Tony Khan takes a very objective and non-confrontational look at the recent releases made by WWE.
Between 2020 and 2021, WWE has made many talent cuts and some of those Superstars have ended up in AEW. Names like Malakai Black have found a new lease on life in AEW following their time in WWE and these talents are only helping to grow the footprint of All Elite Wrestling and further the promotion’s short-lived but impressive legacy.
Speaking on the Le Batard & Friends - South Beach Sessions podcast, Tony Khan was asked about how he feels about WWE letting go of so many top Superstars and being able to pick them up for his own roster. Despite some playful prodding by the host, Tony Khan remained non-confrontational and gave his thoughts on what WWE may ultimately be looking for with all of these cuts.
"Well, they had a really big roster and they've chosen to try to maximize their profit margins by letting talent go to reduce the amount of cost they have due to talent. So they had a lot of really good people and they're making choices about why people have value to them. So I can't say what number they're trying to hit, but they're definitely trying to hit a number there. So I think it's about profitability, and they're making choices I'm sure they don't necessarily want to make, but they've let good people go in the process, absolutely."
Continuing on, Tony would say that it was impossible for WWE to keep so many wrestlers under their roof for so long and that eventually, somebody like him was going to come along and decisions were going to have to be made.
“I think I can actually put them over and give them some credit here because they can't keep every wrestler under their thumb, they just couldn't do it,” Tony said. “They tried to sign so many people and had cast such a wide net for so long, that inevitably, somebody with money and connections was going to be able to come in and start a wrestling business. The disconnect [for any other potential start-up], would be they were probably going to have to pass it off to somebody else to run the business. One of the real things I had going when we launched this company was all the institutional knowledge I'd built up over the years. You know, Dynamite is a show I've been writing on paper for over 25 years for 26 years, and Rampage, its sister show, is a show I conceived over 10 years ago. So I've been wanting to do this my whole life and I really just needed somebody to believe in me, which was TNT/WarnerMedia. I don't think it was really possible to stop me in this case, because, you know, I would have found a media partner, I would have found wrestlers who wanted to work with me, and I would have been able to launch a show.”
Launch a show he did and now, AEW Dynamite has regularly been the number one Wednesday night show on cable Wednesday several times throughout its run on TNT.
Elsewhere on the same podcast, Tony Khan talks about signing CM Punk and why he believes CM Punk has already given him a return on his investment from his very first night in the company alone. Learn more here.
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