AEW Dynasty Media Scrum: CM Punk Paying His Own Medical Expenses Claims, Decision to Air All In Backstage Altercation Footage, Early 2024 Revenues, AEW Library, Carlos Cabrera Hiring

AEW CEO Tony Khan held a media scrum on Thursday to promote this Sunday’s AEW Dynasty event in St. Louis, Missouri.

Some of the notable highlights included:

  • On the topic of CM Punk’s recent claims that AEW did not pay his medical expenses for his triceps injury, Khan stated “We typically do pay those expenses. I’d have to look into that. I can’t say for sure. It doesn’t sound right to me. If that is the case, I would reimburse him, honestly. I didn’t think that was the case and it doesn’t sound right, so I would have to look into that. Typically, we do cover those medical expenses, especially for something that occurred in the ring, as that did, so I would have to look into that. I can’t say for sure.
  • On the topic of the decision to air on television the Jack Perry and CM Punk backstage altercation footage from AEW All In, Khan stated “After the ratings came in, it felt like, when TBS called me and told me ‘good job.’ You have to remember, I’m responsible for everybody’s job in the company. It is really important for us to please the network and TBS was really happy with that show and that performance. That is the most important. Our fan feedback on the show, the rating is the number source of fan feedback in the end, the network, and they were incredibly pleased. It was 400,000 viewers in the 18 to 49 demographic, and that was a strong performance. That is how TBS judges the show. How TBS judges the show is the most important metric I have for the performance. I do think what we did last week added a lot of intrigue to this match and I’m very excited for the Dynasty pay-per-view and I’m very happy about how we got here.
  • On the topic of him potentially stepping down as the head booker of AEW and hiring someone else for the position, Khan stated “That’s a great question. Well, I… would certainly at some point, you know, we’d have to see where we’re at.  I think with all positions, you know, nobody lasts forever and eventually that’s something, you know, with any position in any of the organizations I’m in that will be a reality.  I think whether it’s the Jaguars or Form or AEW or True Media, you know, I won’t be here forever. So… So, you know, it’s definitely one of the highlights of my life, being able to get involved in these shows, work on these shows and do creative planning and I’m having more fun than ever right now. Really loved last night’s show, I thought last night was a really strong go home Dynamite leading into this pay-per-view and, you know, I take it year to year, moment to moment and I’m really loving what we’re doing. doing right now. I’m only 41 years old and I feel like the company is in a really strong place and some of the greatest wrestlers in the world are very loyal to me personally and I really am very proud of that and hopefully you can continue to do my best to repay them and I think right now the company is in a very strong place. We just had a valuation, I understand, of $2 billion placed on AEW today for a sports start-up, the fastest-rising sports start-up of all time,  and the most successful sports start -up in the world since the American Football League, the AFL, that later merged with the NFL. I don’t see that same future for us, but I do love the comparison and I think the numbers are quite real, and frankly, the story is very exciting for AEW. AEW that look we are a major player in the sports scene and it’s going to be a really big year for our company coming up with our media rights renewal and it’s the most important thing right now for the wrestlers and the staff and everybody that works at AEW and for our fans and everybody that follows AEW. And another really important aspect aspect of this is the pay-per-view growth. We’ve grown the business and last year we expanded the pay -per -view calendar and we had our by far biggest year ever on pay-per-view and we expected to continue this year. We saw the average go up last year while we increased shows. This year expanding the calendar and the expansion is this show.  This is the added show, Dynasty. Dynasty, the one that happened this weekend. And this is a stack card. It’s one of my favorite cards we’ve ever put together and the bills we’ve done to get here. There have been some tremendous moments.  Last night was a really good go home show. And on these calls, these calls are usually on the Thursday after the go home dynamite. And we’ve actually spent a decent amount of time.  I say we, you know, the collection of us that are often on these calls myself. and a lot of you, the top wrestling media. We’ve spent a lot of time talking about the science of the Go Home Show and the different ways they’re put together and I think this was one of our best received Go Home Shows we’ve ever done. And this was really for me, it’s always exciting and there’s a risk when you add a new event, change the calendar, do something like creating a new show that is AEW Dynasty.
  • On the topic of AEW opening up more pay-per-view options on different platforms for their fans to watch AEW PPV events, Khan stated “I’m  optimistic  it’ll  continue  that  we’re  able  to  deliver  the  AEW  digital  pay-per-view  events  on  multiple  streaming platforms,  and  this  is  the  most  digital  distribution  we’ve  ever  had  for  any  AEW  event  for  AEW  Dynasty  this  weekend,  which  is  really  exciting.  There  are  so  many  great  options, depending  on  what  platforms  you  use,  what  kind  of  devices  you  watch,  pay-per-views  are  on,  there  will  be  lots  of  options  to  watch  AEW  Dynasty.  I  think  it’s  really  cool  that  Warner  Bros. Discovery  has  given  us all  these  options  for  a  long  time.  Bleacher  Report  had  been  an  exclusive  platform  and  I  think  that’s  been  beneficial  to  us  because  it’s  helped  bring  us  closer  to  Warner  Brothers  Discovery, which  is  our  amazing  media  partner  and  an  incredibly  important  relationship  for  us  and  then  for  them  to  allow  us  to  use  multiple  digital  platforms, partners  for  distribution  of  AEW  Dynasty  and  the  upcoming  pay-per-view  events.  That’s  really  exciting  for  us.  It  allows  us  to  reach  even  more  fans  now  and  do  all  of  it  with  a  blessing  of  our  amazing  media  partner  now  that  we’ve  established  that  we  have  this  great  presence  on  Bleacher  Report  and  now  touching  other  platforms.  I  think  it’s  awesome  and  I’m  very  excited  about  it.  It’s  a  great…  great  step  for  us.  I  can’t  say  for  sure  what  will  happen  after  the  next  three  events  other  than  to  say  we  will  still  have  great  digital  distribution.   Regardless,  I’m  optimistic  and  excited  about  the  opportunity  to  distribute  these  upcoming  shows  on  multiple  platforms  that  was  granted  to  us  by  our  amazing  media  partners  at  Warner  Brothers  Discovery  who  have  been  so  great  to  us  at  AEW.
  • On the topic of if the AEW Trios and ROH World Six-Man Tag Team Championships will be unified at AEW Dynasty, Khan stated “Yeah,  absolutely.  The  winner  of  the  match  will  be  the  undisputed  world  trios  champions.  I  think  that’s  very  cool  and  it’ll  create  a  lot  of  great  opportunities  for  the  title  top  trios  out  there.  I  think  it’s  very  exciting,  you  know,  some  consolidation  and  unification  of  championships.  And  we  have  two  great  trios  here, the  Acclaimed  and  Billy  Gunn,  who  won  their  championships  getting  back  last  year,  and  with  Jay  White  and  the  Gunns.   I  have  a  ton  of  respect  for  all  of  them.  They  have  a  lot  of  history  with  each  other  and  it  should  be  an  excellent  match.  We  had  an  injury  this  past  week  and  I  had  been  waiting  to  confirm  this  match  on  the  card  just  to, you  know,  give  you  guys  a  look  behind  the  curtain  at  the  process.  When  we  got  the  clearance  from  the  doctors,  I  was  really  excited  to  be  able  to  add  this  match  to  the  card  and  I  I  know  the  fans  in  St. Louis  will  be  excited  to  see  these  wrestlers  and  it’s  something  fun  for  the  fans  all  over  the  world.  We’re  going  to  have  a  great  card  on  the  Zero  Hour  and  even  if  you  can’t  afford  to  buy  the  pay-per-view  you’ll  be  able  to  watch  that  great  wrestling  and  that’s  a  great  way  to  get  people  all  over  the  world  watching  and  that’s  available  on  YouTube  and  all  the  pay-per-view platforms  for the pre-show  going  into  AEW  Dynasty.
  • On the topic of AEW’s revenue growth for the first quarter of 2024, Khan stated “Q1 2024, the revenue is significantly up. We’ve run more events. We added AEW Collision. AEW Dynamite is strong, we’ve had good attendance in some markets, year over year, attendance is up. In particular, a lot of successful shows in this run including Boston, Toronto, AEW Revolution was one of our top US gates ever. On the pay-per-view side, AEW Revolution is one of the biggest AEW pay-per-view shows of all time. It was our biggest pay-per-view since AEW All In and surpassed last year’s Revolution, which did really really well. The gate was up, the pay-per-view buys were significantly up. With more shows, more pay-per-view revenue, it’s been more revenue this year. Big growth there and a lot of opportunities. Also, our rights fees were higher with the 2024 option getting picked up vs. 2023 for Dynamite, and the addition of more shows, we had significantly higher revenue for 2024. It’s a big growth and big opportunities going into the media rights renewal year and continuing to grow the business going in 2025.
  • On the topic of AEW’s current talks for a new media rights deal and the status of AEW’s archive library, Khan stated “An archive library and a place to put streaming events is a really interesting idea and certainly something that has existed in wrestling and wrestling fans are able to watch a lot of events on streaming and AEW events should be up there. It’s something that I expect to happen in our next media rights deal. We’re in an exclusive window right now talking to Warner Brothers Discovery, which is amazing and has been a great time.
  • On the topic of AEW’s recent hiring of former WWE Spanish commentator Carlos Cabrera, Khan stated that Cabrera’s hiring was AEW Senior VP and Co-Executive Producer Mike Mansury’s idea. Khan stated that Mansury had suggested for AEW to hire Cabrera due to having worked with him during their time together in WWE. Khan also stated that another reason was due to he had listed to fan feedback to upgrade their Spanish language presentation. Khan also stated that Mansury is fluent in Spanish as another reason behind the decision.

Full AEW Dynasty media scrum audio:

Transcript h/t: 1, 2, 3, & 4,,