Tony Khan On Not Using Everyone At Every Show, Appealing To Fans

AEW President Tony Khan’s lifelong love of wrestling is no secret. In a recent interview with The Ringer, he spoke about turning that love into his own wrestling promotion, and how he tries to make that an appealing product for fans. You can read highlights of Khan’s interview below:

On listening to fan feedback: “That’s been the biggest difference: connecting with real people and seeing what they like, and balancing that with what I want to do. But frankly, I want to do it because I want to have a great promotion that the fans want to see. I’m a big wrestling fan, and I want the other wrestling fans to like it. I do think I share tastes with a lot of our fans because I enjoy the shows, too. A lot of the stuff they like, I also like, and if some of the stuff we put on the air doesn’t go perfect, I would probably agree with them that it didn’t go perfect. I like staying on the pulse of the online wrestling community.”

Discussing the Brodie Lee tribute show: “The Brodie Lee tribute show was the best thing we’ve ever done in the company. It was the hardest show ever to produce and put together. For the wrestlers, I know it was a most difficult day, and for what Amanda, Brodie, and Nolan [Brodie Lee’s widow and sons] went through, it’s unfathomable what they’ve endured. I think the thing I’m proudest of is that we’ve had the greatest tribute show that anyone has ever done in the history of this business. If you watched that show, you come out of it saying, ‘That guy really loved his family, he really loved wrestling, and the wrestlers and his family really loved him.’ That was what we were trying to get across, and I think we did a very good job.”

How not everyone gets on every show: “You very quickly start getting the sense when you actually sit down and write shows that you can’t please everyone. You can’t get everyone you want to use on the show every week unless you’re putting 37-hour shows together. Also, everyone isn’t going to win every week. That’s just not how it works.”

Putting out an alternative for fans: “It’s about finding the right people and finding the right fit. I’m not a chef, and I don’t know much about cooking, but I’d have to imagine that there are a lot of different ways to approach making the items that appear on a menu. In a two-hour live wrestling show, there are a lot of ways to put it together, just like there are a lot of ways to put together certain menu options.”

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