For all of Tony Khan’s likeability, he is a man that doesn’t back down from a scrap. Indeed, step on Khan’s toes and you can be certain that he will kick you back with all the force of a Shawn Michaels in his prime dishing out his famous Sweet Chin Music.
Essentially, Khan is fiercely protective over his business interests and that doesn’t only apply to All Elite Wrestling, as Deliveroo found out when they poked fun at Fulham Football Club after the Premier League’s fixtures for the 2022/2023 season came out.
Khan, who alongside being the founder of AEW, is also the chief football strategy officer for Fulham, took exception to the takeaway delivery company suggesting that they would be happy to cater for the relegation party in May 2023 after the Cottagers drew Liverpool on the first day of the season. Admittedly, it was a needless jibe and the reality is that Fulham are surging ahead in the league with the latest sport betting odds showing the club at a long price of 16/5 to be relegated.
Furthermore, the most up-to-date online betting tips for the Premier League now predict that Fulham will stay up after an impressive start to life back in the English top flight. These odds, of course, will feel like vindication to Khan but at the time, the 39-year-old didn’t hold back after replying to Deliveroo by saying: “I suspect that we’ll be in business and thriving long after you wind down.”
Subsequently, Deliveroo ended up issuing Khan a public apology and handing out takeaway credits to the Fulham fans.
If you take a shot at the president of AEW, you better not miss him, otherwise, he will lock you in his crosshairs and fire. It is this uncompromising attitude to get even that will surely have the World Wrestling Entertainment bosses now wondering about what could be in the pipeline for them after the company decided to host two premium live events on Labor Day weekend. In Khan’s view, that was a deliberate ploy to crowd the market and felt like a direct attempt to undermine what AEW had in store for fans over the same time.
He’s back, and he has the #AEW World Championship in his sights.— All Elite Wrestling (@AEW) September 5, 2022
Order the replay & watch the #AEWAllOut PPV on @bleacherreport & Internationally on @FiteTV / @ppv_com@The_MJF @CMPunk pic.twitter.com/M2Aqqb3Kb9
The 39-year-old went on to liken the WWE’s current schedule to the strategy Vince McMahon used against Jim Crockett Promotions when the pair battled for wrestling supremacy in the 1980s. Crocket’s company would, of course, fall apart in 1986 after the WWE were successful in running their main competition out of town.
Now, it remains to be seen whether Khan is right or not in his estimation that the WWE are beginning to marginalize AEW’s place in the market. At least, it could have been a move that wasn’t intended to cause friction between the competing companies, or then again, it may be exactly what Khan thinks it is; the start of a campaign designed to sabotage AEW’s viewing figures.
Whatever the true motives are, Khan doesn’t sound like he is willing to find out and has promised a reaction to their shows over the Labor Day weekend.
History tells us that the 39-year-old will find a way to make the WWE reconsider its strategy or at the very least, remember to take AEW into consideration when scheduling shows over holiday weekends. Watch this space, wrestling’s nice guy is on the warpath once more and retribution looks to be on the cards.