Tony Khan Explains How AEW's Relationship With Dan Lambert And American Top Team Came To Be

Tony Khan and Dan Lambert became good friends very quickly.

Over the past few months, Dan Lambert and American Top Team have been appearing on AEW television, striking an alliance with Scorpio Sky and Ethan Page. As of late, they have entered into a feud with Chris Jericho and the Inner Circle.

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Appearing on Z100 New York, Tony Khan explained how the relationship between he, AEW, and American Top Team came to be. He said the following:

"You know the way it happened is, I've never told the whole story before is about a year and a half, really a few months before the pandemic, at the beginning of 2020, I had dinner with [Jorge] Masvidal in Miami and we just talked business. We had a great talk. Then they told me that Dan's, you know, American Top Team, Dan Lambert, have you heard of him? I was like, 'Yeah, from IMPACT. He was Bobby Lashley's manager in IMPACT. He did a really nice job.' They said he's a huge fan in real life, and that's the deal is he's like the biggest wrestling fan. I was like, 'Oh, wow. Really? He's pretty good, good personality. You know, I'd love to meet him sometime.' They're like, 'Would you want to meet him right now?' I was like, 'Sure, come over and hang out.' So he came over to where we're having dinner. Fastest friends ever. Became really tight with Dan and he lived in Florida. Then through the pandemic, you know, we have a very small bubble of people and then we would have everybody who came to the shows at first before we let the fans in the outdoor seated bubble away from the wrestlers with like distancing and stuff. At first, it was really just a very small group of people. So Dan came in and took the COVID test and was with us in the bubble for a while and he, at one point, he brought a belt collection to show just for the historians because he has the world's greatest wrestling belt collection. Just brought a few cool things. He has like Buddy Rogers belt. Like all this cool stuff."

Tony continued on, saying that he and Dan share a lot of common interests. He then discussed the pairing with Scorpio Sky and Ethan Page and how the feud with Inner Circle has proven to be very exciting.

"His favorite stuff outside of, you know, like we have these common interests because Dan loves wrestling and football so much. He's a big Miami football guy and also the world's biggest wrestling fan. He became friends with me and then UFC was doing their bubble in Jacksonville too and we were basically set up almost as peripheral bubbles. That's how Dana [White] and I really became good friends because he was setup right across the street from me in his bubble. We were in Daily's Place and they were across the parking lot in the arena, so Dana and I became good friends. I brought him to meet my dad and I just love him.

Dan and I became friends and then he's such a good talker and he cares so much about wrestling, and that's where I had the idea, you know, Scorpio Sky's got the MMA background. The Men of the Year, originally I wanted as foils for Sting and Darby, but they had such great chemistry. I really thought that there's long-term potential with Scorpio Sky and Ethan Page. Scorpio Sky, an MMA fighter with a good record, and Ethan Page, a double black belt, which a lot of people don't think of originally when they think of Ethan Page, a guy with two black belts in Karate and Taekwondo. So I thought that would be really cool, training in American Top Team with Dan to build up as badasses. Then Dan, getting to live his dream as a wrestling manager is pretty cool but he's just great at it.

Then, you know, it got more and more heat, and that's when I talked to Chris [Jericho] and Chris and Dan, you know, really could play off each other and there'd be something really special here. Now it's gotten even stronger. Inner Circle's in a great position. Look how over Chris is as a baby face. Jake Hager is a legit MMA fighter getting to work against other MMA fighters; with Junior dos Santos on Friday night, across the ring with Masvidal being out there, and now Sammy Guevara is a TNT champion. So it's an exciting time," Khan said.

On last week's episode of Rampage, Scorpio Sky pinned Chris Jericho, earning the win for himself, Page, and dos Santos over the Inner Circle. American Top Team continued their beat-down of Hager and Jericho, and Guevara after the bell until being chased off by Santana and Ortiz.

Fightful will have live coverage of AEW Dynamite tonight beginning at 8 p.m. EST.

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