Tony Khan Comments On Darby Allin Becoming A ‘Huge Star’ In AEW, CM Punk


During a recent appearance on the “AEW Unrestricted” podcast, AEW President Tony Khan commented on Darby Allin becoming a “huge star” in AEW, CM Punk’s debut and his impact on the buys for AEW All Out, and more. You can check out some highlights from the podcast below:

On AEW returning to PPV on the road: “It’s been a long time since we’ve had a pay-per-view on the road. This is an incredible way to go back on the road with the biggest card we’ve ever put on pay-per-view, and then to go back on the road, I think it’s fun because we’ve been doing these shows in Jacksonville, the pay-per-views, and us literally doing these pre-shows together in Jacksonville for a long time. And now to be back on the road, to be out here around Chicago and have the return of CM Punk here in the Chicago area is amazing. It’s just been a whirlwind because the company’s never been hotter. It’s the best time in the history of AEW. Our TV’s on fire. We’ve had the number one show on cable on Wednesday with Dynamite, number one show on cable on Friday with Rampage. And that’s a real milestone for us to hit. The company has just been tracking so well. Dynamite has been on fire. The month of August, the launch of Rampage and the debut of CM Punk, his first appearance here, and then his first interview with you, Tony, it’s been a whirlwind. It’s so exciting, and I can’t imagine a better place to do it than here at All Out.”

On Darby Allin’s rise in AEW: “Darby Allin was a huge part of it, came in and had a few really important matches, and he was chasing the TNT Title. And even though he didn’t win it there in that tournament, he went on and had a great 2020 and ended on a really high note for him at Full Gear last year on pay-per-view, winning the TNT title. And then he went on to become one of the biggest draws, one of the biggest stars, and really built himself a huge fan base where he was really one of the true big stars in the business. After Darby won the title, he made nine successful defenses, which is the most of any of the TNT Champions. He had some great matches, and he drew huge ratings for us. And he brought a lot of new fans and young fans. It’s why we have the youngest fans in wrestling, and honestly, the youngest fans in sports. Last week, out of hundreds of sports programs, number one and number two, lowest median age, the youngest fan base in all sports, Dynamite and Rampage. We have a great young fan base, and we appreciate it. We’ve got fans of all ages, but it’s really exciting to bring new people into wrestling, and Darby is a huge part of that. Nobody can deny it. He’s become a huge star. and you see it everywhere we go, the kids with their faces painted, half painted up for Darby. So he’s built himself up.”

On Punk’s return as a PPV attraction: “It doesn’t get much bigger than the return of CM Punk as a pay-per-view attraction. For us, we haven’t experienced anything like the interest we’ve had. Every business metric, whether it’s merchandising, the pay-per-view buys, or ticket sales for The First Dance and TV ratings are all at an all-time high, and it’s great because the business was already trending at an all-time high when he came in. Really, we took the hottest product in wrestling and made it even hotter with the arrival of CM Punk at the First Dance. Now, to come back and have CM Punk and Darby Allin one on one, I think it’s the most exciting thing we’ve ever presented and it’ll drive more business for us than anything.”

(h/t – 411 Wrestling)

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