During a recent interview with PWInsider, AEW President Tony Khan opened up about his idea around the Bryan Danielson vs. ‘Hangman’ Adam Page saga that is unfolding. The two had an acclaimed AEW World Title match, praised by both industry professionals and fans, that resulted in a 60-minute draw.
Khan noted how there were numerous outcomes he could have booked but he is thrilled with how it has turned out so far. While the 18-49 rating for the episode was one of the lowest for the show in its normal timeslot since NXT moved to Tuesdays in April, the match itself saw growth each quarter. Khan noted that he was “thrilled” with how the ratings built during the match.
“Well, there are a lot of things we could have potentially done in that situation. I guess there’s infinite possibilities, but that is what we were going to do and it was a masterpiece. I’m so pleased with that match. I’m thrilled that the fans enjoyed it,” Tony explained. “I was absolutely thrilled that the ratings built as the match went on and the peak of the match and such a great rating for the show, for the final quarter of the match, especially.
“It was just absolutely a big success for us and now it builds to a rematch on such an important stage. This is a huge night for us, the debut on TBS. So the next few weeks are really important, and absolutely that match was something we needed to get right and I think we definitely did. People were looking forward to that match.
“And for Hangman, it was important for him to go out and have a great debut as champion,” Tony continued. “I think people were wondering if Hangman’s going to be a one-match champ, the answer is no, but he is going to go back now and wrestle that same opponent and I said, ‘What’s going to happen?’
“After the one-hour bout, I don’t think anybody knows what to expect, which is exactly how we want it. I think it was just a perfect result and assuming that both men were going to be able to last to 60 minutes and give us a great match. And I thought this was the perfect thing to do. Now that they’ve been through it and they put on that great match, I think there’s no question it was the right thing to do.”
Khan is excited for what is to come at AEW New Year’s Smash, but he admits that a lot of fans are probably looking beyond to Hangman vs. Danielson 2. It was revealed that if the two go to another 60-minute draw, a series of judges will determine the winner of the rematch for the AEW World Title.
“We’ll have great wrestlers on hand. It shouldn’t be about the judges as it’s about Hangman and Danielson. I think we want great judges on hand, great wrestling experience, people who know the sport and will know what to look for, criteria for judging the winner. I think if this thing goes 60 minutes, again, we want to give the fans a great, real peace of mind knowing that there is going to be a winner this time, even if there is another 60-minute match.
“So we have all our bases covered and the focus is going to be on Danielson and Hangman, and what is going to be a great, great match next week. So the next few weeks, the last Dynamite on TNT, I think is very sentimental for many reasons, especially to do it at Daily’s Place, and with the return of JR, and the card we have set. But I do think absolutely a lot of people are going to be focused on that debut on TBS, especially knowing that Danielson versus Hangman II is on the card.”
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