The creative freedoms for AEW wrestlers have been well documented as the roster has raved about their level of input since the first show. While Co-Executive Vice Presidents Cody Rhodes, Matt & Nick Jackson, and Kenny Omega, along with Chief Brand Officer Brandi Rhodes help piece everything together, the ultimate decision lies with President Tony Khan.
Speaking to AL.com, Khan discussed his level of involvement with the presentation of AEW.
"I think we're really involved in the presentation of whoever it comes in, whether it's a complete overhaul … I think we have a big say, like I have a big say, in what the presentation's going to be. I think what's great is when we work with people who have so much experience and knowledge, like Chris is brilliant," Khan stated. "And I've sat with Chris and with Cody and people and we've had really interesting talks about how AEW can help develop a unique presentation for them. Like the Chris you see at AEW is a very different Chris than we've ever seen before. This super rock-star champion with the entourage he has, which is called the Inner Circle, which is a new thing that we've kind of developed here since we've started our TV show, "Dynamite." The Inner Circle's gotten over pretty big. So yeah, it's a different presentation."
He continued, "And Cody, since he had gone out on his own, and started wrestling on independents had tweaked his presentation and developed some amazing stuff. But I think since he's gotten in AEW, Cody's presentation is off the charts as well. And wrestlers like Kenny Omega and The Young Bucks, they also, like you said, had some fully formed wrestling skill sets and brilliant minds for wrestling, but when they came in their presentation at AEW's a unique presentation too. We've developed a lot of new acts like the Jurassic Express, for example, is something new we created in AEW. They were individual wrestlers that we put together, and something that's been really fun for the guys themselves, first and foremost, most also for the fans and families who come to the shows."
Khan further complimented Jericho by naming him to his wrestling Mount Rushmore alongside Steve Austin, Bret Hart, and Ric Flair.
Elsewhere in the interview, Khan discussed the concussion protocol put in place by AEW.
"There's researcher out there named Chris Nowinski who's actually a former pro wrestler and a former football player and had concussions end his career and has gone around educating pro wrestlers and football people and sports all over about the dangers of concussion. And I think through him and a bunch of other people's work we know more about it, so we have concussion protocol in place and we have doctors at ringside for all the matches. If anybody couldn't continue for any reason, we check for that and people have to be cleared to return, and I think things have come a long way. AEW, we're a relatively new company. Our first show was "Double or Nothing," Memorial Day weekend in Las Vegas, last May, so I think people have been educated and by the time we started we knew we had to have doctors at ringside and a protocol for safety," he said.
Fightful will have live coverage of AEW Dynamite beginning at 8 p.m. ET on Wednesday.