Any competition for WWE is going to be compared with WCW. The Monday Night Wars will live on as a benchmark in pro wrestling history. WCW’s existence and dominance also opened the door for AEW decades later.
Tony Khan and Eric Bischoff both appeared on a Fight For The Fallen preview show. Khan had a lot to say about AEW’s beginning and how it is thanks to WCW.
Tony Khan explained that he first met his now-friend and President of TNT Kevin Reilly at a Halloween party. Khan was dressed as “Macho Man” Randy Savage. The next year they met at another party and Khan was dressed as the Slim Jim version of Savage again. Khan took that chance to tell Reilly that 20 years ago TNT had the #1 pro wrestling company on the planet. WarnerMedia was also in talks to put in bids on WWE programming at the time, but Reilly had never heard of WCW.
Khan credited Eric Bischoff’s work in WCW for helping him breach the subject with TNT’s President in the first place. Later on, he went into more detail as he said AEW wouldn’t have been possible if not for WCW.
“I wouldn’t be here and there would not be an AEW without you and there would not be wrestling on TNT right now without you. You gave me the opening to talk to the President of TNT to talk about the previous success you’d had on his network, which he didn’t realize because it’s been twenty years and he was obviously not at TNT or TBS or WarnerMedia when this was happening. When WCW was such a huge entity.”
“I’m sorry if it came across like I didn’t think that way, because I definitely think that. And I’m just such a huge believer in what you’ve built. So, thank you,” Tony added.
AEW has drawn a lot of comparisons to WCW for many reasons. They have some of the same people on their roster. The companies might be different, but they are on the same network. If anything, AEW has WCW to thank for helping them crack the door open with WarnerMedia.
Thanks to Pro Wrestling Sheet for the quote