest events we’ve ever done,” Khan said proudly. “And in particular, the past two shows are the biggest we’ve ever done. So it’s really a great, great year for us on TV and on PPV.
“It’s also a very special week for us because we have been on TNT this whole time, and Rampage is going to stay on TNT going forward and for a long time. Whereas Dynamite after a few years on TNT, tomorrow (tonight) is the last show ever on TNT before we move to TBS. It’s been an amazing run and it’s been a huge part of our lives. And we’re going to go out with an amazing show at Daily’s Place here in Jacksonville. It’s a very safe way to watch the show. Through the pandemic, we had all the shows in Daily’s Place and because it’s an outdoor venue and all the precautions we’ve taken, we have never had a known covid transmission with the fans at AEW at Daily’s Place.”
During the pandemic, AEW’s home became Daily’s Place in Jacksonville, Florida. Tony Khan spoke on the connection between AEW and the city of Jacksonville and why the city will always have a special place in AEW’s heart.
“Hugely important, the connection we have with Jacksonville and AEW,” Khan declared. “The company survived and grew while we were here in Jacksonville and thanks to the great support from the local fans it kept us going and absolutely they were critical to the company and have been critical. You know the first time we ever announced AEW being launched was here in Jacksonville almost three years ago.
“Three years ago, I guess, just a little over a week from now. So we’re coming up on the three-year anniversary of announcing the company and we’ve been on TV just over two years and most of our best successes have been here in Jacksonville honestly. So many of our greatest triumphs we’ve celebrated. We’ve celebrated the life of the late great Brodie Lee here which was probably the most emotional show we’ve done and the company has grown so much.”
CM Punk made his return to professional wrestling on August 20, 2021, on AEW Rampage after being away from the wrestling business for seven years. Tony Khan revealed why he believes Punk agreed to sign with AEW.
“I think I’ve built a good reputation for being trustworthy and honest. And AEW had been very successful, so it wasn’t a start-up company,” noted Khan. “When I first approached CM Punk he was very cordial and you know, we ended up not reaching an agreement the first time I approached him because we were a start-up company. He wanted to see the growth I was talking about and I don’t think he was necessarily ready to be the guinea pig for a start-up.
“And we had a really successful launch and I think exceeded all reasonable expectations and we built a good relationship and it was through the pandemic where we stayed in touch. He could tell I’m an honest person and we built something really cool here. I think, not only did he want to be a part of the cool thing we built with AEW and the fans, but he trusted me and he knew I wasn’t going to try and screw him over. This was going to be a fair deal and that this would be the best place for him to come wrestle.”
If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit Action Sports Jax On ESPN690 with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.
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