Since its inception in 2019, AEW has strived to provide a proper alternative product to WWE. For the most part, they have succeeded but there are still many areas of improvement.
For many, AEW was seen as a breath of fresh air and also that old school nostalgia as the company tried to balance both the modern and old school aspects of pro wrestling. However, there are some obvious flaws with the product, most notably how referees conduct their work in matches.
While speaking on Busted Open Radio, AEW President Tony Khan and WWE Hall Of Famer Bully Ray talked about the issues with refereeing that he and many fans have noticed in AEW. However, it seems Tony Khan saw no issues with refereeing in the company as he dismissed everything Bully Ray said, including his suggestions of tornado tag team matches.
“I don’t do ref bumps. Generally, as a rule, and we’ve done, you can count on your hand how many there have been in AEW in two years, less than five. And so, right, and so since I don’t do a lot of ref bumps when they’re double teams and when things turn into like Lucha matches a little bit, which I do a lot of trios matches and tags with luchadores so that there is going to be Lucha aspects of this stuff. You know, it’s going to happen because I’m not going to just knock the referee over out of nowhere so that I can do some fun Lucha spots, so I don’t really see it as a problem, and I know I haven’t noticed that or thought it was an issue.
We’ve done tornado tags and have done a good number of tornado tags. I generally don’t think like enforcing the 10 count is the first thing people are coming to mind when we’re seeing like an exciting Young Bucks match, but it’s something to take into consideration for sure. I gotta say that, like Young Bucks versus Eddie Kingston and Jon Moxley, I’d never heard one person complain about the 10 count. Young Bucks versus Fenix and Penta like, I don’t think that’s what people are thinking about when they’re watching a match, but, you know, I’ve got more important things to talk about on the card tonight; honestly.”
While Tony Khan doesn’t see anything wrong with how referees perform their duties in the company. fans and other pro wrestlers don’t see it that way. We will have to see if they will improve refereeing or not.