Tony Khan Compares AEW’s Roster To WCW’s Roster In 1997, Talks All Out

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During a recent appearance on “Busted Open Radio”, AEW President Tony Khan commented on AEW’s current roster comparing to WCW’s roster in 1997, the current AEW All Out card, and more. You can check out some highlights from the podcast below:

On the AEW All Out card: “I think it’s been long time since there was a PPV as stacked top to bottom as All Out. When you look at the card, there’s really so many matches, and it’s not the first PPV where there’s been seven, eight matches already that people are going to get really fired up about. For every wrestling fan, there’s something for everyone on this card. I truly believe that. Top to bottom what a show. Some of the great PPV’s are like that and I think we’ve done some really exciting, great PPV’s shows. We’ve had buyrates that have compared to nobody since WCW, not the last few years of WCW, really since 1999. Because in 2000, 2001, their buyrates had declined. They were still doing better business than anyone’s done since, but really those are markers we’ve since passed up on PPV. And now we’re taking it to another level in 2021, with a lot of big stars arriving in AEW and with the homegrown talent we’ve developed all coming together. There’s no better example of that happening than this PPV.”

On how AEW’s roster compares to WCW in 1997: “I like to compare our roster sometimes to what I think was the hallmark great roster, which is 1997 WCW. You had all these stars and all this young talent, and I really do my best to try to utilize the roster even better than they were doing when they were a successful company, printing money in 1997, 1998. Because they had a lot of young talent that they didn’t really utilize, and they could’ve built for the future to help make it a profitable company that they never would’ve wanted to shut down. They could’ve made it a money printing machine if they had developed the young talent in house that they had, like Chris Jericho and Dean Malenko and Eddie Guerrero and Rey Mysterio. The people that were a big part of Worldwide and Saturday Night and those great shows.

“But they didn’t necessarily win a lot of those matches on Nitro and Thunder. And they could’ve built them for the future. I do try to build stars for the future, and that’s why you have so many great homegrown stars that are being featured at All Out, like Darby Allin, MJF, Dr. Britt Baker and whoever wins the match tonight between the Jurassic Express and the Lucha Brothers. There’s really great opportunity here and I don’t think Jericho, Mysterio and Guerrero necessarily got the same opportunities when they were on a roster with all time names like Hulk Hogan, Ric Flair, Randy Savage, Roddy Piper and all the people that were on the 1997 WCW roster. It was so successful and what a great TV business they built with that roster. Unfortunately it didn’t last, and I think it would’ve lasted longer if they had built the young stars the way I really try to do.”

(h/t – Wrestling Inc)

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