Tony Khan recently did a special the “83 Weeks” podcast with Eric Bischoff’s on the All Elite Wrestling YouTube Channel. This is the first time Khan and Bischoff have ever spoken. They discuss, the WCW days, how WCW helped the AEW TNT partnership, and more.
How The Idea Of Wrestlers In The Audience Got Started
“I have a friend who is a writer for the Tonight Show. It was their first set of shows after the coronavirus started where I got the idea for the writers and staff that they put in the crowd as their audience. I was like, ok, that’s the idea for our audience. We can’t have just dead air.
I saw others wrestling in front of an empty crowd, and it wasn’t what I wanted our show to be. The energy just wasn’t there and it was really hard for the wrestlers to wrestle just cameras. That idea came when I saw Jimmy Fallon. The next day, I realized we could split it with babyface and heel and might really have something with these two sections. We ended up doing stories out of it. It doesn’t replace the energy of a wrestling crowd. There is nothing like the crowds we had.”
Starting A Second AEW Show On TNT
“I’ve had a lot of time to think about different formats. It would probably be a one hour show. We do have a different idea for a format. It still involves wrestling, which is the most important thing to me that there will be wrestling matches, but in a different format. Exactly what we’ve seen, but I’m not sure I have an idea that reinvents the wheel, but I think we can do some fun stuff. We are surrounded by a lot of creative people.”
Doing Live Shows On TNT Rather Than Taped
“It’s hugely important and it’s because of Nitro. I saw the power of being live on TNT and being able to do a show that felt live and felt more exciting than any other wrestling show. When I wanted to get that feel to try and break myself of the wrestling I’ve been watching. I’ve been watching Nitro after Nitro, especially ‘96-’98. You guys (Eric Bischoff and WCW) were the greatest example anybody could ever set. We wouldn’t be here without you. Now I’m trying to learn from the things that got you there and doing everything we can to stay.”