Earlier today, AEW had a media call at 11 am PT/2 pm ET. Tony Khan took as many questions as he could in the hour. He talked about AEW, Full Gear, and some other tidbits about the company. Here’s some interesting information I pulled from the call.
Kenny Omega and Hangman Page
Tony stated that he has been looking forward to this match-up for the AEW World Championship between Kenny and Hangman for some time. He said Hangman Page is a homegrown talent. He believes that whatever may happen from it, the fans will be happy.
Tony also stated that Hangman going on paternity leave did change a lot with regards to storylines. He also said that he believed that the match is one everyone has been clamoring for and that the fans will be happy.
Both men worked very hard during this feud. Tony finished this off by saying they have been telling a hell of a story.
AEW and Their Fanbase
Some of the questions asked were about AEW, its diverse fan base, and the moments that are made special for the fans. Tony mentioned how you don’t have to be an athlete or athletic to like wrestling. Wrestling is the kind of thing that brings all types of people from different walks of life together. It’s one of the things he loves about wrestling.
Tony also mentioned a video going around that showed a fan who beat cancer celebrating with him, CM Punk, Cody Rhodes, and Ruby Soho. He said he was informed that there was a fan in attendance who beat cancer. One of the people who informed him was Amanda Huber. He thought it was a special moment and even better since they were in Ruby’s hometown.
AEW Heading to the West Coast
Tony also confirmed that AEW will be heading to the west coast in 2022. COVID has changed many traveling plans, especially with wrestling. Many of the stars on the roster didn’t necessarily feel comfortable traveling. In 2022, he wants to have shows on the west coast, particularly Las Vegas.
AEW, Women’s Wrestling, The TBS Championship Tournament and NWA Empower
A friend of mine asked a question about AEW ever having an all-women pay-per-view in the future. Tony cut her off to say that he doesn’t get credit for what he does with women’s wrestling. He said he sent many of the women who wrestled in NWA Empower. He also said he paid their salaries. Tony compared not getting credit to buying dinner for a group of people and not being told thank you.
I did find it interesting that he did pay the women. To me, this response discredited the women that were on the show. I did find it a bit rude of Tony to cut the question off. His involvement was new information to me.
He also said he thinks AEW is making a lot of strides for women’s wrestling.
As for the TBS tournament, Tony said he was excited about it. He also said to think of the TBS championship much like the TNT championship. The TNT championship has garnered some amazing matches. He believes the TBS title will do the same with the women.
Owen Hart Tournament
Tony stated that there are plans to announce more about the Owen Hart tournament soon. He originally was going to mention then via Full Gear, but decided not to so it wouldn’t get as much attention with the pay per view. He said he plans to make more announcements regarding it after Full Gear on an episode of Dynamite or Rampage.
Dynamite, Rampage and TBS
When asked about how he created the shows, Tony said he would stay up late Tuesday and Thursday nights going over things to make sure he has a good show. That while both are different, he likes doing them both.
He also said that when AEW has the show on TBS, that he will change a few things and if the fans don’t like it, he’ll change it back. He also said he’ll be happy with the schedule being more consistent on TBS as there will be less sports than on TNT.
Eddie Kingston and Lio Rush
There were questions asked about both Eddie Kingston and Lio Rush. Tony said he didn’t know Eddie before AEW, but saw his work and became a fan. He also said he connected with Eddie quickly and knew he would have a good impact in AEW. He always believed in him once he got to the company. Tony said, “with stars like Eddie, you want to hold on to them.”
With Lio, he said he knew Lio was also a star and a great wrestler. He said he knew Lio was a bit burnt out with other stuff but knew Lio still had more to give to wrestling. Tony is happy to have him there and excited about what Lio has to offer AEW.
Ring of Honor and NJPW
Ring of Honor was brought up. Tony was asked what did he think he could do with the wrestlers and if he would buy ROH’s library. Tony said he has no idea what will happen on the business aspects of things, but thinks ROH has amazing matches.
He also says that for the wrestlers, he would love to have them. He has AEW Dark, Elevation, etc, so they can be used there as well, if they wanted to. However, he didn’t know anything else as far as if he would do anything outside of that. He did note not to rule anything out.
The relationship with NJPW was also discussed. He said in the beginning, he believed New Japan was angry with him. They thought he was going to mess up what they had going on. Tony said Chris Jericho was the middle man at first. As time went on, they started doing more things, and New Japan started trusting him more. He mentions here he was an honest man.
Tony said when he heard the rumors about New Japan and WWE, he thought it was comical, which is why he did the promo. This was another thing; I didn’t particularly find it necessary to say during the call. However, what I got from this is AEW and New Japan have a good relationship and he is excited about what 2022 will bring.
Full Gear 2021
Tony was asked about the matches and his process. While he didn’t give a lot away, he said he felt confident about the matches chosen and the fan’s reaction. His goal was to make the fans happy. He did talk a bit about Inner Circle vs American Top Team. He said those teams seem to get good reactions both cheers and boos from fans. He thought it was perfect for Full Gear.
Tony believes this will be a fantastic pay-per-view. He mentioned Tay Conti and the Britt Baker match. He also mentioned how the match with Kenny and Hangman especially, he was happy with what they came up with. He ended with hoping everyone enjoys the pay per view.
While I didn’t get to ask my questions, I did find this call didn’t focus on much on Full Gear as I wanted it to. I had also hoped to bring up the fact that the only other women’s match will be on the preshow/buy-in. Otherwise, pretty solid media call.