During a recent appearance on the “South Beach Sessions” podcast, AEW President Tony Khan commented on the recent WWE releases, not taking an anti-WWE approach as AEW President, and more. You can check out some highlights from the podcast below:
On the recent WWE releases: “Well, they had a really big roster, and they’ve chosen to try to maximize their profit margins by letting talent go to reduce the amount of cost they have due to talent. They had a lot of really good people, and they’re making choices about why people have value to them. I can’t say what number they’re trying to hit, but they’re definitely trying to hit a number there. I think it’s about profitability, and they’re making choices, I’m sure they don’t necessarily want to make, but they’ve let good people go in the process, absolutely.”
On why he doesn’t take an anti-WWE approach and the difference between his approach and Eric Bischoff’s approach with WCW: “My predecessor in many ways, we ran the companies very differently, but the last time anybody sat in my seat and was really successful competing with WWE was my friend Eric Bischoff, who was the president of WCW. Now, we had very different lives and different roles, in some ways, but Eric faced different challenges and what he did is so impressive, and it’s different because he took over a company that already existed, WCW. He didn’t own it, but he ran it day to day, and he answered to Ted Turner, but Ted Turner was not a hands-on boss. And with all due respect, and seriously Ted Turner is one of the most important people in the history of the wrestling business. Part of my business plan, when I launched this going to the president of TNT and TBS and going into the offices with all their executives was, I told them, if Ted had been one percent as hands-on or capable as I am to run a wrestling business, WCW never would have gone out of business. But they didn’t really have that strong management from the top. Eric was a great president for the company. He wasn’t the owner, so he still answered [to Ted]. There was a disconnect in the business. That was a challenge he faced that I don’t face because I am me. As the owner, the CEO and the person running day to day, the president, I have probably a lot more under one hood.
“The other thing is creatively, Eric was trying to grow a business that was really underperforming and losing money, and he made it, for a time, very profitable. He went out and spent a lot of money, but he did a lot of great things, and I guess I have a different outlook because Eric went out and said a lot of stuff that turned a lot of people off I think because he was so anti-WWF. He was so anti-WWF, and if you were a fan of both shows as a kid, and I really liked both shows as a kid, it was hard sometimes because Eric was trashing people you liked. There’s not as much upside for me to go out and do that because I think there’s a lot of people that like those shows, and there’s good stuff there that I like. That’s not ever really what I’ve been about. I support all wrestling. I’ll call out stuff I don’t like. no matter where it is, but in general, I’ve been open to work with different people. I try not to be so negative, and I think that’s part of why we’ve been successful. And if Eric could go back and do it again, and maybe not be so anti-WWF, I think he might.”
(h/t – 411 Wrestling)