Tony Khan’s narrative about being a hardcore wrestling fan is something that fans of AEW are fully aware of. He mentions it as often as he can, delivering the message to one and all that he’s a fan of the product he puts forth in AEW, and the end result is also proof of that, AEW very often giving the fans what they want to see.
Case in point: “Hangman” Adam Page’s win over Kenny Omega at Full Gear. Not to mention the massive amount of premieres and debuts in the company over the last year.
But also at AEW’s Full Gear this weekend, there were an overwhelming amount of boos for one CM Punk during his match against Eddie Kingston. This was a shock to some, but for those who knew of the history between the two (essentially a lot of elements from their promo almost two weeks ago on Rampage were from a real place for both of them), it was something to have been expected, and partly because Eddie Kingston is such a fan favorite.
In a media scrum following Full Gear, Khan compared their rivalry to the WrestleMania X8 match and rivalry featuring Hulk Hogan and The Rock—an incredible moment in pro wrestling history for obvious reasons. He said:
“I remember being the only person out of 70,000 cheering for The Rock in Toronto. My friend looked over me like, ‘what are you doing?’ And I was like, ‘somebody has to.’ And that’s how I felt about Punk getting booed tonight (vs. Kingston). There were way, way, way more Punk people tonight than there were Rock people in Toronto, though. I can attest as I was there for both shows.”via Tony Khan /Wrestling Inc (Transcription)
It’s very interesting that he mentioned Canada, as a few weeks back I brought up the fact that a lot of AEW on Canadian cable and satellite services, Fibe, etc…continuously get preempted. Many Canadian services don’t offer TNT, and although there is streaming and Fite TV options for many, there still are a lot of Canadians who like to watch a good old TV set for their pro wrestling and they’re still all left in the dark. Some providers don’t even have options to order AEW pay-per-views, believe it or not.
I brought up the point that he and AEW are losing a lot of potential views here—views that WWE is getting, as they’re so entrenched in Canada and have been since McMahon purchased the Stampede Wrestling territory form Stu Hart, Bret’s father, and before that as well, they understanding the importance of fans from the great white north.
As a Canadian and heavy duty fan of AEW I’m torn, and desperately want this to be rectified, as do many other Canadian fans, but it seems as though we Canadians are in Tony Khan’s thoughts judging from some of his comments from the very same aforementioned media scrum. He said:
“I would love to come to Canada. There are a number of great wrestling cities all across Canada. It’s a great country for wrestling. I have so much respect for so many Canadian wrestlers from different cities. I’m very biased towards Toronto because my father owns a Four Seasons Hotel there.”via Tony Khan /Wrestling Inc (Transcription)
A Canadian tour would be huge, I feel, and it would give the Canadian audiences other live shows to watch other than when WWE blows into town.
Jonah Rock (Bronson Reed) premieres in NJPW
We’ve been closely following the former Bronson Reed from NXT’s journey since he was released by WWE, so we felt it important to speak on the fact that he has finally debuted in one of the major and highly respected promotions in the industry: NJPW.
As webisjericho.com reports, things or rather plans fell through with ROH for obvious reasons and Impact Wrestling as his papers were not yet in order. He had been rumored to debut for both of the aforementioned two at some point, but those plans went awry.
It was at New Japan’s Battle in the Valley event that he debuted after a match between Moose and Juice Robinson. He and Moose even had a head-to head moment in the ring that has many wondering if his appearing at Impact isn’t a possibility after all. He also threw a little damage Juice Robinson’s and David Finlay’s way, making quite the overall impression.
Better late than never is the idiom that comes up. Great to see him again and looking forward to the noise he makes in both promotions.