Tony Khan says losing Cody Rhodes was “a huge challenge”.
The AEW president spoke with Team Grapsody recently about Rhodes’ departure, comparisons to WCW, and Paige VanZant.
Khan was asked about fans comparing AEW and WCW and replied:
I think the reason people want to compare the two companies more than anything is because we are the only wrestling companies that were on TBS and TNT and they both air on TBS and TNT. There are some people who have worked for both companies. I think Sting is an important face for both companies. Tony Schiavone and Jim Ross have been the voices for both of these companies
But [AEW and WCW] Quite different and many of the reasons why one WCW would go away or go out of business are not realistic business concerns for AEW because it’s not a network-owned company or even really media ownership. It is a family business that is owned, operated and operated by me and I love wrestling. I will not go anywhere.
Khan also mentioned that the Honor Club has achieved an all-time high in subscribers. He said:
“Honor Club, with only the historic library relaunched, no new content coming out every week yet, based on people viewing the archive library, we’ve already hit the highest honor club subscriber count in just a matter of weeks. Once TV launches and once Final comes out Battle in this 90 day archive, it’s been a few weeks since Final Battle so far, what is maybe 10 or 11 weeks until it comes out on the service and I’ll be announcing the start of the weekly Ring of Honor series.”
He did not rule out running an ROH show during WrestleMania Weekend, stating that he was “interested” and “open” to the idea.
Khan was asked about Chris Jericho’s ROH Championship and replied:
People really dig Ocho and we’ve had great reviews a few times. Claudio and Chris started Grand Slam tournaments and it was Ocho’s first reign. Chris had eight matches in that time and won the Ring of Honor World title from Claudio and Claudio regained it in eight matches for Chris’s eighth world title.
I suspect [Jericho’s match with] Ishii wasn’t just a classic match, in my opinion a five star match and one of the best main events in AEW history. Also, it was a huge success for us.
Chris vs. Brian [Danielson] In Toronto, we’re a huge hit.
He also said that the loss of Cody Rhodes was a huge challenge for the company. Khan said:
When you lose a star of Cody Rhodes’ caliber, it’s going to have a huge impact on your company and it’s going to affect a number of different departments and a number of different things in terms of show and behind the scenes. I personally love Cody and know Cody very well and I think in the time he’s been here, he’s been involved in many different aspects of the beginning of AEW and what we’ve been up to.
When he left it was a big challenge. On Revolution Road, we had so many great stories and I think it really helped us and helped keep us going strong that people were so invested in what was going on in AEW at the time.
At the time Cody left Jon Moxley came back and that was a huge help for us.
Khan was asked about Paige VanZant’s status update and replied:
Paige VanZant makes a lot of money and handles a big dollar thing, but I’m also very interested in that.
We’d like to bring it back. [She] He has a great attitude, and he put in a great performance in the match. With the right fight and the right opponent, yeah, I’m going to love it.
Khan also stated that had CM Punk not been injured, there were plans for him and FTR to serve as the lead trio to the Forbidden Door.
The president of AEW was asked how he tries to make everyone on the list happy and he replied:
You will never make everyone happy and you need to focus on that.
There are dozens of wrestlers featured throughout Dynamite and Rampage every week and during those three hours you see a lot of names but there are also dozens of names in AEW that you don’t see every week and sometimes they are silent about it. And there’s a reason, sometimes there’s a reason, someone’s getting injured, working on another project, someone’s getting repackaged, or, you know, there’s honestly not enough time slots in three hours.
On other sports teams, you don’t see it as much. It’s not really common in the NFL for a backup quarterback to list the coach because he’s not playing. It’s not really common in the NBA for a backup point guard to hire the coach because he doesn’t get minutes.
It’s okay, I understand that everyone wants to wrestle and everyone wants to do things.
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