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Tony Khan Says CM Punk’s AEW Deal Has Already Paid For Itself

AEW President and CEO Tony Khan recently appeared on the “Le Batard & Friends – South Beach Sessions” podcast, where he spoke about the AEW debut of CM Punk as well as his return to pro wrestling and how it set so many records and became number one in so many standards and criteria.

This is what Tony Khan said:

“I think this was our number one best weekend we ever had.” “It was number one in so many metrics. We set our attendance record for the most fans we’ve ever had at the United Center on Friday night for AEW Rampage. We broke every social metric. I heard from ESPN that the traffic that they got was so beyond anything that anyone had anticipated. It was in fact the most traffic on any one social post they’ve had since May, which includes the Summer Olympics and NBA Finals. So the amount of interest for CM Punk returning to wrestling and joining AEW is unprecedented in the world of wrestling and this year in the world of sports.”

“It’s huge for our company, it’s huge for everyone who works here, it’s huge for all our fans. But I would also say that CM Punk really had a great time. He was so happy to be back, and I think that made it that much better for the fans to see how happy Punk was, to be back in the ring in Chicago. And the First Dance was just a huge hit for us in every sense of the word.”

Tony Khan then talked about how he believes the CM Punk deal was one of the best deals he’s ever done in his life, but it wasn’t all really about the money as Punk was really generous with everybody on a number of different levels such as the time he gave to spend with the fans, creating a special moment by giving the fans free ice cream bars and offering advice to younger talents backstage and what Punk has done will really help the company grow the business and sustain AEW for many years to come.

This is what Tony Khan said:

“I believe this was one of the best deals I’ve ever done in my life. And I don’t think it was really all about money.” “If you listen to what he (Punk) and I said on the press conference we did, we did a scrum that was like 50 minutes. And he gave so much of his time, he was so generous with everybody that night, in terms of obviously wanting to spend times with fans. But then also creating this great moment by buying thousands of thousands of ice cream bars so that everybody in the United Center was able to go out and get their free ice cream bar. That was pretty amazing, and that’s something people will always remember. It was just a really cool thing for him to do for the fans. He was also really cool about going backstage and offering really, really kind advice, being really good with his time with the wrestlers.”

“He’s a super, super friendly person and I just think some of the stuff he did in terms of helping our young wrestlers become stars at the next level, it’s really significant. And it’s going to help us grow the business and sustain AEW for many years to come. So I think it’s one of the best deals I’ve ever done. In so many ways it wasn’t about money. Like he and I said at the press conference, it was really about us getting to know each other. And that was one of the side effects of the pandemic, that people had a lot of time indoors. I spent a lot of time talking to him on the phone, getting to know each other better and build trust in each other. So this was a long time coming. We’d been talking a lot for a year and a half.”

Tony Khan then talked about how CM Punk’s All Elite Wrestling deal had already paid for itself and he knew that before they even got started, this was the best deal they could have possibly done.

This is what Tony Khan said:

“Yeah. I mean I do think so.” “In terms of what this has done for our business, I really believe that, as soon as we saw the results from this, before we even got started, I knew this was the best deal we could’ve possibly done.”

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