All Elite Wrestling (AEW) presents Double or Nothing next month live from Las Vegas, NV. It will the first live event under the AEW banner.
A month out from Double or Nothing, company president Tony Khan spoke with sports and entertainment reporter Chris Van Vliet about everything AEW. Below are some highlights followed by video of their discussion.
AEW’s TV Deal
AEW has spent the past several months announcing talent acquisitions, live events and match-ups for those shows. It’s an exciting process, but the general consensus from wrestling pundits and industry power players is that the entire venture hinges on AEW securing a meaningful television deal. So where does that stand?
“I’ve negotiated some things and I am very excited about what we are doing. I do think it’s very important to give wrestling fans a better quality of life. I think 20 years ago was honestly in many ways not nearly as good of a time to be a wrestling fan. There was not nearly as much wrestling out there and available if you were really looking for it. If you are really looking for great wrestling now there has never been a better time to be a wrestling fan.”
Tony’s 5-Year Plan for AEW
The launch of a major league wrestling organization is a massive undertaking. With tens of millions of dollars on the line, you don’t just “wing it” and hope things work out. You need a plan. You need a vision for where the company will be 1, 2, even 5 years out. Tony Khan is no stranger to managing professional sports franchises and shared his longterm strategy to make AEW a success.
“The 5-year plan for AEW is that we will have built up a brand, we will have built up a roster, we will have established ourselves as a top brand in wrestling for people who want fast paced exciting action and want a product that is more of a sporting based product. I’ve talked a lot about how I want wins and losses to matter because at the end of the day, that’s why you’re having the match.”
He continued, “There’s going to be a winner and a loser and it matters. It should matter to your standing in the company and it should matter to your standing in your chase for the championship which at the end of the day is what everyone is trying to attain.”
Staying Off Television
One of the most overdone tropes in pro wrestling is the owner putting themselves on television. Even worse is the evil authority figure. As the President of this upstart venture, Tony Khan might feel the temptation to make himself an on-air character in AEW. Khan once again shows that he’s tuned in to what wrestling fans want and plans to stay off AEW television.
“I have thought about it and I’m not going to do it. We have some of the greatest on-air performers in the world and look, I am who I am in the promotion. I am the president and the CEO and the founder of this company but it’s not going to be me all over TV and I’m not going to be doing a lot of interviews or backstage segments on television.”
There’s much more to the interview, including Tony’s thoughts on AEW having a ‘wrestler-friendly’ schedule, the signing of Dustin Rhodes, CM Punk’s return to wrestling over the weekend, WCW, ECW and more.
Check out Chris Van Vliet’s YouTube channel to see his recent interviews with John Cena, Johnny Gargano, Dolph Ziggler, Rob Van Dam and more.
Watch: Tony Khan talks about AEW’s TV Deal & 5-Year Plan