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How Tony Khan Brought Life To Pro Wrestling With AEW

AEW President and CEO Tony Khan is not your typical boss as he was and still is a huge fan of pro wrestling for decades now and he has been a student of the game when it comes to pro wrestling since the 80s and the 90s when the Monday Night Wars ensued between Vince McMahon’s WWE (then WWF) and Ted Turner’s WCW, which was also the beginning of the Attitude Era in WWE and shortly after the demise of WCW.

After two years of back and forth ratings war between WWE and WCW, the demise of WCW would begin and they finally closed their doors shortly after. WWE would then end up purchasing WCW and for nearly 20 years, there wasn’t really much of a competition for WWE until AEW was created.

AEW’s creation would be credited to the success All In had, which would ultimately then lead to plans of the promotion coming into fruition one year later in January of 2019 with Tony Khan as President, and Cody Rhodes, Matt Jackson, Nick Jackson and Kenny Omega as the Executive Vice Presidents.

AEW has two shows namely Dynamite and Dark, where we see Dark air every Tuesday night on YouTube and Dynamite airs every Wednesday night on TNT. AEW’s Dynamite has been going head-to-head with WWE’s NXT and has been beating them in their ratings war called the Wednesday Night Wars.

AEW’s competition with NXT has been something that has been missing in pro wrestling for two decades now and according to Tony Khan when speaking with Yahoo Sports, this is a throwback in a positive way to an era when there was good competition in the wrestling business. Khan also said that there was a really competitive market for the fans and he thinks that it was a great time to be a fan at the time and they have recreated that.

This is what Tony Khan said:

“I think it’s a throwback in a positive way to an era when there was good competition in the wrestling business.” “There was really a competitive market for the fans. I think it was a great time to be a fan then and we have recreated that. For the fans and the wrestlers, it makes it a better environment. That’s one of the reasons I wanted to get in this, to improve the quality of life for the fans, the wrestlers, for everybody in the business. For me, it’s really been a lot of fun.”

AEW is practically a new company, but has already reached a significant amount of success and there’s something that wrestling promotions do or add to increase their success and revenues. Khan noted that there are certain things wrestling companies have done when it comes to over-saturating their PPVs or TV markets like adding too much content to try and make as much money as possible, and even though he likes it when AEW makes money, AEW is still a developmental company.

Khan also said that they started AEW from the ground up and their revenues are amazing, but their costs are very, very high. Khan then said that eventually they can add an extra hour of TV in 2021, but for now their 4 big PPVs are great and they want people wanting more.

This is what Tony Khan said:

“There are things that wrestling companies have done when it comes to over-saturating pay-per-view or TV markets with too much content and trying to make as much money as possible.” “I do like when AEW makes money, but frankly, this is a developmental company, too. We started this company from the ground up and our revenues are amazing — our TV contract alone pays $45 million a year — but our costs are very, very high.”

“Eventually we can add an extra hour of TV in 2021. I think our big four pay-per-views are great, but it doesn’t mean we won’t add additional specials or streaming content in the future. I think right now, one of the things we have done really well is leaving people wanting more.”

Khan then told Yahoo Sports that he really loves wrestling, he has always loved wrestling and he just loves being in the wrestling business. Khan also said that in 2018 there was a unique opportunity to get into the business as TV rights for big wrestling shows had gotten very large and lucrative, which he knew that if he could start a wrestling show, a wrestling company and build a roster that would be competitive that there would be opportunities to earn a big TV contact, which they have done.

He also said that it was the business model he was going to try and pursue., which they did and their massive success speaks for what they have done with the company so far.

This is what Tony Khan said:

“I really love wrestling, I always loved wrestling and I love being in the wrestling business.” “There was a unique opportunity to get into the business in 2018 because the television rights for big wrestling shows had gotten very large. The TV rights had gotten so potentially lucrative that I knew that if I could start a wrestling show, a wrestling company and build a roster that would be competitive that there would be opportunities to earn a big TV contact, which we have done. That was the business model I was going to try and pursue.”

AEW will continue to amass great success and they will continue to expand by the way things are going for them and only time will tell what else Tony Khan and AEW has in store.

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AEW & NXT TV RATINGS: Dynamite Finishes 7th, NXT 56th, November 18th, 2020

Wednesday Night Ratings War

AEW: 850,000 (0.37)
NXT: 638,000 (0.14)
*Updated 11/19/2020
AEW vs. NXT TV Ratings Tracker

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