AEW has worked with several promotions over the past few years and that includes TNA Wrestling. However, it appears Tony Khan has been criticized for his he used to put down TNA during their partnership with AEW.

The partnership between TNA Wrestling and AEW, which lasted from 2020 to early 2021, marked a significant crossover of talent between the two promotions. Wrestlers like Kenny Omega, Luke Gallows, Karl Anderson, Christian Cage, and others moved between IMPACT and AEW during this period. Kenny Omega notably held both the IMPACT and AEW World Heavyweight Championships simultaneously, highlighting the collaboration’s impact on wrestling storylines and championships.

Matt Hardy on his Extreme Life of Matt Hardy podcast talked about the dynamics of this partnership and the approach taken by AEW President Tony Khan. Hardy emphasized the importance of giving credibility to one’s opponents, even in a competitive context. He mentioned how Tony Khan’s paid ads often portrayed AEW as superior to TNA, which was a deliberate approach to building AEW’s brand against its competitor.

Hardy acknowledged that while promoting one’s own promotion over another is a common tactic in wrestling, there’s also value in acknowledging and respecting the competition’s strengths. He suggested that recognizing the credibility of the opposition can enhance the overall storytelling and make the wrestling narratives more compelling for the audience.


“Tony [Khan] would do those paid ads where he would pay for the ads and just say AEW is so much better than TNA and this and that. I mean it is fine if that’s the approach you wanted to do. It’s absolutely fine. But I also come from a place where if you’re gonna compete against someone, if it’s an opponent in the ring, at some point you need to put them over so that they look credible and they could beat you. Or if they do beat you, you don’t just talk about how awful they are.

I just feel like it’s important to put over your opposition to a degree so they seem somewhat on the same level especially if you’re doing it back and forth. Tony [Khan] chose an opposite route and that’s fine. I mean it was something different and maybe it worked at the time. You know, where he would talk about how much AEW was better than TNA.” 

Matt Hardy also recently addressed accusations of having bad blood with AEW after his exit. Tony Khan also took inspiration credit for TNA’s current partnership with WWE. Regardless, AEW is currently focused on their partnership with NJPW, CMLL and STARDOM and that’s all that matters to Tony Khan at the moment.

Do you feel Tony Khan went too far in putting down TNA during AEW’s partnership with the promotion? Sound off in the comments section below!

Tags: Tony Khan
Subhojeet Mukherjee

Subhojeet, a professional wrestling fan for over 20+ years, found his passion during the Monday Night Wars. With expertise honed over decades and a broad spectrum of interests including TV, movies, anime, novels, and music, he offers insightful analysis and coverage. Respected in the industry, Subhojeet keeps fans informed and engaged with his knowledge and perspective.

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