Chris Van Vliet recalls being part of the early days of AEW.
AEW has had a lot of changes in its nearly three years of existence. At the start of the company's existence, names like Golden Boy and Chris Van Vliet were used as broadcast personalities.
Now, speaking to Sean Ross Sapp, Chris Van Vliet is reflecting on his brief time with the company and getting one of the first interviews with Tony Khan after the start of the company.
"Two shows. Then also the ‘Road to’ on their YouTube channel. So I did three things with them, I guess. But leading up to all of those—leading up to the first even, leading up to the first Dynamite—I was either friends or friends of friends with people who had signed there. Chris Jericho was the first AEW interview that I did, the infamous backseat of the car interview that I did with him. Then Jericho had Tony Khan on his podcast, and I tweeted that I wanted to interview Tony Khan and I tagged him. Jericho re-tweeted it. So I messaged Jericho and I said, ‘Hey, thank you for the re-tweet. But do you think this is possible?’ He’s like, ‘I dunno. I’ll ask.’"
Chris Van Vliet eventually ended up interviewing Tony Khan, Cody Rhodes oh, and the Young Bucks, long before anyone associated with the promotion had cleared for an interview. This eventually led to Chris being invited to be a part of the first episode. To no surprise, he, of course, accepted.
"Ended up getting an interview with Tony Khan. ended up getting an interview with Cody, who I’d interviewed before, with WWE and Ring of Honor. So I was interviewing a lot of people who were the big players in AEW. This was before they had the system set-up where you have to ask someone for approval and then you got approval and then they set-up a time. This was more I contacted people that I knew. I talked to Cody, I talked to the Young Bucks, and then after doing all of those interviews they reached out to me and said, ‘Would you want to be part of the first episode?’ I’m like, ‘Uh, yes. Absolutely.’"
It wouldn't last long but Chris says he is grateful to be a part of the first show on TNT and almost 20 years and ultimately, have been a small part in the genesis of what has become the number two promotion in North America
He continued, "I think that it was so cool, first of all, to be a tiny little minuscule part of that first episode of wrestling on TNT in almost twenty years. That was so cool to be able to do something with Kevin Smith and Jason Mewes. I thought that was it. They said, ‘We just want you for this one show. Who knows what’ll happen.’ That’s kind of the way wrestling works in general. Then they ended up calling me up a few weeks later and said, ‘Hey can you be in Charleston, West Virginia tomorrow?’ I’m like, ‘Yes. Yes, I can,’ and then I did that really cool segment with the Rock ‘n’ Roll Express. I don’t know if it helped or hurt or anything. I think that all AEW interviews, probably with the exception of Chris Jericho, have to go through the same channels to make this happen."
AEW continues to grow and now will be featured on TBS starting in January. Now, even though the company has grown far beyond any expectations, and in 2019, Chris Van Vliet will always be a part of the early days of All Elite Wrestling.
You can check out Chris’ interviews with Chris Jericho, Tony Khan, and more as part of his Insight podcast. You can check out Chris Van Vliet's podcast, Insight on Spotify, YouTube, and Apple Podcasts. You can also see SRS on Chris' show at this link!: youtube.com/watch?v=JWivXAmVPQc