Tony Khan wasn't sure all of the surprises seen on AEW All Out were going to fall into place.
On September 5, AEW presented All Out, a show that saw the likes of Ruby Soho, Adam Cole, and Bryan Danielson debut for the promotion. The main event of the show saw Kenny Omega retain his AEW Championship over Christian Cage. In the months leading up to the event, it appeared as though Adam "Hangman" Page was in line for the title shot against his former partner. With a child on the way, however, Page was granted time off to be with his family.
During the post-show media scrum for All Out, Tony Khan told Fightful's Sean Ross Sapp that he would have given Hangman the time off even if they didn't have backups in place. He added the following:
"I had a feeling, but I had a lot of backup plans. I would have given him time off either way. I mean, even if I didn't have the guys in, I would have found a way to make it work and accommodate him because it was for a very important reason. He's a big part of AEW. He’s one of our really important stars. I really didn't have everything exactly in the place until we got there."
Building on that, Khan revealed that CM Punk, Bryan Danielson, and Adam Cole were all brought in on handshakes. Tony says he trusted them and didn't feel the need for them to sign their contracts ahead of time.
"I think you've all heard the story, which is true, that Punk didn't actually sign anything until that night. But we had a handshake and I trusted him. Same thing with Bryan. I think Bryan just signed. I trusted him. You know, we have a good relationship and we built that. Same with Adam Cole," he said.
The more Tony talked to each of the new additions, the more confident he felt about his plans for All Out.
"I wasn't sure everything was going to fall into place," he began by saying, "but they all just kind of one by one starting to look more likely. You know when something's like, this could happen and then every day it starts to look a little bit better, a little bit better and it's like Mr. Punk said, I don't know if there's a day I could put my finger on all these things and when they all were gonna hit. They just kept looking a little bit better every day. Definitely every good conversation I had with each of them I felt a little bit better about what we were doing tonight."
CM Punk made his AEW debut on August 20 at Rampage: The First Dance. At All Out he faced and defeated Darby Allin in his first match since the 2014 WWE Royal Rumble.
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