Tony Khan has derived a lot of his pro-wrestling knowledge from WWE. As a life-long fan, Khan considers WWE to be a competitor to AEW. While many such as Erich Bischoff and Booker T criticize him for referring to WWE as AEW’s competitor, Khan has made it perfectly clear that he is not going to back off any time soon.
Khan did an interview with Gavin Bridge at Monaco Streaming Film Festival. He revealed his thoughts on WWE Backstage show on FOX Sports. He said that while he was offered the opportunity to feature something similar on AEW, he chose to discard that.
I didn’t agree with [WWE] Backstage at all. I didn’t think that was a good format. I actually had been pitched to do a format like that for AEW and I refused because I don’t think wrestling fans wanted to see that format. I think wrestling fans when they tune in to watch the wrestling show, they want to watch the wrestling and Backstage to me should be a lower-budget streaming type show. I don’t know if it had the legs to carry as a TV show, even though the people involved with it were awesome and a lot of them work for me now, and they’re huge stars.
He continued and added that he really does like CM Punk or Christian Cage wrestle. While clarifying it, he explained that he does like seeing the wrestlers talk. But seeing a show being established about wrestlers talking is not what he is interested in.
But like I want to watch CM Punk wrestle. I want to watch Christian Cage wrestle. And to me, that is the bread and butter. And I think it’s like I love watching those guys talk about wrestling don’t get me wrong, I think that would be a kickass streaming show. I don’t know if I would build one of my TV franchises around guys talking about wrestling. At least not in the context of analyzing it or breaking it down.
Tony Khan considers WWE such a competitor that he asked TNT to engage in a bidding war for WWE. While he was faced with low ratings for AEW Rampage, he took to defending it and offered an explanation. He doesn’t want to make the same mistakes that WCW did and wouldn’t kill the golden goose.
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