AEW CEO Tony Khan held a media call earlier today to promote this Sunday’s AEW Double or Nothing 2023 event in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Some of the topics discussed included Khan’s thoughts about the recent rumors and reports of AEW doing a roster split for their Dynamite and Collision brands. Khan stated:
“I haven’t given a lengthy explanation yet for what I’m planning regarding the future of the roster and how people will be allocated across Dynamite and Collision and our other shows. It’s a great question, certainly. I can see why wrestling fans all over the world would be interested and curious about that. That’s frankly by design that we want to build that curiosity in and get people wondering exactly what you’re asking, ‘what’s the future of the AEW roster, and what does this all mean going forward after Double or Nothing?’ It’s a really good question and something we’ll be excited to follow up on.”
On the topic of if AEW received a new television deal from Warner Bros Discovery for their upcoming Collision series, Khan stated that their deal for Collision is not a new one but instead is an addition to their current existing deal with WBD.
“The scope of the deal, as it is, the length is the same. I don’t want to get too deep into those conversations, but the length of the term is the same and this is an addition to what we had already put together. Everybody was really excited about the success of AEW on TBS and TNT. They reached out to us and gave us a great opportunity. I think it spoke highly of AEW that this show and the idea of more AEW programming goes all the to the top to Mr. (David) Zaslav, who is one of the most powerful and intelligent in all of media. He likes what we’re doing with AEW on TBS and TNT and it was literally his idea for there to be more AEW on TNT. I’m very grateful for that. We’re going to do our best to make sure Collision is a great show and also maintaining a great show with Rampage and also take Dynamite to new heights. That’s a great challenge for us and we’re really looking forward to it.”
On the topic of running Collision on Saturday nights, Khan stated that he currently feels that this is a great opportunity for the company. Khan also stated that the biggest advantage to running shows on Saturdays is that it is the best night of the week when it comes to running a live event and ticket sales.
On the topic of Taya Valkyrie’s recent signing with AEW, Khan praised Valkyrie for being a great wrestler and having a tremendous presence in the ring and backstage.
On the topic of the upcoming AEW World Championship match at Double or Nothing 2023, Khan stated that this match will be featuring four talent who were not that well known nationally when AEW started but he believes that all four of them can grow into big stars for the company. Khan also stated that MJF, Darby Allin, Jungle Boy, and Sammy Guevara were able to reach the level they are as stars in AEW after working with Sting, Chris Jericho, Cody Rhodes, and others.
On the topic of Sabu’s upcoming appearance at this Sunday’s Double or Nothing 2023 event, Khan stated that this will likely just be a one-off type appearance for Sabu. Khan also stated that he is open to the idea of bringing Sabu back for additional guest appearances in the future. Khan also stated that his father had texted him this morning being happy over Sabu’s appearance on Dynamite.
On the topic of WWE having their NXT Battleground event compete head-to-head against AEW’s Double or Nothing 2023 event and competition in wrestling in general, Khan stated:
“It’s been that feeling from day one, since we launched a TV show. It actually, probably changed a little bit on April 14, 2021, and now with this, it feels like the old days in some ways. I’m always very eager to compete in whatever arena I’m in. I really love the competition in pro wrestling as long as it’s done with some ethical standards. People running events at some similar times, I don’t know if that’s necessarily unethical. I don’t have a big problem with it. I wish everybody the best, and I expect we will do the best show on Sunday. I think there will be a big audience for AEW Double or Nothing. Certainly, the spirit of competition is something we’ve dealt with since the launch of AEW, and I have never really had any problem with it as long as it’s an ethical competition, and I don’t think it has always been coming from the other side.”
On the topic of AEW’s upcoming co-promoted Forbidden Door 2 event with New Japan Pro Wrestling, Khan stated that he currently has a lot of ideas for the upcoming event but the main problem is trying to fit it all in a four-hour window. Khan stated that Stardom being potentially involved with the show is one possibility.
On the topic of AEW potentially expanding their pay-per-view events schedule, Khan stated that there is potential for AEW to do so in the future but it would have to make economic sense for the company and also be a right thing for their fans.
On the topic of Sting’s wrestling future and potential retirement plans, Khan stated:
“I am going to try and keep Sting wrestling and active as long as he wants to do it. He hasn’t really given me a set time. He’s mentioned it at times that he’s not going to wrestle forever. Truth be told, I would like Sting to compete as long as he wants. I really think he adds so much to the company and going forward, as we add more TV shows, more presence on TBS and TNT for AEW, having somebody like Sting in the company, such a great star and a great business asset for the company, but also a great person. We love having him here and I would love for Sting to stay as long as he could. Whenever he does decide that it’s time for his last match, we would definitely want to make it a big event and I think it’s one of, frankly, the biggest moments out there in pro wrestling right now; Sting’s retirement match. I think if you took all the big ideas, and I’m not just talking about in AEW, I’m talking in the entire world of pro wrestling, if you took all the biggest things and biggest ideas and put them on paper, I think you’d be hard pressed to come up with things more interesting than Sting’s retirement match or the kind of things that would get fans all over the world more interested or excited. It’s definitely something that will eventually be a major asset to the company, but in the meantime, Sting himself is a major asset to the company and I don’t want to try and leverage his retirement for short-term gain. Right now, the person we’re getting is so incredibly valuable to the company.”
On the topic of the broadcast plans for AEW’s upcoming All In event at Wembley Stadium, Khan stated that he can not give a full answer yet since they are still working out the plans for the event’s broadcast.
On the topic of Ring of Honor, Khan stated that ROH TV has allowed him to bring in a lot of top indie talent for appearances and tryouts. Khan also stated that ROH TV allows for compelling rivalries, championship matches, and more that AEW Dark and Dark Elevation did not feature during their existence. Khan also stated that he does not view ROH as being a secondary brand or developmental for AEW.
Full media call audio: Fightful